August Female; The Female Who Is Invited





According to the creation saga told in the Japanese epics, the Kojiki and the Nihonshoki, in the beginning there was chaos. The primordial world was formless, fluid, and volatile. Seven generations of invisible kami arose. In the eighth generation, Izanagi and Izanami, August Male and Female, stood on the Floating Bridge of Heaven and dipped a jeweled spear into this watery, chaotic abyss. An island, the very first land, formed, and Izanami and Izanagi descended to Earth. This primal celestial pair proceeded to create the universe.

When they sought to reproduce, they engaged in sacred marital rites. They built a pillar; then circled it in opposite directions. When they met face-to-face, Izanami spoke first. Their first child was a deformed, boneless “leech baby.” The couple sought counsel from the older kami, who advised them that their misshapen child was punishment for incorrect marital rites. Izanagi, the male, should have spoken first. Rites were repeated according to direction, and Izanami gave birth to the Japanese islands and various kami. Finally she gave birth to the kami of fire but was so badly burned in the process that she died. Buried on Mount Hiba, she traveled to Yomi, Realm of Death.

Izanagi determined to bring her back, but he had no experience of death. He traveled to

Yomi, expecting to find the Izanami he remembered. Instead he discovered an animated but rotting, maggot-infested corpse. He ran for his life. When he reached safety on Earth, he rolled a huge boulder over the entrance, effectively separating the realms of life and death. Izanami now rules over Yomi as its queen.

Sacred site:

Her mausoleum and shrine on Mount Hiba in the Chugoku Mountains


Ebisu; Izanagi; Kami


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.