Izanagi tried to forget about Izanami. But how could he forget about her or give up on her? The two gods had been together as a pair from the time they were born. He loved her from the depths of his heart.
I want to meet her again.
Izanagi set off for the land of Yomi, where the dead dwell.
I want to bring her back among the living.
He walked for days, arriving at last at the entrance to Yomi just as he began to grow tired. As he went into the underground darkness, he found himself at a massive structure. A door, shut tight as if to deny any who would come from the outside. Izanagi prepared himself for what he would face, then opened the door.
This is the land of Yomi. The country where the dead dwell.
Izanagi looked around and spoke, nearly screaming.
“Izanami, my beloved!”
Surely she must be here.
“We created a country together, birthed it together, but it still isn’t complete.”
The world will never be complete without
“So let’s return together.”
This wish may never be granted, but I must still make it.
His voice echoed in the darkness. It seemed to reach the depths of the massive structure. Izanagi stood still and listened.
When he did, he could hear the faint outline of Izanami’s voice.
“I can’t believe it. If only you had come for me sooner. I have already eaten the food of the land of Yomi. I have become one of the people of this country, one of the dead.”
Izanami cried for a time, then continued.
“But you came here for me, my beloved. I would return with you if I could. I will speak to Yomotsu, the god of the land of Yomi. You must not look at me until I am finished.”
Izanami seemed to head deeper into the structure.
He waited, walking in restless circles. He waited, leaning against the door. He waited as he sat. But Izanami did not return.
Unable to wait any longer, Izanagi took the comb placed on the left side of his hair, the Yutsutsuma-Gushi, and bent one of its thick teeth. Though nothing more than a tooth plucked from a comb, it caught fire in Izanagi’s hand, illuminating all around him.
Izanagi used this light to head deeper into the structure.
Indeed, there he found Izanami, his beloved wife.
But maggots infested her once-beautiful body that now rotted horribly.
From it, eight gods of thunder had been born in all: from her head came the great thunder Oh-Ikazuchi, from her chest came the flaming thunder Hono-Ikazuchi, from her belly came the black thunder Kuro-Ikazuchi, from her lower half came the tearing thunder Saki-Ikazuchi, from her left hand came the young thunder Waka-Ikazuchi, from her right hand came the earthen thunder Tsuchi-Ikazuchi, from her left leg came the screaming thunder Nari-Ikazuchi, and from her right leg came the lying thunder Fushi-Ikazuchi.
Izanagi was shocked to see how much she had changed.
No, something deeper than shock. He feared her with all his heart.
To think that death could change someone so!
Izanagi learned the horror of death from her unimaginable appearance, and Izanagi ran from her as fast as he could.
Izanami, now alone again, was shocked that her husband had fled after coming all the way to the land of Yomi to get her.
No, something deeper than shock. She grew angered from the bottom of her heart.
You promised you wouldn’t look at me
“Look at how you’ve humiliated me.”
An unforgivable act, done to me, a woman who already has nothing left!