Oh My Kami! Izanagi and Izanami

Japan’s creation myth is pretty cool. In the beginning, the first gods Kunitokotachi and Amenominakanushi created Izanagi and Izanami and charged them with the creation of the world. They gave the new brother and sister pair a heavenly spear, and Izanagi and Izanami descended to the heavenly floating bridge and plunged the spear into the ocean. The drops which fell off the spear formed into the first land, from which all of the land was formed. A tall pillar also grew out of this mess, and Izanagi and Izanami, being the only gods their age, fell in love and wanted to get married.

The circled around the pillar in opposite directions, kind of winging the wedding ritual, and figured, meh, it was good enough. And they quickly went to business. They had two children, Hiruko (remember Ebisu from the Seven Lucky Gods?) and Awashima, who were born deformed. The higher gods told them that this was because they performed the marriage ceremony improperly (certainly not because they were brother sister!) so they repeated their wedding, this time without screwing up. Afterwards, they had many more children, including the “eight great islands of Japan,” some other islands, and many many gods.

Tragically, Izanami died giving birth to Kagutsuchi, the god of fire; she was burned too badly during the birth. Izanagi was so furious that he killed the baby, creating even more deities in doing so. Afterwards, Izanagi traveled to the underworld to try to retrieve her, but that’s another very interesting story which I will cover later.

Izanagi and Izanami

This print is available on my Etsy store. If you’re interested in buying the original, please email me. Thanks for reading!

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