第三章History of Izumo, Chapter 3

Izanagi no Mikoto

Izanaki no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto - ancient japan izumo travel guide

The legend of Izanagi, the god who went to the land of the dead.

The first-time Heaven and Earth appeared, the Land was overfilled with water just like oil, moreover, it was full of a jellyfish-like crust. The Gods of Takama-ga-hara ordered to pair of gods called Izanaki no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto to ” Do something about this land and consolidate it”. Izanaki and Izanami standing on Ama no Ukihashi (the Floating bridge of Heaven) spread the Ame no Nuboko on the lands, while strumming "Kooro, Kooro" finishing it up. Before long, the salt that fell from the tip of the spear turned into Onogoro Island.

Izanaki and Izanami, who had descended to this island and produced lots of children, but because Izanami gave birth to the scorching God of fire, she got injured badly and passed away. Izanaki wanted to catch a glance of his wife's eyes and followed her to the realm of the dead. Then, when Izanami met him in the palace of the Realm of the dead, he said with all his heart. “My dear beloved wife, the land we are trying to build is still not done yet, that's why, I want you to come back to the lands of this Earth"

Izanaki went to the realm of the dead - ancient japan izumo travel guide

However, Izanami replied,” That’s a pity. I have tasted the food from the realm of the dead, so there's no way for me to return. But my dear husband, since you came for me, let's try talk it out with the God of the realm of the dead. Also, remember not to look at me no matter what during this time." and the entered the palace in the realm of the dead.But the wait was unbearable, and Izanaki could not hold himself back any longer, so he broke the tooth of a comb stuck on his hair lighting up his fire and ended up seeing Izanami's face while entering the palace.

What he saw was Izanami's body full of bugs swarming and wriggling and her head, bosom and stomach were like scorched by the gods of Lightning. Afraid of what he saw, Izanaki tried to run away from the realm of the dead, "How dare you bring shame on me " so said Izanami and had the Yomotsushikome go chasing after him.

Izanaki was escaping - ancient japan izumo travel guide

While Izanaki was escaping, he threw a black vine hair ornament. Then it fell on the ground and germinated crimson glory vine (species of grapevine, Vitis Coignetiae) trees. Izanaki fled while Sikome picked up the fruit of the grape and ate it. As Izanaki folded and threw a bamboo comb's tooth again, this time bamboo shoots grew, and Izanagki could escape again while the Sikome pulled them out and ate them.

Then, Izanami had the gods of Lightning in her body follow him. Izanaki pulled out his sword and fled while swinging his sword behind his back. However, the gods of Lightning still followed him. When Izanaki reached Yomotsu Hirasaka [Boundary between this world and the other world], he took three fruits from the peach tree growing there, and then waited prepared to ambush the gods of Lightning and threw the fruits at them, which made them return to the realm of the dead.

Izanaki has blocked the way of Yomotsu Hirasaka - ancient japan izumo travel guide

Finally, Izanami herself came chasing after him. Izanaki has blocked the way of Yomotsu Hirasaka with a boulder which is so heavy that 1000 only people could move, so they were facing each other from either side of it. Then Izanami said, "My dearest husband. If you do something like this to me, then I'll kill 1000 people from your land each day.” Then Izanagi replied, “My dear beloved wife, if you kill 1000 people each day, then I'll build 1500 delivery rooms each day.”

This is said to be the reason why it has come to pass that 1000 people die and 1500 people are born without fail each day. Yomotsu Hirasaka mentioned in this story is debated to be the” Ifuyazaka” in the land of Izumo.