If you missed my article about Rama, you can find it here.
It is impossible to tell Izanami’s story without talking about her brother and consort, Izanagi. Therefore, Izanami is also known as Izanami-no-Kami, and later Yomotsu-Okami or Chishiki-no-Okami, which I will explain shortly. She is a Shinto goddess in Japan. Izanami-no-Kami presided over creation and death and helped make Japan.
In some versions of the myth, Izanami has no parents. In others, her parents are Aokashikine-no-Mikoto and Awanagi-no-Mikoto. Both Izanami and Izanagi are the seventh and last generation of the Kaminoyonanayo or primordial gods. Izanami’s brother is Izanagi. As with many other pantheons, Izanami and Izanagi married. They produced many children, including Kagutsuchi, Ebisu, and Awashima. Ebisu and Awashima are their first two children, but they were unfortunately deformed. Because they were deformed, Izanami and Izanagi abandoned them in a basket pushed out to sea. Along with producing many Kami, the Japanese to English translation of gods.
Izanami and Izanagi were tasked with creating Japan. They were given a jeweled spear to stir the waters of what was the beginning of Earth. When they pulled the spear out, drops of mud (though some say salt) dripped off the spear and formed the first island of Japan. They built a house and pillar on that island and married. They married by walking opposite ways around the pillar and meeting on the other side with a greeting. Izanami spoke first, and it was not good. That is the reason their first two children were deformed. They performed the ritual again, and Izanagi spoke first, correcting the problem.
They gave birth to many children, the Kami, as I said earlier. Some of their “children” are the islands of Japan. They were created in the following order:
Iyo though later it was known as Shikoku
Tsukushi, though later known as Kyushu
As a side note, Okinawa, Hokkaido, and Chishima were not part of Japan at this time in history.
Unfortunately, the first two children of Izanami and Izanagi were deformed, but they went on to have many healthy Kami. Izanami’s last child was Kagutsuchi. Kagutsuchi is the Japanese god of fire. His fire caused damage to Izanami, and she died as a result. Izanagi hacked Kagutsuchi to pieces which begot other Kami. However, Izanami and Izanagi did love each other. When Izanami died, Izanagi was depressed and missed his wife desperately. So desperately in fact that she followed her to Yomi, the Japanese land of the dead. Sadly, Izanami had already partaken of the food in Yomi. Just like the Greek and Roman belief, if you eat the food in the land of the dead, you are stuck whether you came in alive or not.
Izanagi found Izanami in Yomi and convinced he to come with him to the land of the living. Izanami had one condition, Izanagi could not look at her until they crossed over to the land of the living. Though Izanagi promised, he ended up not keeping his word. He looked back at his beloved wife and was horrified. He ran away, which shamed and infuriated Izanami. After sending monsters from Yomi, she herself chased Izanagi. He beat her to the opening and closed off the land of the dead from the land of the living. Izanami cursed him, saying she would kill a thousand people a day. Izanagi replied he would beget fifteen hundred people a day. After this, Izanami became the Goddess of Yomi. She became known as Yomatsu-Okami.
What do you think of Izanami? Does she belong in Smite? Being a death goddess makes me say yes. Telling her husband that she would kill a thousand people a day is highly concerning coming from a Goddess. Rejecting her kids because they weren’t what she expected, definitely. She obviously can kill, and she presides over death. Would you want to go against her? Let me know in the comments. Until next time.