Izanagi and Izanami – Creator Gods of Japan

The stories of the gods Izanagi and Izanami, where Izanagi means "One who is invited" and Izanami "One who invites", are stories told by the books Nihongi and Kojiki created in the 8th century around the years 710, 720, these two books contain stories of mythological legends and also an account of historical events of the 8th century. Basically Japanese mythology explains the creation of the world, how the gods and the origin of Japanese emperors arose.

The emergence of Izanagi and Izanami

After the creation of heaven and earth, the higher gods were supposed to join a meeting to debate and decide on what would be the fate of the earth, this is how the higher gods came to a conclusion of generating the presence of two divine beings at the same time. existence and they called them Izanagi and Izanami, these two gods would represent earth and sky. The higher gods gave them a spear called an Amenonuhoko and proposed them to create their own homes.

Izanagi and Izanami went to the sky floating bridge and swung the sky spear (amenonuhoko) in the ocean. After they took the spear out of the water, the drops that pigged into the ocean formed an island called "Onogoro-Shima". On this island they fell in love with each other and decided to get married and have children. So they created a wedding ceremony and also created a sacred column that they went around in different directions, with Izanagi going to the right and Izanami going to the left.

After marriage the couple had two children Hiruko and Awashima. Both were born imperfect and were placed in a boat that was carried by the currents of Onogoro-Shima. The couple decided to ask the higher gods for explanations and they said that the initiative for the sexual encounter had to come from Izanagi and not from Izanami.

Izanagi and Izanami

Izanami's death and the underworld

So Izanagi and Izanami followed this indication from the higher gods and numerous divinities were born, several of which are very popular today, she also gave birth to the islands that make up Japan. The fire god Kagutsuchi, was the last child to be born, as soon after the birth of Kagutsuchi, he ended up burning Izanami who ended up dying. But even dead Izanami's body continued to generate dozens of gods.

With much anger and hatred for his son, Izanagi beheaded Kagutsuchi with a sword. Upon raising the sword, the drops of blood of the fire god that shed from the sword generated eight gods and from the dead body eight mountain deities appeared.

Afflicted Izanagi then goes to Yomi (hell) to try to bring Izanami back to life. It didn't take long for him to find her, she was at hell's door. Izanami demanded that Izanagi wait far enough away that he wouldn't be able to see her in the darkness. Izanami told Izanagi that it was already too late as she had already eaten Yomi's food. Izanagi, shaken by the news, agreed to return to the upper world. As an act of farewell, she asked to let him sleep at the entrance to the underworld next to her. And Izanami slept peacefully but Izanagi couldn't sleep because he was going to live without the company of his beloved wife.

Izanagi decides to see his wife's face for the last time before returning to the upper world. Then while she slept, she took a clip from chopsticks that held Izanami's hair and set it on fire to serve as a torch and the torch light illuminated the whole place. Izanagi was amazed and disgusted to see that his wife Izanami was decomposing and full of worms, snakes and other demonic creatures roaming his body.

Izanagi and Izanami

Izanami's Fury

Izanami was furious at her husband's impudence. He sent thunder gods, hideous women, and an entire army of Yomi soldiers to eliminate him. Having managed to escape all these demonic creatures, Izanagi closes the passage that connects the underworld to the upper world with a huge rock and then Izanami on the other side of the rock talks to Izanagi and the two end their marriage. Izanami promises Izanagi that he would kill a thousand men in one night. So Izanagi says that he will raise 1,500 men. And from then on Izanami would represent death, because of her pride and suffering.

After these events Izanagi went to purify himself in the sea, as he felt a little dishonored. During this process, several evil gods were generated with the dirt and impurities of his body. When washing his face, the most important gods emerged such as: Amaterasu (the sun goddess) who was born from his left eye, Tsukuyomi (the moon god) from his right eye and from his nose came Susanoo (the god of the seas) and storms).

There are dozens of stories of gods that have emerged from Izanami and Izanagi and these stories are fantastic. The mythological legends of Japan are great and there are references of them everywhere, whether in anime, games and others. We hope that this article has served as a source of knowledge on the subject.

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