Long, long ago.
Long before you were ever born.
Long before I was ever born.
In a time when nothing existed in the world.
Or perhaps a time when everything already existed in the world.
That is when a god appeared in Takama-no-Hara, the celestial world high above.
How strange. Nothing and nobody else existed yet.
That god’s name was Ame-no-Minakanushi, the center of the world.
Next appeared gods named Takami-Musuhi, the great creator, and Kami-Musuhi, the divine creator.
I wonder. If I was there to ask them what kinds of gods they were, would they answer me?
Would Takama-no-Hara reply, “The god at the center of the celestial world”?
Would Takami-Musuhi and Kami-Musuhi reply, “The gods of birth and creation”?
But no, I wouldn’t be able to ask them anything. These gods decided to hide somewhere.
As these gods of birth and creation had appeared, the land was born next.
But it drifted and floated there, having only been born. Like a drop of oil in a pool of water. Like a jellyfish floating in the sea.
That is when it happened. Reeds grow at an incredible pace, don’t they? Well, a god sprouted forth with the same kind of speed.
Umashi-Ashikabi-Hikoji, the wonderful reed shoot.
Ame-no-Tokotachi came next, the roots of the celestial world.
These gods too decided to hide somewhere.
They are known as the supreme celestial gods, or the gods of the celestial world.
After the gods of the celestial world came the gods of the land.
Kuni-no-Tokotachi, the roots of the land.
Toyokumono, the fertile clouds. A god of many parts that have come together, like a cloud. This gathering must be why the land exists as it does now.
And these gods too took after the rest, hiding away somewhere.
Next appeared the gods of mud and sand. A pair: Uhijini, a male god, and Suhijini, a female god.
I wonder, did you notice? None of the other gods until now were part of a pair, like male and female.
Gods that stand alone, or lone gods.
It was these gods, unconnected to any other, who first appeared.
Lone gods and paired gods.
There’s nothing wrong with being alone, or with being part of a pair.
There’s something comforting about both existing, isn’t there?
After Uhijini and Suhijini, the gods of mud and sand, came the male Tsunogui, the budding horn, and the female Ikugui, the budding sprout.
Next came the male Ohtonoji and the female Ohtonobe, gods of the appearance of the land.
They were followed by the male Omodaru and the female Ayakashikone, the gods of fulfilled divinity. In other words, the gods who began with the budding Tsunogui and Ikugui had now grown to the point of fulfillment.
How interesting. The names of the gods themselves tell us the story of how this world began.
Kuni-no-Tokotachi, the central god of the land, along with the gods who followed, are known as the seven generations of gods. The next two are the last of these seven generations, so I want you to remember them well.
Their names are Izanagi and Izanami, and our story begins with them.