伊耶那岐と伊耶那美【Izanami and Izanagi】

To continue with the myths of Izumo, we have to go back to the gods Izanagi and Izanami. The gods descended to the land they had made, and erected a huge pillar and a great palace. Then, they wanted to have children.

出雲神話を続けていくために、伊耶那岐と伊耶那美に話を戻さなくてはなりません。 二人は自分たちの手で創造した土地に降臨し、巨大な柱と壮麗な宮殿を築きます。彼らは子供を欲していました。

They decided to walk around the pillar, in opposite directions, and start to create lands and gods after meeting on the other side of it. They did this, but upon meeting, Izanami said happily, “Oh, what a handsome and manly youth this is.” Even though Izanagi thought it improper for the lady to speak first, he replied, “Oh, what a lovely and charming maiden this is.”


Thereupon, they created a child, which was a terrible creature that looked like a slug! They put the slug-child into a boat of reeds and pushed it into the sea. (In some stories it goes to Mihonoseki, and the slug becomes Ebisu, one of the Seven Lucky Gods, but this doesn’t fit into later legends.)


After the slug-child, they had another child which was an island of foam. It was named “Awa” and was also considered a failure. Obviously, they were doing something wrong!


Izanagi and Izanami really wanted to succeed in their efforts at procreation, so they decided to ask for advice. They went back to Heaven, and all the gods discussed their problem. The other gods told them that it was very improper for the woman to have spoken first, and they should go back and do it right! Obviously, this was a male-dominated society!

どうしても子宝に恵まれたかった伊耶那岐と伊耶那美は助言を求めることにします。 二人は天に戻りすべての神々と討議します。神々は、伊耶那美が先に口を開いたのがよくなかったのだ、地上に戻り正しい方法でやり直すべきだ、と進言します。明らかにこれは、男性中心の社会です。

They descended to Earth again and repeated the walk around the pillar. This time the man spoke first, using the same words as before and Izanami repeated her words. Then they produced 35 gods and 14 islands, which were the basis of their empire.


Neither the slug-child nor Foam Island were counted among their offspring. This production of children is repeated in almost every society, and therefore must have come from other countries with the people who came to these islands.


We will never know the exact time this happened, but we can guess, in many cases. The time will, of course, change according to the type of legend, or myth.

このことが起きた正確な時期について知ることはできませんが、ほとんどの場合推測することは可能です。 もちろん、その時期とは、神話や伝説の種類によって異なります。

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