Shinto (the Way of the Gods) was the original religion in Japan and had no written literature before the arrival of the Buddhists. All true Japanese mythology comes from this religion. Shinto teaches that every natural thing, human, animate or inanimate, has a spirit in various degrees of vitality and strength.
The most popular creation myth concerns three beings who arose out of the primeval oily ocean mass. All that is known about these beings is that they produced generations of Gods and Goddesses, one pair of which was called Izanagi and Izanami.
They came down to earth on a rainbow, but no land to land on. Izanagi stirred the ocean with his spear and the drops from the tip formed the island of Ono-koro. There the brother and sister married. They learned the art of lovemaking by watching two water birds. Their offspring included the rest of the islands of Japan, waterfalls, mountains, trees, herbs, and the wind. The last to be born was the god of fire, whose birthing killed Izanami.
This Section contains an overview of Japanese Mythology – Japanese Gods and Goddesses and Japanese Legend and Folklore