Japanese Mythology – 3. Tragic End of Izanami

After Izanagi(伊邪那岐神) and Izanami(妹伊邪那美神) asked the first three deities for advice about their babies, they burnt a shoulder blade of a stag and read their fortunes by its cracks.
Deities: « A bad thing is that the woman asked first. Do it again. »
Izanagi and Izanami went down to Onogoro Jima(淤能碁呂島) and walked around the divine wooden column again.
Izanagi: « Ahh, what a wonderful lady you are! »
Izanami: « Ahh, what a wonderful man you are! »
After they made love, Izanami gave birth to firm islands.
1. Awaji Island(淡路島)
2. Shikoku Island(四国)
3. Oki Islands(隠岐諸島)
4. Tsukushi Island(筑紫島), now called Kyushu Island(九州)
5. Iki Island(壱岐島)
6. Tsushima Island(対馬)
7. Sado Island(佐渡島)
8. Ōyamato Toyoakitsu Island(大倭豊秋津島), now called Honshu Island(本州), so call Mainland of Japan.
These eight islands are collectively called as Ōyashima(大八島).
9. Kibi no Kojima(吉備の児島)
10. Aduki Island(小豆島), now called Shōdo Island(小豆島)
11.  Ōshima Island(大島), now called SuōŌshima Island(周防大島)
12. Hime Island(女島), now called Hime Island(姫島)
13. Chiano Island(知訶島), now called Gtō Islands(五島列島)
14. Futagono Island(両児島), now called Danjo Islands(男女群島)

The birth order of islands in Japan

The birth order of islands in Japan

Izanagi: « Our role is not over yet. We must give birth to deities to guard these islands. »
Izanami began to give birth to millions of deities: sea, river, water, wind, wood, mountain, soil…and so on.
Nature was formed like this.

However, Izanami abruptly faced a desperate plight. It was when she gave birth to a deity of fire named Hinokagutsuchi no Kami(火之迦具土神). Her missing part, in other words, her secret part got burnt. Izanami was laid up with illness.
Extreme pain made her vomit. Its waste gave birth to deities of mine.
Agonizing pain made her urinate. Its waste gave birth to deities of clay.
Excruciating pain made her defecate. Its waste gave birth to deities of water.
Her wound got more severe. Finally she couldn’t help but leaving to Yomi no Kuni(黄泉の国)/the land of the dead.

In my opinion, the most tragic thing for Izanami is not that she passed away early. It’s what she wanted to be secret, physiological phenomenon, were revealed, especially for ladies. I’m not sure why such a thing is written in Japanese mythology. Probably, it comes from the idea that all things are deities, no matter what those are.

It is said that China, Korea and Japan have been trading before recorded history. Just a few, but some Japanese peculiar objects were unearthed in China and Korea, and vice versa. At that time, « 14. Danjo Islands » was the last point to China and « 6. Tsushima Island » was the last point to Korea. All above islands were significant as base points of trading. However, its prosperity has gone at « 14. Danjo Islands » where nobody live since 2006.

I live in « 2. Mainland Island » and have been to « 4. Kyushu » only twice. Other islands are places where I’ve never been to. I look into how I can go there and find every island has several ports, although some islands look like a grain of sugar on the above map. I realize I must first look into what to do there.

Hinokagutsuchi no Kami(火之迦具土神) could live strong after his mother’s death?
How was his feeling, if he get to know his mother’s death due in part to his own birth?
More tragic drama unfolded to him. To be continued.

Here is a shrine which enshrine Hinokagutsuchi no Kami(火之迦具土神).

火男火売神社/ほのおほのめ(Honoohonome Shrine)
Official Site(Japanese):http://www.beppu-navi.jp/spot/000640.html
Honome 8-1, Beppu, Ōita
Click Here: Honoohonome Shrine on Google Map
JR Nippō Main Line(日豊本線)
2.5 km(1.6miles) in direct distance  from Beppu University Station(別府大学駅).
I cannot find any public transportation. It’s better to catch a cab.

Route to Beppu University Station from Tokyo Station

Route to Beppu University Station from Tokyo Station



2 réponses à “Japanese Mythology – 3. Tragic End of Izanami

  1. Birth of islands, quite unique and interesting. I hope you do get to finish your mission of getting to the regions in your lifetime.

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