The legends, according to the “Izumo no Kuni Fudoki,” the “Kojiki,” and the “Nihongi” all tell the last few stories. I have simplified them so everyone can understand them in English, especially students, and young people of other countries. Our myths and legends must be remembered, and made interesting to everyone.


The entrance to the place of Izanami’s burial, and Izanagi’s escape can be seen in the town of Higashi Izumo. It is called, Yomotsukuni no Hirasaka, and means the “Slope to Hades.” Some books say it means the “Evening Darkness” or Ifuya in archaic Japanese. (There is an Ifuya festival in Higashi Izumo every year.) Just for a moment, let’s think about these stories.


They must have had roots somewhere with a very powerful, religious mythology. Almost every country has some story to begin the history of their world, and it is often related to religion. As the religion changes, the story also changes, with certain “facts” being given new meanings and importance. This is even true of the Bible of the Christian religion, and of Buddhism. Shinto also has been changed to suit the situation that was desired by rulers. We always have to consider the history of a country to have been written by the winners of wars, or by people who didn’t want the true facts known. This happens everywhere, and if you study, you will find the proof.

それらの起源は、たいへん力強く神聖な神話を持つどこかの土地にあるに相違ないのです。 自国の誕生にまつわる物語というのは、世界中ほとんどすべての国がを持つものですが、そうした物語はしばしば宗教と結びついています。そして、宗教が変化するたびに、特定の史実に新たな意味や重要性が与えられ物語もまた変化するのです。このことは、聖書や仏教の経典においても例外ではありません。神道もまた、為政者の欲する状況に合うように変化してきました。一国の歴史というものは、戦における勝者や真実を知られることを忌み嫌う人々によって書かれたものであるということを私たちは常に考慮しなくてはなりません。これはどこにでも起きることであり、学ぶことでその証拠をつかむことができるのです。

In addition to the previous four stories, there is a legend that Izanagi gave the peaches in “Peaches,” the title of “Divine Fruit,” because they had helped him escape from Hades. He told the peaches that they should help the people of his country, Izumo no Kuni, just as they had helped him in his time of trouble. It is so written in the ancient records. In doing research on myths and legends, it is necessary to keep an open mind, study many books from other countries with some relation to the subject country, and do other research that seems completely unrelated, at first.

これまでに紹介した4編の物語のほかに「桃」という物語もあります。この中で伊耶那岐は、黄泉の国から逃げてくる際自分を助けてくれた桃に「聖なる果実」の称号を与えます。伊耶那岐は桃に、自分を救ったときと同じように出雲の国の人々を救わねばならないと言った、と古代の記録にあります。 神話や伝説についての調査を行う際には、心を開く必要があります。そして、対象となる国と関係を持つ国々の本を数多く読み、一見無関係と思えるような調査でも行うのです。

Later on, connections will be found that will amaze the researcher, and bring new light to his under- standing of the tremendous variety of myths and legends. Many of these stories share some parts that are remarkably alike. It is up to the researcher to try to make them match up.

後々、伝説や神話の持つ多様性の理解に光明をもたらす驚くべき関連を発見がなされるはずです。 数多くの物語が互いに驚くほど似通った部分を持っています。そして、それらを一致させる作業は研究者たちの手にかかっているのです。

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