Creation Stories from Around the World Japanese Shintoengl697- ?· Creation Stories from Around the…

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<ul><li><p>Creation Stories from Around the World Japanese Shinto, c. 720 CE </p><p>Holy Nihongi THE AGE OF THE GODS, Book I </p><p>Translated by W.G. Aston, Nihongi (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trbner, 1896), 1-2 Edited with notes by Richard Hooker, </p><p> Of old, Heaven and Earth were not yet separated, and </p><p>the In and Yo1 not yet divided. They formed a chaotic mass like an egg which was of obscurely defined limits and contained germs. </p><p>The purer and clearer part was thinly drawn out, and formed Heaven, while the heavier and grosser element settled down and became Earth. </p><p>The finer element easily became a united body, but the consolidation of the heavy and gross element was accomplished with difficulty. </p><p>Heaven was therefore formed first, and Earth was established subsequently. </p><p>After the creation of Heaven and earth, Divine Beings were produced between them. </p><p>Hence it is said that when the world began to be created, the soil of which lands were composed floated about in a manner which might be compared to the floating of a fish sporting on the surface of the water. </p><p>At this time a certain thing was produced between Heaven and Earth. It was in form like a reed-shoot. Now this became transformed into a God, and was called Kuni-toko-tachi no Mikoto2. </p><p>Next there was Kuni no sa-tsuchi no Mikoto3, and next Toyo-kumu-nu no Mikoto4, in all three deities. </p><p>These were pure males spontaneously developed by the operation of the principle of Heaven5. </p><p>The next Deities who came into being were Uhiji-ni no Mikoto and Suhiji-ni no Mikoto, also called Uhiji-ne no Mikoto and Suhiji-ne no Mikoto6. </p><p>The next Deities which came into being were Oho-to nochi no Mikoto and Oho-to mahe no Mikoto. </p><p>The next Deities which came into being were Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto7. </p><p> 1 In and Yo: Japanese for yin and yang, </p><p>Yin: the passive, female cosmic principle in Chinese dualistic philosophy. </p><p>Yang: the active, male cosmic principle in Chinese dualistic philosophy 2 Kuni-toko-tachi no Mikoto: Land eternal stand of augustness. 3 Kuni no sa-tsuchi no Mikoto: Land of right soil augustness. 4 Toyo-kumu-nu no Mikoto: Rich form plain of augustness. 5 The Principle of Heaven corresponds to Yo (Chinese Yang), or the male principle of the universe. 6 Its unclear what these names mean. 7 Izana is from the verb, izanafu, to invite, and gi is the masculine termination and mi is the feminine termination. The names, then, mean something like the male that invites </p><p>These make eight Deities in all. Being formed by the mutual action of the Heavenly and Earthly principles, they were made male and female. From Kuni no toko-tachi no Mikoto to Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto are called the seven generations of the age of the Gods. </p><p>Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto stood on the floating bridge of Heaven, and held counsel together, saying, Is there not a country beneath? </p><p>Thereupon they thrust down the jewel-spear of Heaven8, and groping about found the ocean. The brine which dripped from the point of the spear coagulated and became an island which received the name of Ono-goro-jima9. </p><p>The two Deities descended and dwelt in this island. Accordingly they wished to become husband and wife together and to produce countries. </p><p>So they made Ono-gorojima the pillar of the center of the land. </p><p>Now the male deity turning by the left, and the female deity by the right, they went round the pillar of the land separately. When they met together on one side, the female deity spoke first and said, How delightful! I have met with a lovely youth. </p><p>The male deity was displeased, and said, I am a man, and by right should have spoken first. How is it that contrary to this, you, a woman, should have been the first to speak? This was unlucky. Let us go round again. </p><p>Upon this the two deities went back, and having met again, this time the male deity spoke first, and said, How delightful! I have met a lovely maiden. </p><p>Then he inquired of the female deity, saying, Is there anything formed in your body? </p><p>She answered, and said, In my body there is a place which is the source of femininity. </p><p>The male deity said, In my body again there is a place which is the source of masculinity. I wish to unite this source place of my body to the source-place of your body. </p><p>Hereupon the male and female first became united as husband and wife. </p><p>Now when the time of birth arrived, first of all the island of Ahaji was reckoned as the placenta, and their </p><p> (Izanaga) and the female that invites (Izanami) followed by the standard augustness (Mikoto). 8 Jewel-spear of Heaven: Its unclear what this is. 9 Ono-goro-jima: spontaneously congealed island. </p></li><li><p>minds took no pleasure in it. Therefore it received the name of Ahaji no Shima1. </p><p>Next there was produced the island of Oho-yamato no Toyo-aki-tsu-shima2. </p><p> Next they produced the island of Iyo no futa-na3, and </p><p>next the island of Tsukushi4. Next the islands of Oki and Sado were born as twins. This is the prototype of the twin-births which sometimes take place among mankind. </p><p>Next was born the island of Koshi5, then the island of Oho shima, then the island of Kibi no Ko6. </p><p>Hence first arose the designation of the Oho-ya-shima7 country. </p><p>Then the islands of Tsushima and Iki, with the small islands in various parts, were produced by the coagulation of the foam of the salt-water. </p><p>They next produced the sea, then the rivers, and then the mountains. Then they produced Ku-ku-no-chi8, the ancestor of the trees, and next the ancestor of herbs, Kaya no hime9. </p><p>After this Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto consulted together, saying, We have now produced the Great eight-island country, with the mountains, rivers, herbs, and trees. Why should we not produce someone who shall be lord of what is below Heaven? They then together produced the Sun Goddess, who was called Oho-hiru-me no muchi10. </p><p>Called in one writing Ama-terasu no Oho kami11. In one writing she is called Ama-terasu-oho-hiru-me </p><p>no Mikoto12. The resplendent luster of this child shone throughout </p><p>all the six quarters13. Therefore the two Deities rejoiced, saying, We have had many children, but none of them have been equal to this wondrous infant. She ought not to be kept long in this land, but we ought of our own accord to send her at once to Heaven, and entrust to her the affairs of Heaven. </p><p> 1 Ahaji no shima: the island which will not meet. 2 Oho-yamato no Toyo-aki-tsu-shima: rich harvest of island. 3 Iyo no futa-na: This is the island of Shikoku of southern Japan. 4 Tsukushi: This is the island of Kyushu, southernmost of the major islands of Japan, in the southwest on the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean. 5 Koshi: Koshi is not an island but a region on the island of Honshu. 6 Its unclear what islands these names refer to. The word, Ko, means child.. 7 Oho-ya-shima: Great Eight Island, i.e., Japan. 8 Ku-ku-no-chi: Ku-ku-no-chi: Ki ki tree-father. 9 Kaya no hime: Kaya: Rush plants. 10 Oho-hiru-me no muchi: great noon female of possessor. 11 Ama-terasu no Oho kami: Heaven illuminate of great deity. 12 Ama-terasu-oho-hiru-me no Mikoto: Heaven illuminate great noon female of augustness. 13 The six quarters, or directions, of the universe are north, south, east, west, top and bottom. </p><p>At this time Heaven and Earth were still not far separated, and therefore they sent her up to Heaven by the ladder of Heaven. </p><p>They next produced the Moon-god. Called in one writing Tsuki-yumi no Mikoto, or </p><p>Tsuki yomi no Mikoto14. His radiance was next to that of the Sun in splendor. </p><p>This God was to be the consort of the Sun-Goddess and to share in her government. They therefore sent him also to Heaven. </p><p>Next they produced the leech-child, which even at the age of three years could not stand upright. They therefore placed it in the rock-camphor-wood boat of Heaven, and abandoned it to the winds. </p><p>Their next child was Sosa no wo no Mikoto15. Called in one writing Kami Sosa no wo no Mikoto or </p><p>Haya Sosa no wo no Mikoto16. This God had a fierce temper and was given to cruel </p><p>acts. Moreover he made a practice of continually weeping and wailing. So he brought many of the people of the land to an untimely end. Again he caused green mountains to become withered. Therefore the two Gods, his parents, addressed Sosa no wo no Mikoto, saying, You are exceedingly wicked and it is not appropriate that you should rule the world. Certainly you must leave far away to the Lands Below17. </p><p>In one writing it is said, After the sun and moon, the next child Izanagi no </p><p>Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto gave birth to was the leech-child. When this child had completed his third year, he was nevertheless still unable to stand upright. The reason why the leech-child was born was that in the beginning, when Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto went round the pillar, the female Deity was the first to utter an exclamation of pleasure and the law of male and female was therefore broken. </p><p>They next gave birth to Sosa no wo no Mikoto18. This God was of a wicked nature, and was always fond of wailing and wrath. Many of the people of the land died, and the green mountains withered. Therefore his parents addressed him, saying:, Supposing that you were to rule this country, much destruction of life would surely ensue. You must govern the far-distant Land Below. </p><p>Their next child was the bird-rock-camphor-wood boat of Heaven. They took this boat and, placing the leech-child in it, abandoned it to the current. </p><p>Their next child was Kagu-tsuchi19. Now Izanami no Mikoto was burnt by Kagu-tsuchi, </p><p>so that she died. When she was lying down to die, she gave birth to the Earth-Goddess, Hani-yama-hime20, and </p><p> 14 Yumi: bow. Yomi: darkness. 15 Sosa no wo no Mikoto: impetuous male of augustness. 16 Kami: deity. Haya: quick. 17 The Land Below (in Japanese, ne no kuni, or root-country) is Hell or Yomi (darkness). 18 Sosa no wo no Mikoto: Impetuous male of augustness. 19 Kagu-tsuchi: The god of fire. 20 Hani-yama-hime: clay mountain lady. </p></li><li><p>the Water-Goddess, Midzu-ha-no-me1. Upon this Kagu-tsuchi took to wife Hani-yama-hime, and they had a child named Waka-musubi2. On the crown of this Deitys head were produced the silkworm and the mulberry tree, and in her navel the five kinds of grain3. </p><p>When Sosa no wo no Mikoto was commanded to go to the Land Below, he made petition, saying, </p><p>I will now obey your instructions and proceed to the Nether Land. Therefore I wish for a short time to go to the Plain of High Heaven and meet with my elder sister, after which I will go away for ever. </p><p>Permission was granted him, and he therefore ascended to Heaven. </p><p>After this, Izanagi no Mikoto, his divine task having been accomplished, and his spirit-career about to suffer a change, built himself a dwelling of gloom in the island of Ahaji4, where he lived forever in silence and concealment. </p><p>Another account says: Izanagi no Mikoto, his task having been </p><p>accomplished, and his power great, ascended to Heaven and made report of his mission. There he dwelt in the smaller palace of the Sun5. </p><p>Now at first when Sosa no wo no Mikoto went up to Heaven, by reason of the fierceness of his divine nature there was a commotion in the sea, and the hills and mountains groaned aloud. Ama-terasu no Oho kami6, knowing the violence and wickedness of this Deity, was startled and changed countenance when she heard the manner of his coming. She said to her self, Is my younger brother coming with good intentions? I think it must be his purpose to rob me of my kingdom. By the charge which our parents gave to their children, each of us has his own allotted limits. Why, therefore, does he reject the kingdom to which he should proceed, and make bold to come spying here? </p><p>So she bound up her hair into knots and tied up her skirts into the form of trousers. Then she took an august string of five hundred Yasaka jewels, which she entwined around her hair and wrists. Moreover, on her back she slung a thousand.arrow quiver and a five-hundred-arrow quiver. On her lower arm she drew a dread loud-sounding elbow-pad. Brandishing her bow end upwards, she firmly grasped her sword-hilt and stamping on the hard earth of the courtyard, sank her thighs into it as if it had been foam-snow, and kicked it in all directions. Having thus put forth her dread manly valour she uttered a mighty cry of defiance, and questioned him in a straightforward manner. </p><p> 1 Midzu-ha-no-me: Its unclear what this means. 2 Waka-musubi: young growth. 3 The five grains are millet, pulse, hemp, corn, and rice. 4 Ahaji: the first of the Japanese islands created by Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto 5 The smaller palace is a palace of a prince. 6 Ama-terasu no Oho kami: Heaven illuminate of Great Deity; this is the Sun Goddess or ruler of all things under Heaven. She is given this domain by her parents, Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto. To her brother, Sosa no wo no Mikoto, they give the underworld. </p><p>Sosa no wo no Mikoto answered and said, From the beginning my heart has not been black. But as in obedience to the stern behest of our parents, I am about to proceed for ever to the Land Below. How could I bear to depart without having seen face to face thee my elder sister? It is for this reason that I have traversed on foot the clouds and mists and have come here from afar. I am surprised that my elder sister should, on the contrary, put on so stern a countenance. </p><p>Then Ama-terasu no Oho-kami again asked him, saying, If this be so, how will you make evident the redness of your heart ? </p><p>He answered and said, Let us, I pray you, make an oath together. While bound by this oath, we shall surely produce children. If the children which I produce are females, then it may be taken that I have an impure heart. But if the children are males, then it must be considered that my heart is pure. </p><p>Upon this Ama-terasu no Oho-kami asked for Sosa no wo no Mikotos ten-span sword, which she broke into three pieces, and rinsed in the true-well of Heaven. Then chewing them with a crunching noise, she blew them away, and from the true-mist of her breath Gods were born. The first was named Ta-gori bime, the next Tagi-tsu-bime, and the next Ichiki shima bime7, three daughters in all. </p><p>After this Sosa no wo no Mikoto begged from Ama-terasu no Oho-kami the august string of 500 Yasaka jewels which was entwined in her hair and round her wrists, and rinsed it in the true well of Heaven. Then chewing it with a crunching noise, he blew it away, and from the true-mist of his breath there were Gods produced. The first was called Masa-ya a-katsu-kachi-hayabi-ama no oshi-ho-mimi no Mikoto8, and the next Ama no ho-hi no...</p></li></ul>