Once they had cried all the tears they could, Izanagi and Izanami returned to the celestial world to speak to the gods there.
They burned the shoulder bone of a deer in a divining ritual. The smell of burning cherry blossom wood filled the air. They looked at the cracks in the bones, and the supreme celestial gods spoke.
“Hmm. It seems that Izanami should not have spoken first when you rounded the celestial pillar. Why not try it again?”
Of course. Mistakes can always be corrected.
Izanami and Izanagi rushed back to the island to begin the ceremony all over again. They rounded the pillar and met once more.
This time, Izanagi spoke first.
“What a splendid woman you are,” he said.
To this, Izanami replied.
“What a splendid man you are,” she said.
And then, Izanami and Izanagi loved one another.
What an unbelievable result.
This time, they could barely believe how many children they had.
First born was the land. The island of Awaji. Next was the island of Iyo, with four faces on one body. Third was the island of Oki, then the island of Tsukushi, also with four faces on one body. The island of Iki. Then the island of Tsu. The island of Sado, followed by Toyoakizu, autumn’s bounty.
As these eight islands were the first to be born, some say that Japan was known as “the country of the eight great islands” long ago.
These weren’t their only children, though.
They then gave birth to the island of Kibinoko, the red-bean island of Azuki, the great island of Oh, the princess island of Hime, the island of Chika, and the twin island of Futago.
With this, they had a country.
Now that their country was complete, they would next give birth to the gods of nature and life. We don’t actually know what some of these many children are gods of, either. Would you join me in thinking about what kinds of gods they could be?
Ohkoto-Oshio, the great accomplishment.
Prince Iwa-Tsuchi, the god of stone and soil. Then Princess Iwa-Su, the goddess of stone and sand.
Ohto-Hi-Wake. (His name means “big door sun divide.” What do you think he could be the god of?)
The incredible covering Lord Ame-no-Fukio, god of thatched roofs. Prince O-ya, the great roof and god of the home.
Kaza-Motsu-wake-no-Oshio, the stealthy wind tree and god of the blowing wind.
O-Wadatsumi, the god of the sea.
Prince and Princess Haya-Akitsu, the gods of the entrance to the sea, where rivers end.
Prince and Princess Haya-Akitsu also got married and had children of their own.
Awa-Nagi, the god of calm seas, and Awa-Nami, the god of frothing seas.
Tsura-Nagi, the god of placid waters, and Tsura-Nami, the god of bubbling waters.
Then came Ame-no-Mikumari of the skies and Kuni-no-Mikumari of the land, the gods of wherepart.
The sky-holding glass Ame-no-Kuhiza-Mochi and the land-holding glass Kuni-no-Kuhiza-Mochi, gods of drawing water.
The god of the wind, long-breath Prince Shinatsu.
The god of the wood, wonderful stem Kuku-Nochi.
The god of the mountain, O-Yamazumi.
The god of the field, deer-roof-grass Princess Kayano.
O-Yamazumi and Princess Kayano too came together, giving birth to more children.
Narrow ground of the skies Ame-no-Sazuchi and narrow ground of the land Kuni-no-Sazuchi, the gods of mountain slopes.
Narrow fog of the skies Ame-no-Sagiri and narrow fog of the land Kuni-no-Sagiri, the gods of misty mountain borders.
Dark door of the skies Ame-no-Kurado and dark door of the land Kuni-no-Kurado, the gods of dark valleys.
Lost door Young Prince Ohoto-Madoiko and lost door Young Princess Ohoto-Madoime, the gods of those lost in mountain lowlands.
Izanagi and Izanami had more children of their own.
The swiftly flying bird-ship of the skies Ame-no-Tori-Fune, and Princess Oh-Getsu, the goddess of food.
While they all gave birth so many times, all of the children here are Izanagi and Izanami’s, or their children’s children, or their children’s children’s children.
The world is filled with the children of Izanagi and Izanami, children born from a loving union.
So if there’s one thing you remember, let it be this.
Ours is a world born of love.