Izanami-no-Mikoto: She-Who-Invites

I’m over at Part Time Monster today, continuing my monthly series on Japanese female monsters. This post talks about Izanami, goddess of creation. She birthed the islands of Japan, and eventually, brought death to them, too. Find out why over there! 🙂

Part Time Monster

Think of Japan, and specific images will come to mind: Mt. Fuji, red tori gates, geisha under parasols. You may even be familiar with the meoto iwa, the wedded rocks off the coast of Ise.

Meoto Iwa or the Loved one-and-loved one RocksBeing familiar with them wouldn’t be a surprise. The rocks commemorate the marriage of the deities believed to have created Japan––Izanagi-no-Mikoto (He-Who-Invites) and Izanami-no-Mikoto (She-Who-Invites).

Their story, first described in the Kojiki, or Record of Ancient Matters, is vaguely similar to Adam and Eve’s. The heavenly gods created a single man and woman and sent them to a vast, sea-covered world, charging them with “curdling” the drifting lands upon it. They handed them a jewel-covered spear, and Izanagi and Izanami dipped it into the water, stirring the massive cauldron until salt water that dripped off the spear formed the original islands of Japan.

If this story sounds vaguely sexual, it’s intended that way. Izanagi…

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11 thoughts on “Izanami-no-Mikoto: She-Who-Invites

    • Alex Hurst says:

      Oh, definitely. As I mentioned in a comment over there, it was strange to keep feeling like I was ripping scenes out of another story as I writing the tale down. I guess there really are worldwide archetypes that any culture can relate to.

      Like

  1. Jeno Marz says:

    Izanami is one of my favorites in Japanese mythology. Yet after reading Sho Murase’s comic Sei: Death and Legend I can’t help myself but picture all the characters in her particular illustration style. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anabel Marsh says:

    It is a fascinating story and one I’d not come across before – but the red mist always descends when I come to bits about women not talking out of place / walking behind / being the spare rib etc! Sigh….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alex Hurst says:

      This story does kinda have that effect, haha. I just love the imagery of a decomposing wife sending hellions after her no-good husband. 😛

      Like

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