Shinto Creation Myth
According to Japanese Shinto Mythology, at the beginning of time, the heavens and the earths were mixed together in a great cloud. Slowly, the clearer, lighter parts of the cloud rose up and became heaven. The heavier parts of the cloud descended and became an ocean of muddy water. Between the heavens and the earth, a pale green sprout began to grow. It grew swiftly and was extremely strong. When the plantís flower burst open, the First God emerged. This First God then created Izanagi, is the god of all that is light and heavenly. Izanagi, whose name means "the male who invites", and his wife and sister Izanami, whose name means "the female who invites". The First God gave Izanagi the task of finishing the creation of the world.
Standing on rainbow called Ama-no-ukihashi (the floating bridge of the heavens), they plunged a jewel crested spear into the ocean. When they pulled it free, the water that dripped from the spear coagulated and formed the first island of the Japanese archipelago. Izanagi and Izanami went down to this island and settled down on it. Together, on this island, they made the islands of Japan.
When Izanami died giving birth, Izanagi went to the underworld to retrieve her, but she refused to come back with him and they parted forever. When Izanagi returned from the underworld, he started the first cleaning rites. He washed his left eye and thus created the sun goddess Amaterasu. When he washed his right eye, the moon goddess Tsuki-Yumi came forth. From his nose he created Susanowo, the god of the seas and the storms.
Later, he created the first people and animals of the island.
The Dawn and Dusk of Man is a Thinkquest Mythology Project by Sheila, Min, Ana and Tencia of Montgomery Blair High School.