Izanami, hurt and vengeful, summoned forth Yomotsu-Shikome, the death-tainted hag of Yomi, and had her chase after Izanagi. She caught up to him with her fast legs in no time at all.
Hup! Izanagi tossed his Kuro-Mikazura, the talisman for long life he kept in his hair, at her. Grapes sprouted forth from the ground where it landed. They looked so irresistibly delicious that Yomotsu-Shikome stopped to eat them.
This is my chance!
Izanagi kept on running, but it wasn’t long until Yomotsu-Shikome finished the grapes and began chasing him once more.
He next threw at her his Yutsutsuma-Gushi, the comb he kept on the left side of his hair. This timeshoots grew from where it landed. These too looked delicious, and Yomotsu-Shikome stopped once more to eat them. These took longer to eat than the grapes, letting Izanagi run farther and farther away.
Now, though, the eight gods of thunder born from Izanami’s body gave chase to him. Not only that, they brought with them the army of Yomotsu, a force said to number one thousand and five hundred from the land of Yomi.
Izanagi drew Katana-Totsuka from his hip and used it to defend his back as he ran.
But there were too many following him.
He hadn’t broken free from them by the time he reached the slope of Yomotsu-Hirasaka, the border between the land of Yomi and the Earth. Izanagi was so close to making it back, but he just couldn’t escape.
Just then, Izanagi noticed a peach tree growing at the bottom of the slope. He plucked three fruits from it and tossed them at the pursuing army of Yomotsu. When he did, all its members scattered and ran, together with the eight gods of thunder.
Izanagi breathed a sigh of relief, then spoke to the peaches.
You saved me, he said.
“And just as you saved me, you must save the people of Ashihara, the middle land on the Earth, when they are suffering.”
With that, he bestowed upon the peaches a special name: Oh-Kamuzumi, god’s fruit.
I’ve nearly returned to the Earth, Izanagi thought, only to look behind him in shock.
It felt like something was coming.
Izanagi blocked off the center of Yomotsu-Hirasaka with the massive Chibiki Rock, a boulder that would take a thousand men to move. As soon as he did, he sensed Izanami on its other side.
His divine opposite. His one and only beloved wife.
But nothing can overcome death.
Izanagi placed his fingers on the rock. “This is where we must part,” he said.
Izanami replied, half in anger and half in tears.
“My beloved husband. If you say that this is where you will leave me…”
She continued, her voice now loud and powerful.
“I will kill a thousand people from your country each day.”
Izanagi bit down on his lip before answering her.
“My beloved wife. If you will do that, then I shall give birth to one thousand and five hundred children each day.”
A long silence befell them.