Myth#2 : Kuni Umi (the birth of the land of Japan)

Kobayashi Eitaku, Izanagi and Izanami, c. 1885. From Wikimedia Commons

Kobayashi Eitaku, Izanagi and Izanami, c. 1885. From Wikimedia Commons

The earth was still unsolidified like jellyfish floating in water at that time.

Amatsu Kami ordered Izanagi and Izanami, “Solidify the unbigoted earth and create a new land.” He gifted them a spear called “Ameno Nuboko” as the evidence of authority.

Now, they stood on a big bridge called “Ameno Ukihashi”, which runs across heaven and earth, and put the point of the spear into unsolidified earth and stirred it up with all their strength.When they pulled up the spear, the drops of water from the spear quickly accumulated and became an island called “Onogoroshima” (this island is said to be Nushima Island in Hyogo pref).

They landed on the island and set up a tall and huge pillar called “Ameno Mihashira (sacred pillar)” and built a grand palace called “Yahirodono”. They now decided to bear more lands and make a marriage vow. To make a marriage bow, Izanagi went around the pillar from left to meet Izanami and she went around it from right to meet him. When they finally met, she said “Oh, how handsome man you are!” and he said “Oh, how beautiful woman you are”. They then gave birth to a deity named “Hiruko”. However, Hiruko was boneless and looked like a leech, they swept Hiruko away on a reed boat.

After sweeping Hiruko away, they discussed and immediately went back to Takamanohara to ask Amatsu Kami an advice. Amatsu Kami practiced divination and advised them, “Izanagi should start saying a word when you two meet around the pillar. Go back to the island and do it over again.” Izanagi and Izanami went to back to the island and started it over again as Amatsu Kami advised. This time they were able to bore islands after and another successfully!

The first island they bore was Awajishima (present Awaji Island in Hyogo Pref.), and the following islands were bore by them:

  • Shikoku (present Shikoku Island)
  • Okinoshima (present Okinoshima Island of Shimane Pref.)
  • Kyushu (present Kyushu Island)
  • Iki (present Iki Island of Nagasaki Pref.)
  • Tsushima (present Tsushima Island of Nagasaki Pref. )
  • Sado (present Sado Island of Niigata pref.)
  • Honshu (the main island of Japan)

These eight islands came to be collectively called “Oyashima No Kuni”.

This is how the land of Japan was created.