Izanami-no-Mikoto (Japanese: 伊弉冉尊 or 伊邪那美命; meaning "she who invites"), also known as Izanami-no-kami or simply as Izanami, is a goddess from Japanese mythology. She is a goddess of creation and of death. She's the former wife of the Japanese god, Izanagi-no-Mikoto.
Goddess of Creation
Kunitokotachi and Amenominakanushi, the first gods, summoned Izanagi and Izanami into existence. These two newly summoned divine beings were charged with creating the first land. They were given a special spear decorated with jewels, called Ame-no-nuhoko. Izanagi and Izanami both went to the bridge between the earth and the heaven, Ame-no-ukihashi. There they churned the sea with the spear. Onogoroshima ("self-forming land") was created from the salty water drops that can off the spear from churning the sea. They then made this island their home.
Wishing to be mated, Izanagi and Izanami both constructed Ame-no-mihashira ("pillar of heaven") and they built the palace, Yahiro-dono. Izanagi and Izanami circled the pillar in opposite directions and, when they met on the other side, Izanami spoke first in greeting. Though Izanagi didn't think this was proper thing to do, they mated anyway. They had two children named Hiruko and Awashima, but they were not considered deities due to their deformities.
They put the children into a boat and set them out to sea, then petitioned the other gods for an answer as to what they did wrong. They were told that the male deity should have spoken first in greeting during the marriage ceremony. So Izanagi and Izanami went around the pillar again, this time Izanagi speaking first when they met, and their marriage was finally successful. The islands Awaji, Iyo (later Shikoku), Ogi, Tsukushi (later Kyūshū), Sado, and Yamato (later Honshū).
They bore six more islands and many deities. Izanami died giving birth to the child Kagu-Tsuchi ("incarnation of fire") or Ho-Masubi ("causer of fire"). She was then buried on Mt. Hiba, at the border of the old provinces of Izumo and Hōki, near modern-day Yasugi of Shimane Prefecture. So angry was Izanagi at the death of his wife that he killed the newborn child, thereby creating dozens of deities.
In popular culture
- In Okami, Nagi and Nami are based off of Izanami and Izanagi.
- Izanami is a recurring character in the Megami Tensei series of video games developed by Atlus:
- In Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, Yumiko Shirasagi is the reincarnation of Izanami.
- Izanami also appears in Digital Devil Story 2: Warrior of the Demon City.
- She appears as a supporting character in Megami Tensei
- In Shin Megami Tensei II, she makes a cameo appearance.
- She appears in Shin Megami Tensei NINE.
- In Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, she appears as a Persona of the Priestess Arcana.
- In Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, Izanami (voiced by Karen Strassman) is the true antagonist of the events of the game's story. She poses throughout the game as a Gas Attendant at Moel Gas Station. Izanami awakened Tohru Adachi, Taro Namatame, and finally, the Protagonist' potential of invoking Personas. In the events of the True Ending, after defeating Tohru Adachi and defying Ameno-sagiri's plans to overrun the world with Shadows, the Protagonist manages to find out the Attendant's true identity as Izanami, and upon realizing the Protagonist's determination of seeking the truth and stopping her from carrying out her plans again, Izanami chastises the Protagonist's persistence to seek the truth, and tells him that she shall await the Protagonist's defeat in the "other world". Izanami's reality within the Midnight Channel, Yomotsu Hirasaka, derives from a place taken from the Japanese mythology of Izanagi and Izanami. It also takes on the appearance of traditional Japanese Shinto Shrines. During the boss battle with her, she takes on a form called Izanami-no-Okami, similar to one of the different spellings of her name.
|Mythic Texts||Kojiki • Nihon Shoki • Fudoki • Kujiki • Kogo Shui • Hotsuma Tsutae • Nihon Ryoiki • Konjaku Monogatarishu • Shintoshu|
|Japanese Creation Myth||Kotoamatsukami • Kamiyonanayo • Kuniumi • Kamiumi • Izanagi-no-Mikoto • Izanami-no-Mikoto • Kagutsuchi • Watatsumi|
|Takamagahara Mythology||Amaterasu • Susano-o • Tsukuyomi • Ame-no-Uzume|
|Izumo Mythology||Yamato no Orochi • Hare of Inaba • Okuninushi|
|Seven Lucky Gods||Benzaiten • Bishamonten • Daikokuten • Ebisu • Fukurokuju • Hotei • Jurojin • Kichijoten|