Mar 15, 2015

The Kojiki

Yours truly here is a big fan of mythology as well as all things ancient.... Today I am sharing the story of the beginning of Japan....The Kojiki, a creation myth.....

Just as the heaven and earth came about to be,  there were three deities around, The Spirit Master of the Center of Heaven, The August Wondrously Producing Spirit, and the Divine Wondrously Producing Ancestor. These three were not visible to any human eye. 

The earth was young, and land floated like oil on water, and from it reed shoots grew. From these reeds came two more deities. After them, five or six more pairs of deities came into being, and the last of these were Izanagi and Izanami, whose names mean "The Male Who Invites" and "The Female who Invites".

The first five deities told Izanagi and Izanami to create and strengthen the land of Japan, and  the young pair of deities were given a jeweled spear. Standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven, they dipped it in the ocean and stirred.  When they pulled out the spear, and the salt water that dripped of it formed an island to which they descended. On this island they built a palace for their wedding and a huge column to the heavens.

Izanami examined her body and found that one place had not grown, and she told this to Izanagi, who replied that his body was well-formed but that one place had grown to excess. He proposed that he place his excess in her place that was not complete and that in doing so they would make new land. (Editor's note: the start of sexual relations??? Hehehe)

They decided to walk around a pillar and meet behind it to do this. When they arrive behind the pillar, she greeted him by saying "What a fine young man", and he responded by greeting her with "What a fine young woman". They then had intercourse and gave birth to a leech-child, which they put in a basket and let float away. Then they gave birth to a floating island, which likewise they did not recognize as one of their children.

Disappointed by their failures in procreation, they returned to Heaven and consulted the other deities there. The deities explained that the cause of their difficulties was the probability that Izanami had spoken first when they met to procreate.

Izanagi and Izanami went back to their island and again met behind the heavenly pillar. When they met, he said, "What a fine young woman," and she said "What a fine young man". 

They then has intercourse, mated and gave birth to the eight main islands of Japan and six minor islands. Then Izanami gave birth to a variety of deities to inhabit those islands, including the sea deity, the deity of the sea-straits, and the deities of the rivers, winds, trees, and mountains. Last, Izanami gave birth to the fire deity, and her genitals were so burned that she died.

Izanagi grieved over Izanami, and a deity was born from his tears. Distraught after burying Izanami, he used his great sword to behead his son, the deity of fire, whose birth had killed Izanami. From the blood on the sword came three deities of rocks, two deities of fire, and one of water, all of which are needed to make a sword. Eight more deities arose from the body of Izanagi and Izanami's slain son.

Izanagi mourned for Izanami, and went to the underworld in look of her. Finding her in the
darkness, he called to her and asked her to come back to the land of the living with him. She promised him that she would go ask the gods of the underworld, but she begged him to not look at her as she did so. She was gone for a while, and unable to bear the darkness, he broke off the end of a comb in his hair and set it afire for some light. He then came across Izanami's body with maggots consuming it, and these maggots were the eight deities of thunder. 

Embarrassed to be seen in that condition, Izanami chased Izanagi out of the underworld. She sent the thunder deities after him, and then she herself chased him. 

Finally, he grasped a huge rock and used it to close the passage to the underworld. Enraged, she shouted to him that she would each day strangle one thousand people of Japan. He responded that if she did so, he would each day cause fifteen hundred Japanese people to be born. This is why supposedly fifteen hundred children are born each day and one thousand people die each day.

Izanagi then returned to his home and bathed to purify himself after this terrible experience. As he disrobed, new deities arose from his clothing, and more arose from the water as he bathed. Three of these were ancestors of Japanese families. The last of the deities was a son, Susan0o, who became the deity of the sea. He was eventually exiled to earth for his behavior in the heavens, but he and his sister, the Goddess of the Sun, Amaterasu parented eight deities. 

Among these was said to be the ancestor of Yamato family that ruled Japan, and two others were ancestors of nineteen of its highest families.

When the deities had pacified the land, Amaterasu, the Goddess of the Sun dispatched Japan's first ruler from the heavens to the earth. 

Descending from the Floating Bridge of Heaven to the mountain tops, he built his palace. Eventually he met a beautiful young woman, Princess Brilliant Blossoms, and asked her to marry him. She deferred to her father's judgment, and her father gave him both Princess Brilliant Blossoms and her older sister, Princess Long as the Rocks. 

The new emperor refused the older sister, however, because the older princess was ugly. When the father heard this, he explained that he had offered Princess Long as the Rocks because her children would have lived eternally. Instead, the children of Princess Brilliant Blossoms were mortal, which is why the emperors have never had long lives.

Princess Brilliant Blossoms was soon with child, so soon that the emperor could hardly believe that she bore his children. To prove herself, she built a palace and shut herself in it and set fire to it, knowing as he did that the children of anyone but the emperor could not survive the flames. From the middle the flames she gave birth to three deities, and ultimately their descendants were the imperial family of Japan.

Interesting right.... anyway, that was adapted and edited from Google as well as the pictures for sharing purposes.... Enjoy

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