お清め【The Cleansing】

When Izanagi fled from his wife in the Land of Hades, after trying to get her to come back to him, he knew he was unclean. So, he went to the river to purify himself in water. (This was a Shaman custom.) Izanagi removed his clothes, from which many gods were born as he threw them down. (These gods were named using the ancient language of Japan. The names were later changed to suit the demands of the new language, which developed in later times. This is convenient for writers.)

伊耶那美を黄泉の国から連れ戻そうとし、そしてその手から逃れてきたとき、自分の体が汚れていることに気付いた伊耶那岐は、水で体を洗おうと川へ赴きます(これはシャーマンの習慣です)。 伊耶那岐が衣を脱ぐと、そこから数多くの神が生まれ出ました(こうした神には日本の古語から成る名前が与えられましたが、そうした名は後に発展した新しい言葉に合うよう変化を遂げました、これは、ものを書く側にとっては好都合です)。

A total of 14 gods were born as he did this. Then he found the best place in the river, where the speed of the current was just right, to bathe himself. As he bathed, many other gods were born. They were born at the bottom of the river, in the middle of the river, and at the surface of the river. Then the greatest wonder of all happened! When he washed his face, Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess was born from his left eye, Tsukiyomi, the Moon God, was born from his right eye, and Susanoo, the God of Storms and the Seas, was born from his nose!

生まれた神の数は全部で十四人にのぼりました。 伊耶那岐は、川の中で水を浴びるのにちょうどよい流れの場所を見つけます。 伊耶那岐が体を洗っているうちにも、川の底で、真中で、表面で多くの神が生まれ出ました。最も偉大な奇跡が起こったのです。 伊耶那岐が顔を洗うと、左の目から太陽の神・天照が、右の目からは月の神・月読が、鼻からは嵐と海の神・須佐之男が誕生しました。

The last three children were the most important to him, and the only ones he regarded as his own, probably because they came from his body! Therefore, they were the natural rulers of the great land, which would become Japan. (This story of the birth of the Sun and the Moon is repeated in Chinese and Philip-pino mythology! Susanoo is unique to Japan.) As Izanagi’s three children, Amaterasu, Tsukiyomi, and Susanoo grew to be adults, Izanagi gave his daughter, Amaterasu, his necklace of curved jewels. (I really believe the curved jewels are fertility symbols.) He also gave her control of the Sun and the Day. To Tsukiyomi, he gave control of the Moon and the Night. To his last son, Susanoo, he gave control of Storms and the Seas.

最後に誕生したこれら三人の神々は、伊耶那岐にとり最も大切な存在であり、また伊耶那岐が実の息子たちと見なしたのはこの三人だけでした。これはおそらく、彼らが伊耶那岐の体から生まれてきたことに由来するものと思われます。つまり三人は、後に日本となるその偉大な土地の正当な支配者だったのです(月と太陽誕生の物語は中国とフィリピンの神話にも存在しますが、須佐之男は日本に固有の存在です)。 天照、月読、須佐之男の三人が成人したとき、伊耶那岐は娘の天照に勾玉の首飾りと太陽と日の光を、(私は、勾玉の首飾りは多産の象徴であると確信しています)、月読には月と夜を操る力を、末っ子の須佐之男には嵐と海を操る力をそれぞれ授けました。

Later, we will see that Susanoo never took over his first kingdom, but chose to be the ruler of the Land of Darkness, as Izumo no Kuni was called at that time.

後に、われわれは、須佐之男が自らの国を受け継ぐことなく代わりに当時闇の国と呼ばれていた出雲の国の支配者となることを選び取るのを目撃することになります。

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