Izanagi

Searching the Seas with the Tenkei (天瓊を以て滄海を探るの図, Tenkei o motte sōkai o saguru no zu). Painting by Kobayashi Eitaku, 1880-90 (MFA, Boston). Izanagi with the spear Amenonuhoko to the right, Izanami to the left.

Izanagi (Japanese: イザナギ, recorded in the Kojiki as 伊邪那岐 and in the Nihon Shoki as 伊弉諾) is a deity born of the seven divine generations in Japanese mythology and Shinto and his name in the Kojiki is roughly translated to as "he-who-invites".[citation needed] He is also known as Izanagi-no-Mikoto or Izanagi-no-Ōkami.

Accounts in mythology

Izanagi and Izanami

He with his spouse and younger sister Izanami gave birth to the many islands of Japan (kuniumi) and begat numerous deities of Shinto (kamiumi). But she died after giving birth to the fire-god Kagu-tsuchi. Izanagi executed the fire god with the "ten-grasp sword" (Totsuka-no-Tsurugi). Afterwards, he paid his wife a visit in Yomi-no-kuni (the Underworld) in the hopes of retrieving her. But she had partaken of food cooked in the furnace of the Underworld, rendering her return impossible. Izanagi betrayed his promise not to look at her and lit up a fire, only to behold her in her monstrous and hellish state. To avenge her shame, she dispatched the lightning god Yakusa no ikazuchi no kami (Raijin) and the horrible hag Yomotsu-shikome to chase after him. Izanagi escaped, but the goddess vowed to kill a thousand of his people every day. Izanagi retorted that a thousand and five hundred will be born every day.[1][2][3]

Cleansing and birth of Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi and Susanoo

In the cleansing right after his return, he beget Amaterasu (the sun goddess) from his left eye, Tsukuyomi (the moon god) from his right eye and Susanoo (the storm god) from his nose.[4]