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! 🙂
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.
Being 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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