ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Love Tale of a Japanese Myth

Updated on July 17, 2012

Here is a very interesting story I recently read. It reminds me of a Romeo and Juliette tragedy with a more metaphorical meaning behind it. I cannot give out every detail here, but I hope this article teases your curiosity enough to go and read more about it.


The Creation of Life

The ancient storytellers of Japan write about the beginning of Life resembling that of the birth of a man. In the Japanese mythology, Life came to existence through the miraculous bond of a male (In) and a female (Yo) spiritual form. When the In and Yo met, they resulted in a chaotic mass with the shape of an egg. When this egg hatched out into life, the pure and light part formed Heaven, while the heavier element sank down and became Earth. The Japanese writers then go on to compare Earth to a fish floating on the surface of the water. A very beautiful interpretation, I would say. The divine amour of the In and Yo has thus given life to many Gods and mystical creatures, among which Izanagi and Izanami.


A Love Story

Izanagi and Izanami are two of the most important deities in the Japanese culture. They have funny translations too. Izanagi translates into “a man-who-invites” and Izanami means “a female-who-invites”. They both stood on the Bridge of Heaven wondering if there was a land down below. To answer their curiosity they let down a jewel-spear that hit the ocean. When Izanagi pulled the spear back up, a little drop fell from its tip. This drop then coagulated and became the island Onogoro-jima (spontaneously-congeal-island). Astonished by the beauty of their creation, Izanagi and Izanami came down to the island and decided to marry there, despite the fact that they are brother and sister.

The two Gods set up a pillar on the ground and started walking around it in opposite directions. When they met, Izanami (the female) saluted Izanagi (the male) and made him upset because she referred to him as “youth”. Izanagi also became furious that a woman has been the first to speak. So, they decided to start fresh. Their second try went flawless.

Their children became islands, seas, rivers, mountains, herbs and trees. Yet, they were still not satisfied. They thought if they could do this, why not give birth to a creature to be the Lord of the Universe? This is how Ama-terasu (the Sun Goddess) came to life. She was sent up to Heaven to rule with her Light. Next was her brother, Tsuki-yumi (the Moon God), who was also sent to Heaven. Ama-terasu and Tsuki-yumi could not share their powers and had soon clashed. The Sun Goddess then cursed her brother and wished they did not see each other face to face ever again. This is how they became separated by Day and Night.

Sadly, Izanami became ill after the birth of her son, Kagu-tsuchi (the Fire God). Izanagi fell down on his knees in sorrow. His wife could not bear seeing her husband like this and fled to the Land of Yomi (Hades). Izanagi quickly realized he could not live without his love and followed her to Hades. What he became a witness to was that she had already been poisoned by the food there. Izanami replied that she needed some rest and requested her husband not to look at her. He failed to comply and snuck in during the dark. The indescribable beauty of Izanami had already been gone. She had become swollen and deformed. Repelled by the sight, Izanagi ran headed for the valleys of the Underworld. Upset that her husband ignored her only wish, Izanami sent the Eight Ugly Females of Yomi after him. But as he turned his back, he took off his head-dress and threw it on the ground to distract them. It magically turned into a bunch of grapes. This helped lure the Ugly Females into eating the fruit. Izanami immediately stood up and embarked on a pursuit on her own.

She eventually reached him at the Even Pass of Yomi. There and then, Izanagi asked for a divorce to which his wife agreed. He is said to have fled to the island of Ahaji, where he dwelt for ever lasting silence and concealment.

Actually, this is not the whole story about the Creation of Life. This article focused on the relationship of two of the Japanese Gods – Izanagi and Izanami. Just like in any other culture, they had many children who had their own, and so on. There is much more drama to each character. What attracted my interest was the symbolism behind them. Every character represents a real phenomenon. It is amazing how the Japanese give meaning by humanizing them.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Tolovaj profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. Isn't interesting how similar are creation myths among different people? It looks we have always two force which are opposite and compatible in some way, like light and darkness, and somehow storytellers always manage to present the in some kind of love story.

      Our world is all about love, isn't it?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)