Izanagi

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天瓊を以て滄海を探るの図. Painting by Eitaku Kobayashi (Meiji period). Izanagi with spear Amenonuhoko to the right, Izanami to the left.

Izanagi (イザナギ?, recorded in the Kojiki as 伊弉諾) is a deity who was a child of the seven divine generations in Japanese mythology and Shintoism, and is also referred to in the roughly translated Kojiki as "male who invites", or Izanagi-no-mikoto.

He and his wife Izanami created many islands, deities, and forefathers of Japan. When Izanami died while giving birth to a child, Izanagi tried (but failed) to retrieve her from Yomi (the underworld). In the cleansing rite after his return, he created Amaterasu (the sun goddess) from his left eye, Tsukuyomi (the moon god) from his right eye, and Susanoo (tempest or storm god) from his nose. When Izanagi looks at his wife in Yomi, he sees her monstrous and hellish state and she is ashamed and angry. She chases him in order to kill him. She fails, but promises to kill a thousand of his people every day. Izanagi says that he will create a thousand and five hundred every day.

Amaterasu cave crop.jpg

Japanese Mythology & Folklore

Mythic Texts and Folktales:
Kojiki | Nihon Shoki | Otogizōshi | Yotsuya Kaidan
Urashima Tarō | Kintarō | Momotarō | Tamamo-no-Mae
Divinities:
Izanami | Izanagi | Amaterasu
Susanoo | Ama-no-Uzume | Inari
List of divinities | Kami | Seven Lucky Gods
Legendary Creatures:
Oni | Kappa | Tengu | Tanuki | Fox | Yōkai | Dragon
Mythical and Sacred Places:
Mt. Hiei | Mt. Fuji | Izumo | Ryūgū-jō | Takamagahara | Yomi