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Home : Shinto : Holy Kojiki : The Birth of the Deities
The Birth of the Deities

THE BEGINNING OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

The names of the deities that were born in the Plain of High Heaven when the Heaven and Earth began were the deity Master-of-the-August-Center-of-Heaven; next, the High-August-Producing-Wondrous deity; next, the Divine-Producing-Wondrous deity. These three deities were all deities born alone, and hid their persons. The names of the deities that were born next from a thing that sprouted up like unto a reed-shoot when the earth, young and like unto floating oil, drifted about medusa-like, were the Pleasant-Reed-Shoot-Prince-Elder deity, next the Heavenly-Eternally-Standing deity. These two deities were likewise born alone, and hid their persons.

The five deities in the above list are separate Heavenly deities.

THE SEVEN DIVINE GENERATIONS

The names of the deities that were born next were the Earthly-Eternally-Standing deity; next, the Luxuriant-Integrating-Master deity. These two deities were likewise deities born alone, and hid their persons. The names of the deities that were born next were the deity Mud-Earth-Lord; next, his Younger sister the deity -Mud-Earth-Lady; next, the Germ-Integrating deity; next, his younger sister the Life-Integrating-Deity; next, the deity of Elder-of-the-Great-Place; next, his younger sister the deity Elder-Lady-of-the-Great-Place; next, the deity Perfect-Exterior; next, his younger sister the deity Oh-Awful-Lady; next, the deity Izanagi or the Male-Who-Invites; next, his younger sister Izanami or the deity the Female-Who-Invites.

From the Earthly-Eternally-Standing deity down to the deity the Female-Who-Invites in the previous list are what are termed the Seven Divine Generations.

THE ISLAND OF ONOGORO

Hereupon all the Heavenly deities commanded the two deities His Augustness the Male-Who-Invites and Her Augustness the Female-Who-Invites, ordering them to "make, consolidate, and give birth to this drifting land." Granting to them a heavenly jeweled spear, they thus deigned to charge them. So the two deities, standing upon the Floating Bridge of Heaven pushed down the jeweled spear and stirred with it, whereupon, when they had stirred the brine till it went curdle-curdle, and drew the spear up, the brine that dripped down from the end of the spear was piled up and became an island. This is the Island of Onogoro.

COURTSHIP OF THE DEITIES THE MALE-WHO-INVITES AND THE FEMALE-WHO-INVITES

Having descended from Heaven on to this island, they saw to the erection of a heavenly august pillar, they saw to the erection of a hall of eight fathoms. Then Izanagi, the Male-Who-Invites, said to Izanami, the Female-Who-Invites, "We should create children"; and he said, "Let us go around the heavenly august pillar, and when we meet on the other side let us be united. Do you go around from the left, and I will go from the right." When they met, Her Augustness, the Female-Who-Invites, spake first, exclaiming, "Ah, what a fair and lovable youth!" Then His Augustness said, "Ah what a fair and lovable maiden!" But afterward he said, " It was not well that the woman should speak first!" The child which was born to them was Hiruko (the leech-child), which when three years old was still unable to stand upright. So they placed the leech-child in a boat of reeds and let it float away. Next they gave birth to the island of Aha. This likewise is not reckoned among their children.

Hereupon the two deities took counsel, saving: "The children to whom we have now given birth are not good. It will be best to announce this in the august place of the Heavenly deities." They ascended forthwith to Heaven and inquired of Their Augustnesses the Heavenly deities. Then the Heavenly deities commanded and found out by grand divination, and ordered them, saying: "they were not good because the woman spoke first. Descend back again and amend your words." So thereupon descending back, they again went round the heavenly august pillar. Thereupon his Augustness the Male-who-Invites spoke first: " Ah! what a fair and lovely maiden!" Afterward his younger sister Her Augustness the Female-Who-Invites spoke: " Ah! what a fair and lovely youth! " Next they gave birth to the Island of Futa-na in Iyo. This island has one body and four faces, and each face has a name. So the Land of Iyo is called Lovely-Princess; the Land of Sanuki is called Princess-Good-Boiled-Rice; the Land of Aha is called the Princess-of-Great-Food, the Land of Tosa is called Brave-Good-Youth. Next they gave birth to the islands of Mitsu-go near Oki, another name for which islands is Heavenly-Great-Heart-Youth. This island likewise has one body and four faces, and each face has a name. So the Land of Tsukushi is called White-Sun-Youth; the Land of Toyo is called Luxuriant-Sun-Youth; the Land of Hi is called Brave-Sun-Confronting-Luxuriant-Wondrous-Lord-Youth; the Land of Kumaso is called Brave-Sun-Youth. Next they gave birth to the Island of Iki, another name for which is Heaven's One-Pillar. Next they gave birth to the Island of Tsu, another name for which is Heavenly-Hand-Net-Good-Princess. Next they gave birth to the Island of Sado. Next they gave birth to Great-Yamato-the-Luxuriant-Island-of-the-Dragon-fly, another name for which is Heavenly-August-Sky-Luxuriant-Dragon-fly-Lord-Youth. The name of "Land-of-the-Eight-Great-Islands" therefore originated in these eight islands having been born first. After that, when they had returned, they gave birth to the Island of Koo-zhima in Kibi, another name for which island is Brave-Sun-Direction-Youth. Next they gave birth to the Island of Adzuki, another name for which is Oho-Nu-De-Hime. Next they gave birth to the Island of Oho-shima, another name for which is Oho-Tamaru-Wake. -Next they gave birth to the Island of Hime, another name for which is Heaven's-One-Root. Next they gave birth to the Island of Chika, another name for which is Heavenly-Great-Male. Next they gave birth to the islands of Futa-go, another name for which is Heaven's Two-Houses. (Six islands in all from the Island of Ko in Kibi to the Island of Heaven's-Two-Houses.)

BIRTH OF THE VARIOUS DEITIES

When they had finished giving birth to countries, they began afresh giving birth to deities. So the name of the deity they gave birth to was the deity Great-Male-of-the-Great-Thing; next, they gave birth to the deity Rock-Earth-Prince; next, they gave birth to the deity Rock-Nest-Princess; next, they gave birth to the deity Great-Door-Sun-Youth; next, they gave birth to the deity Heavenly-Blowing-Male; next, they gave birth to the deity Great-House-Prince; next, they gave birth to the deity Youth-of-the-Wind-Breath-the-Great-Male; next, they gave birth to the sea-deity, whose name is the deity Great-Ocean-Possessor next, they gave birth to the deity of the Water-Gates, whose name is the deity Prince-of-Swift-Autumn ; next they gave birth to his younger sister the deity Princess-of-Swift-Autumn. (Ten deities in all from the deity Great-Male-of-the-Great-Thing to the deity Princess-of-Autumn.) The names of the deities given birth to by these two deities Prince-of-Swift-Autumn and Princess-of-Swift-Autumn from their separate dominions of river and sea were: the deity Foam-Calm; next, the deity Foam-Waves; next the deity Bubble-Calm; next, the deity Bubble-Waves; next the deity Heavenly-Water-Divider; next, the deity Earthly-Water-Divider; next, the deity Heavenly-Water-Drawing-Gourd-Possessor; next, the deity Earthly-Water-Drawing-Gourd-Possessor. (Eight deities in all from the deity Foam-Prince to the deity Earthly-Water-Drawing-Gourd-Possessor.) Next, they gave birth to the deity of Wind, whose name is the deity Prince-of-Long-Wind. Next, they gave birth to the deity of Trees, whose name is deity Stem-Elder; next, they gave birth to the deity of Mountains, whose name is the deity Great-Mountain-Possessor. Next, they gave birth to the deity of Moors, whose name is the deity Thatch-Moor-Princess, another name for whom is the deity Moor-Elder. (Four deities in all from the deity Prince-of-long-wind to Moor-Elder.) The names of the deities given birth to by these two deities, the deity Great-Mountain-Possessor and the deity, Moor-Elder from their separate dominions of mountain and moor were: the deity Heavenly-Elder-of-the Passes; next, the deity Earthly-Elder-of-the-Passes; next, the deity Heavenly-Pass-Boundary; next, the deity Earthly-Pass-Boundary; next, the deity Heavenly-Dark-Door; next, the deity Earthly-Dark-Door next, the deity Great-Vale-Prince; next, the deity Great-Vale-Princess. (Eight deities in all from the deity Heavenly-Elder-of-the-Passes to the deity Great-Vale-Princess.) The name of the deity they next gave birth to was the deity Bird's-Rock-Camphor-tree-Boat, another name for whom is the Heavenly-Bird-Boat. Next, they gave birth to the deity Princess-of-Great-Food. Next, they gave birth to the Fire-Burning-Swift-Male deity, another name for whom is the deity Fire-Shining-Prince, and another name is the deity Fire-Shining-Elder.

RETIREMENT OF HER AUGUSTNESS THE PRINCESS-WHO-INVITES

Through giving birth to this child her august private parts were burned, and she sickened and lay down. The names of the deities born from her vomit were the deity Metal-Mountain-Prince and, next, the deity Metal-Mountain-Princess. The names of the deities that were born from her feces were the deity Clay-Viscid-Prince and, next, the deity Clay-Viscid-Princess. The names of the deities that were next born from her urine were the deity Mitsubanome and, next, the Young-Wondrous-Producing deity. The child of this deity was called the deity Luxuriant-Food-Princess. So the deity the Female-Who-Invites, through giving birth to the deity of Fire, at length divinely retired. (Eight deities in all from the Heavenly-Bird-Boat to the deity Luxuriant-Food-Princess.) The total number of islands given birth to jointly by the two deities the Male- Who-Invites and the Female-Who-Invites was fourteen, and of deities thirty-five. (These are such as were given birth to before the deity the Princess-Who-Invites divinely retired. Only the Island of Onogoro was not given birth to and, moreover, the Leech-Child and the Island of Aha are not reckoned among the children.)

So then His Augustness the Male-Who-Invites said: " Oh! Thine Augustness my lovely younger sister' Oh! that I should have exchanged thee for this single child! " And as he crept round her august pillow, and as he crept round her august feet and wept, there was born from his august tears the deity that dwells at Konomoto, near Unewo on Mount Kagu, and whose name is the Crying-Weeping-Female deity. So he buried the divinely retired deity the Female-Who-Invites on Mount Hiba, at the boundary of the Land of Idzumo and the Land of Hahaki.

TIIE SLAYING OF TIIE FIRE-DEITY

Then His Augustness the Male-Who-Invites, drawing the ten-grasp saber that was augustly girded on him, cut off the head of his child the deity Shining-Elder. Hereupon the names of the deities that were born from the blood that stuck to the point of the august sword and bespattered the multitudinous rock-masses were: the deity Rock-Splitter; next, the deity Root-Splitter; next, the Rock-Possessing-Male deity. The names of the deities that were next born from the blood that stuck to the upper part of the august sword and again bespattered the multitudinous rock-masses were: the Awfully-Swift deity; next, the Fire-Swift deity; next, the Brave-Awful-Possessing-Male deity, another name for whom is the Brave-Snapping deity, and another name is the Luxuriant-Snapping deity. The names of the deities that were next born from the blood that collected on the hilt of the august sword and leaked out between his fingers were: the deity Kura-okami and, next, the deity Kura-mitsuba.

All the eight deities in the above list, from the deity Rock-Splitter to the deity Kura-mitsuha, are deities that were born from the august sword.

The name of the deity that was born from the bead of the deity Shining-Elder, who bad been slain, was the deity Possessor-of-the-True-Pass-Mountains. The name of the deity that was next born from his chest was the deity Possessor-of-Descent--Mountains. The name of the deity that was next born from his belly was the deity Possessor-of-the-Innermost Mountains. The name of the deity that was next born from his private parts was the deity Possessor-of-the-Dark-Mountains. The name of the deity that was next born from his left hand was the deity Possessor-of-the-Densely-Wooded-Mountains. The name of the deity that was next born from his right hand was the deity Possessor-of-the-Outlying-Mountains. The name of the deity that was next born from his left foot was the deity Possessor-of-the-Moorland-Mountains. The name of the deity that was next born from his right foot was the deity Possessor-of-the-Outer--Mountains. (Eight deities in an from the deity Possessor-of-the-True-Pass-Mountains to the deity Possessor-of-the-Outer--Mountains.) So the name of the sword with which the -Male-Who-Invites cut off his son's head was Heavenly-Point-Blade-Extended, and another name was Majestic-Point-Blade-Extended.

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