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  • Today I want to tell you guys about Japan’s creation myth, according to the Shinto Religion.

  • Way back in the day, before the heavens and earth existed, everything was just a limitless,

  • formless mass. Out of this, something light and transparent rose up and formed the Plain

  • of High Heaven. The three divine beings called the Three Creating Deities were formed: The

  • Spirit Master of the Center of Heaven, The August Wondrously Producing Spirit, and the

  • Divine Wondrously Producing Ancestor.

  • The heavy and opaque materials from the formless mass began to gather together. In the earliest

  • stages, for millions of years, earth is said to have resembled oil floating upon the face

  • of the waters. A reed sprouted up, and a divine couple was born. Several more were born in

  • this way, and the last pair, the eighth pair, was Izanagi and Izanami, “He Who Invites

  • andShe Who Invitesrespectively.

  • The Heavenly deities commanded Izanagi and Izanami, to descend to the nebulous earth

  • to solidify earth together. With a jeweled spear called Ama-no-Nuboko, the two traveled

  • to the Floating Bridge of Heaven, which lay between the heaven and earth.

  • Looking down at the sea of filmy fog floating to and fro, Izanagi dipped the spear into

  • the waters and stirred. When drawing it up, great drops which fell from the spear to the

  • surface of Earth, created an island.

  • Delighted, the two descended to the island and constructed a great Heavenly August Pillar,

  • and a great place called the Hall of Eight Fathoms for their wedding.

  • The two agreed to meet on the other side of the pillar, each walking in the other direction:

  • the male deity to the left, and the female deity to the right. When they met each other

  • on the other side Izanami, the female Deity, speaking first, exclaimed: "How delightful

  • it is to meet so handsome a youth!" To which Izanagi, the male Deity, replied: "How delightful

  • I am to have fallen in with such a lovely maiden!" And the two consummated their marriage.

  • Thier first born was a leech child: weak and boneless. The couple, placed it on a reed

  • boat and abandoned it in the waters. Their second was a floating island, which they also

  • did not accept their their own.

  • The two Deities, disappointed in their failures, returned to Heaven to ask the heavenly deities

  • for the cause of their misfortunes.

  • Turns out that the reason for their difficulties was because the woman shouldn’t have spoken

  • first when they met at the other side of the pillar. That’s why they kept having deformed

  • babies. Of course, that explains everything.

  • The two returned to earth, went around the pillar once more, and this time Izanagi, the

  • male deity, spoke first saying: "How delightful to meet so beautiful a maiden!" "How happy

  • I am," responded Izanami, "that I should meet such a handsome youth!".

  • After this, they made whole lotta babies. Gods were basically spewing from everything.

  • They gave birth to the eight main islands of Japan and six minor islands. They then

  • 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, which burned her genitals so badly that she

  • died.

  • That mustve hurt.

  • In her agony, more gods were born from her vomit, urine and feces. At least they got

  • more babies?

  • Izanagi mourned over Izanami’s death, and from his tears, another deity was born. Angered,

  • he beheaded his son, the fire deity, responsible for her death. From the blood on his sword,

  • and the corpse of the slain son arose a number deities as well.

  • Longing for his deceased wife, Izanagi looked for Izanami, at the land of Yomi, the underworld.

  • And in the darkness, he called for his wife to return with him to the land of the living.

  • She replied that it was too late, and she had already consumed the food in the land

  • of Yomi.

  • That sounds kinda familiar.

  • However, she would go ask the gods of the underworld for permission to leave. And she

  • asked Izanagi to do one thing, which was to not look at her as she did this.

  • This sounds really familiar too.

  • After she left, Izanagi eventually grew impatient, and decided to go look for her.

  • I definitely heard this before.

  • He broke off the end of a comb in his hair and set it on fire for a light.

  • When he found her, he was shocked to find his once beautiful wife to be a rotting corpse,

  • being consumed by maggots. Ashamed to be seen in this condition, she chased Izanagi out

  • of the underworld, sending the eight deities of thunder, which were born from her body,

  • after him, and then pursued him herself.

  • As he reached for a huge rock to close the passage to the underworld, she shouted in

  • anger

  • If you behave in this way, I will strangle and kill one thousand men of your land in

  • one day!”

  • Izanagi replied: “If you do this, I will in one day set up

  • 1,500 parturition houses. So in one day indeed 1,000 men will die and indeed 1,500 are going

  • to be born.” Izanagi returned home and bathed himself to

  • remove himself of all the uncleanliness through a purification ceremony by the river. As he

  • stipped his clothing, 12 dieties were born from the robes and accessories.

  • More deities arose as he cleansed himself of the impurities of Yomi, shaking off the

  • curse, and washing his body.

  • In the last step of the purification ceremony, Izanagi washed his left eye, from which Amaterasu

  • Ōmikami was born; from his right eye Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto was born; and from his nose, Takehayasusanoo-no-mikoto

  • was born.

  • The three gods are called theThree precious children”: gods of the Sun, the Moon, and

  • the Seas.

  • It was Amaterasu, whose name means "shining in heaven,” who sent Japan’s first ruler

  • from the heavens to Japan, so the Emperors of Japan are considered divine and direct

  • descendants of Amaterasu.

  • I love reading myths about different cultures, and it really explains a lot about their religions

  • and cultural beliefs. And it totally explains why the flag of Japan is a Sun!

  • I hope you guys enjoyed this story, and if you liked it, please give it a thumbs up and

  • subscribe.

  • If you have been following them already, I’m making a whole series of Japanese Art history

  • videos. This video is kind of an off-shoot to give

  • you some more background and understanding of the Shinto religion, so that you can understand

  • the shinto arts a little bit better.

  • If you like these kinds of videos, where I’m telling you these myths and illustrating them

  • with real art people made about these myths, please tune in and subscribe because there

  • will be more on the way! Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you guys next time.

Today I want to tell you guys about Japan’s creation myth, according to the Shinto Religion.

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Japanese Mythology | Izanagi and Izanami and the Birth of Gods | LittleArtTalks

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    むなかた じゅん posted on 2016/10/27
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