Izanami : Japanese goddess of death

Izanami

Izanami is an important goddess in Japanese culture. She has the absolute control of creation, and then later of death. This Japanese deity is also the first love of the famous God Izanagi. 

We will begin by sharing with you the heartbreaking tale of her legend. From her golden age to her fall into darkness. Then we will introduce you to the works and characters directly inspired by this Dantean deity. We will finish by explaining to you the reason why this Japanese tale dedicated to the goddess Izanami is the center of the appearance of all the gods of Japanese legends. 

In a few moments, the incredible epic of this mythical character will hold no secrets for you. 

Izanami and Izanagi, the origin of the creation of Japan.  

In Japanese spirituality, it is theheavenly kami who are at work in the earthly creation. In order not to leave the world empty, these protective deities gave birth to two new gods and goddesses: Izanami and Izanagi. The responsibilities of this cosmic couple are titanic. Their duty is to spread the life of the Japanese people all over the globe. Before they appeared, only the earth and the sky existed. Therefore, they were also required to shape the territories and landscapes.  

To ensure the success of this ambitious task, this courageous duo was given an object with monumental power. This was a spear adorned with countless precious jewels. It contained a tremendous creative power. Simply pointing the spear at the desired location was enough to create an island. This is exactly what happened when, from a celestial bridge, our two protagonists brought into existence the very first land of Japan: the Onogoro island. 

onogoro-island-izanami

Working hand in hand established a fusional bond between the two valiant builders. Eventually they fell in love with each other. The Goddess Izanami then wanted to invite her beloved to conceive a majestic bloodline. This they did, but the nuptial episode quickly turned into a disaster. 

The union gave birth to three ugly and ill-formed creatures. This was simply divine punishment. For it was in no way the role of the female deity to engage the initiative. They then tried a second time, drawing the right lesson from their recent failure. With the gods no longer angry, a whole new generation of deities was born. As a result, Izanami became pregnant again. On the day of the birth, an unfortunate incident occurred... 

Yomi, the world of the dead: the tragic tilt.  

At the end of the childbirth, the Nipponese god Kagutsuchi came into the world. He is the deity of fire. ūüĒ• The birth of this fiery being caused the immediate death of his mother.

After this macabre misadventure, the deceased went to Yomi after her funeral. This is a subterranean world where one is found after death. Still madly in love, Isanagi refused to accept this sad fate. He then made the decision to go on a quest for her, with the goal of bringing her back among the living. He clearly didn't know what to expect when he set foot in this place. Once there, he quickly realized that everything was hellish. Monstrous and immortal demons called "Shikome " populate this dark land. Other dirty creatures such as the Yokai curse this unclean place.   

Following several harrowing hours of walking, the lover finally found his soul mate. She was in the dark. It was impossible for Isanagi to make out her features. As a solution, he illuminated her by pointing his lamp in her direction. The light revealed a new nightmare. His sweetheart was in a serious state of decomposition. The putrid odor was obliterating the divine character that once animated this noble body. If she was condemned to such a miserable fate, it was for a very specific reason: she had fed on the fruits of the dark world. This is a grave sin, from which comes a radical punishment. Whoever tastes it blames himself for spending eternity in this hell, in this state of carrion. 

yomi-japanIllustration by Caelan Stokkermans

In a deep state of disgust, the inconsolable widower wanted to abandon his fallen love. The vile thing took this as an unforgivable betrayal. Taken of a mad rage, she did not count for nothing in the world, to let him leave. Without a moment's hesitation, she demanded that her apocalyptic henchmen go after him. In order to get away unharmed, Isanagi ran at full speed. In order to lose the evil troops, he condemned the entrance to the shrine of the underworld of torment with a huge rock, weighing several tons. Leaving the new ruler of the abyss imprisoned forever.  

The place of the goddess in Japanese folklore.

The story of this legendary heroine is so captivating that it has created a veritable upheaval in the art world. Thanks to this sensational myth, dozens of representations of the great imperial goddess were invented. We will review the 7 works that have held our attention the most. 

A jutsu in "Naruto"

This cult manga shows no disrespect to the powerful deity. Her power is terrifying because it is so colossal. Izanami is able to choose the course of fate. The opponent is trapped in an eternal time loop. To escape this painful prison, there is no other choice but to embrace the forced destiny. However overwhelming it may be. 

Character in the second season of "Narogami". 

The role that Izanami occupies in this drama is perfectly faithful to the original story. She is the goddess of the underworld. Loneliness eventually got the better of her mind. Madness has taken hold of her. If an individual dares to enter her lands, she hastens to hunt him down. By all means.    

Shirokawa, in the novel "Mekami Tensei". 

In this literary work, the character of Shirokawa is the reincarnation of the goddess of death. This coincides perfectly with the title of the book which means "the reincarnation of the goddess". This book claims to embody the worldview of its author (Ludovic Castro). Whether it is about history, society or even identity. 

Volume 3 of the trilogy of novels "Lotus War ". 

A fabulous marriage of fantasy and steampunk makes the whole Lotus War universe soulful. It is in the heart of the Shima Islands that the plot unfolds. In the middle of this enchanting atmosphere reigns flying boats and katana-saws. 

End boss of the game "Persona 4"

At the end of the famous role-playing game developed by Atlus, we have to face Izanami in person. This tough enemy gives players a huge amount of trouble.  

Playable character in the famous moba"SMITE"

Within the bestiary of this cult moba, Izanami is an excellent choice. Completely unobtrusive until you start dealing damage, she retaliates with a portal that assaults opponents' life bars while temporarily destroying their powers.

Hades, in the game "Blazblue: Central fiction "

Bazblue: "Central fiction " is a monument to Japanese fighting games. Here, it is unpretentious that Izanami occupies a spectacular role: the embodiment of death. Her goal is Machiavellian. Reducing the entire universe to ashes has become her sole reason for living. 

The spiritual mother of the 3 noble children. 

Izanami's influence on Japanese mythology did not end with her gruesome end. The situation was hopeless. But surprisingly, it turned out that the goddess' creative power was strong enough to endure despite the curse. As you know, Isanagi's disappearance caused her heartbreak. This deep sadness gave rise to a very special ceremony. 

In order to cleanse himself of the corruption and filth of the damned abyss, he engaged in a rejuvenating ritual. In the middle of a lake, he bathed in order to cleanse his soul. By divine magic, baptism is disturbingly fertile. This rite gives rise to many births:

  • Amaterasu, the sun goddess: from the father's right eye, a creative tear flows. This turned into a goddess as luminescent as the fiery star.¬†
  • Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon: another tear flows from his left eye. It gives rise to a child from which emanates a sparkling light.¬†
  • Susanoo, the god of the sea and storms: from a drop flowing from his nose, comes into the world an uncontrollable being. He is a gust of wind all by himself.¬†

As Izanagi carefully admired his new family, he felt an intense joy. Although his great love was no longer of the living world, he managed to give her three beautiful offspring. He chose to name them the "3 noble children."

Continue the exciting story of Japanese mythology by discovering our article one the Japanese Kitsune fox. It s one of the famous Japanese deities...

 

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