In the beginning
of the world, everything was chaos. There
was no heaven and no earth. Everything
was never-ending. One day,
three gods came forth. The
first was Ame-no-Minaka-Nushi-no-Mikoto.
He was formed first, on the Plain of High Heaven.
Then, another god named Takami-Musubi-no-Mikoto was born.
He was also born from the heavens.
Finally, a third god named Kammi-Musubi-no-Mikoto came from the
heavens. These three gods
were known as the Three Creating Deities.
While the heavens began to
form, something else was occurring too.
All the heavy things in the air came together to form the earth.
This took a very, very long time, probably millions and millions of
years. The earth resembled
oil spilled on water. Eventually,
two more gods were born (they were immortal, too!).
Their names were Umashi-Ashi-Kahibi-Hikoji-no-Mikoto and
of other gods were born after them, but they soon became bored because
there was nothing for them to do.
Finally all the gods
called the two divine ones, Izanagi and Izanami, (one was male and one was
female) and asked them to go down to the “earth” and make it something
other than an oil spill! Once
they had done that, the gods gave them a beautiful spear and told them to
rule the land. The two immortals, Izanagi and Izanami crossed the floating
bridge from heaven to earth. The
deities took the spear, touched the water that covered everything, and
voila! They created an island. Today
this island is called Onokoro. They
got so excited, that they made the island their headquarters.
On their island they built a great Pillar, called the Heavenly
August Pillar. Around it they
built something called a beautiful palace called the Hall of Eight
Fathoms. Next, the male
turned to his left, and the female turned to her right and they went
around the pillar in opposite directions.
When they met again, Izanami, the female, and Izanagi fell in love
and created a baby. The baby,
however was REALLY, REALLY ugly. It
looked like a leach! The
parents were disgusted, and so they abandoned their baby in a reed boat on
the water. They were so disappointed in their baby, that they asked the
rest of the deities how it could have happened!
They were told that it was because the woman had spoken to the man
first. The next time the pair
walked around the pillar, the man spoke first and all of their future
children turned out just fine. This
pair had several island children: Shikoku,
Awaji, Oki, Kyushu, Tsushima and Honshu.
These six islands, plus the two malformed first children, became
called Oyashi-ma-kuni, which means “The Country of the Eight Great
Islands”. There were several smaller islands born, too, that formed
around the larger ones.
Izanagi and Izanami
also were the parents of the first Japanese Gods and Goddesses.
First to be born was the God of the Sea, whose name was
they had Kamihaya-akitsu-hiko, the god who controlled the land, and
Haya-akitsu-hime, the goddess who controlled the sea.
They also had the following children:
Kami-Shinatsuhiko-no-Mikoto – Wind God; Kukunochi-no-Kami – God
of the Trees; Oyamatsumi-no-Kami – God of the Mountains; and
Kayanuhime-no-Kami – Goddess of the Plains.
Things went well until
the God of Fire was born. His
name was Kagnutsuchi-no-Kami. When
he was born, Izanami, his mother, was so terribly burned that she died.
Her husband, Izanagi, tried to bring her back to life, and he was
successful, but she refused to eat anything.
Her husband prepared all kinds of delicious foods for her, but she
refused to try them. If she
did try something, she usually threw up right away.
At one point, when she threw up, more children were born: Kanayama-biko and Kanayama-hime, the god and goddess of
metals. From different parts
of her body, more children were born as well.
They were Haniyasu-hiko and Haniyasu-hime, god and goddess of
earth. The last child born to
Izanami was a miracle. Mizuhame-no-Mikoto
was born – the Goddess of Death.
After his wife died,
Izanagi was alone. He
completely joined all of the individual islands to form one large Island
Empire of Japan. Then, overcome with his sadness, he began to cry.
He was amazed when one of his teardrops fell and a beautiful
goddess, Nakisawame-no-Mikoto, was born.
He looked at her with wonder, but then kept on crying.
He was so angry with the baby Fire God for killing his beloved
Izanami, that he went into a rage and cut the infant boys’ head off.
Isanagi was very surprised at what happened next.
Eight new gods appeared, made from the blood and the sword.
The dead body of the Fire God continued to create new gods, until
there were 16 in all. Izanagi
his beautiful wife decided not to fight for her life anymore, and she went
to “The Land Of Hades”.