Izanagi and Izanami had given birth to many gods, but no matter how many children they had, each new life was still like a miracle. Every day was a joyful one for Izanagi and Izanami.
The world was not yet complete, though.
What other gods did it need?
What gods would be born next?
Imagine if there was a god of fire. Life would be so much easier for humans. Just as Izanami thought this, she gave birth to little Hi-no-Kagutsuchi, the god of fire.
But as small as the god of fire was, he was still the god of fire. Kagutsuchi burned bright red, and he burned his mother Izanami’s body as he was born into the world. Izanami collapsed, terribly burned.
So this is where my life ends, Izanami realized.
She continued to try to give birth to more gods for the sake of the world until her very last moments.
Though she retched, she brought life to it, giving birth to the gods of the mines, Prince and Princess Kana-Yama, the Golden Mountains.
She brought life to her waste as well: the gods of the soil, Prince and Princess Haniyasu.
She brought life to her urine: the god of water in the paddies and fields, Lady Mitsuha.
Then at last, she gave birth to the god of the creation of food, Waku-Musuhi, who would go on to give birth to the god of food, Princess Toyouke.
Having given birth to children using all the life she had left, Izanami died at last.
Izanagi had been together with her from the time she was born. He had lost his divine opposite who he loved more than any other, and so he cried and wailed.
“How could I lose Izanami in exchange for a single child?”
She had been so full of life until then. He thought their days together would never end.
Izanagi crawled onto the bedding he shared with Izanagi. He cried, and cried, and cried.
From these tears of sorrow came the god of crying rain, young Princess Nakisawame.
Izanagi buried his lost wife Izanami at Mt. Hiba, found between the countries of Izumo and Hahaki.
Once his tears ran dry, he next felt rage.
Izanami would still be alive if only she hadn’t given birth to Kagutsuchi.
His anger only grew, bringing forth an unstoppable fury.
He could not forgive someone taking his wife from him.
In his fit of rage, Izanagi took the long ten-fist blade hanging from his waist, Katana-Totsuka, raised it, and sliced off Kagutsuchi’s head.
By the time Izanagi returned to his senses, blood stained his Katana-Totsuka.
The blood on its tip scattered across many rocks, and to his surprise, more gods were born there as well. The stone Iwa-Saku and Ne-Saku, so strong they could tear rocks apart. Lord Iwa-Tsutsu, the god of rocks.
The blood on Katana-Totsuka’s base scattered across the rocks too. From it came the imposing god of solemn fire Mika-Hayahi and the imposing god of dry fire Hi-Hayahi. So too came the powerful Lord Take-Mikazuchi, the solemn god of thunder.
The blood that fell from Katana-Totsuka’s handle, where Izanagi had held it, gave birth to Kura-Okami, dark dragon god of the rain of the valley, and Kura-Mitsuha, dark god of the waters of the valley.
Izanagi rushed over to his child who he had slain.
From his head came Masaka-Yamatsumi, the orthodox deer mountain. From his chest came Odo-Yamatsumi, the lowered mountain. From his belly came Oku-Yamatsumi, the deep mountain. From his lower half came Kura-Yamatsumi, the dark mountain. From his left hand came Shigi-Yamatsumi, the growing mountain, and from his right hand came Ha-Yamatsumi, the wing mountain. From his left leg came Hara-Yamatsumi, the field mountain and from his right leg came To-Yamatsumi, the door mountain.
Izanagi thought about the life that had been held within Kagutsuchi.
The young Kagutsuchi thrived with such vitality that he’d given birth to this many gods.
Izanagi named his Katana-Totsuka, still wet with blood, Ame-no-Owabari, the celestial tail feather.
By doing so, he would never forget this day.
He then thought about the nature of the gods born from Kagutsuchi, but he never shared his answer.