Japanese Mythology – 2. Abandoned Babies

Izanagi(伊邪那岐神) and Izanami(妹伊邪那美神) landed on Onogoro Jima(淤能碁呂島).
At first, they built a divine wooden column and a mansion around it.
Izanagi stared at Izanami’s eyes.
Izanagi: « How is your body like? »
Izanami: (What!?)
Izanami was surprised a little, but gave a reply honestly.
Izanami: « I have a missing part in my body. »
Izanagi: (A missing part? Is that a crack?)
Izanagi said straightforwardly.
Izanagi: « I have an extra part in my body. »
Izanami: (An extra part? What’s that?)
While Izanami looked bewildered, Izanagi asked in no time.
Izanagi: « I’d like to fill your missing part with my extra part. How about? »
Izanami: (What!?)
Izanami showed a temper.
Izanagi: « Don’t be so upset. We can give birth to our babies. »
Izanami: (I see.)
At first, Izanami was surprised, but she hold a positive image for Izanagi who directly showed his feelings.
Izanami took his proposal.

As their wedding vows, Izanagi went around the divine wooden column counterclockwise, while Izanami went around it clockwise.
When their eye met, Izanami said first.
Izanami: « Ahh, what a wonderful man you are! »
Izanagi: « Ahh, what a wonderful lady you are! »
They made a marriage bed.

They gave birth to their baby. But, the baby was Hiruko(水蛭子) who doesn’t have bones like a leech. They put their baby on a ship made of reeds and threw the ship into the sea. Next baby was born. The baby was Awashima(淡島) whose appearance made them disappointed.
They abandoned this baby as well.

Izanagi and Izanami pondered « Why? »
They went up to Takamagahara(高天原) to ask the first three deities among Kotoamatsu no Kami(別天津神) for help.


As long as I see a image of Hiruko, he looks vigorous and happy. Who brought up him and how? Even nowadays, it’s still tough to raise a baby like Hiruko, let alone old days. They couldn’t help but abandoning their babies.

Here are some shrines which enshrine Hiruko and Awashima.

Hiruko(蛭子神)
Wada Shrine(和田神社)

Wada Shrine(和田神社) Reference From: 神戸の空の下で

Wada Shrine(和田神社) Reference From: 神戸の空の下で

URL
Official Site(Japanese): http://www.kcc.zaq.ne.jp/wadamiya/index.htm
Blog Site(Japanese): http://blog.goo.ne.jp/kimmy_v-kobe/e/326c0caa56505189bcff0d8153dd4b7c
Location
3-2-45 Wadamiyadori, KobeHyogo, Hyogo
Map
Click Here: Wada Shrine on Google Map.
Access
JR Wada Misaki Line(JR和田岬線)
2 minutes walk from Wada Misaki Station(和田岬駅)

Route to Wada Shrine from Tokyo, Osaka

Hiruko(蛭子神)
Nishinomiya Shrine(西宮神社)

Nishinomiya Shirine(西宮神社) Reference From: <a href=

Official Site » class /> Nishinomiya Shirine(西宮神社) Reference From: Official Site

URL
Official Site(Japanese): http://nishinomiya-ebisu.com/index.html
Location
1-17 Sakecho, Nishinomiya, Hyogo
Map
Click Here: Nishinomiya Shrine on Google Map.
Access
Hanshin Honsen(阪神本線)
5 minutes walk from Nishinomiya Station(西宮駅)

Route to Nishinomiya from Tokyo, Osaka

Awashima(淡島神)
淡島神社(和歌山)

Awashima Shrine(淡島神社) Reference From: Official Site

Awashima Shrine(淡島神社) Reference From: Official Site

URL
Official Site(Japanese): http://www.kada.jp/awashima/
Tourist Site(English):
http://www.wakayamakanko.com/eng/sightseeing/history7.html
Location
118 Kada, Wakayama, Wakayama
Map
Click Here: Awashima Shrine on Google Map.
Access
Nankai Kada Line(南海電鉄加太線):
15 minutes walk from Kada station(加太駅)

Route to Kada from Tokyo, Osaka

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