This is a story from the earliest extant Japanese book,
the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters)- A.D.712.
the origin of Japanese mythology.
At the very beginning, a long time ago, the sky, the land and the ocean
was but one big mass.
The sky was cloudy, and the land was like a big swamp filled with thick
mud that flowed down
to the oily ocean.
There was not any living creature on earth.
One day the clouds started to move, bringing down the rain that continued
for days and months,
diluting the mud, and the land started to melt slowly into the ocean.
When at last the rain stopped, just like a pair of young leaves that began
to sprout, two divine
creatures, male and female, came into being. They were the god Izanagi,
and the goddess Izanami.
Izanagi was born with a spear in his hand, while Izanami was born with
a mirror on her chest that
sparkled and brought light to the darkness around.
A rainbow appeared in the distance: "Look! There's a colorful bridge
in the sky! Let's go there and
watch the earth!" Izanagi and Izanami were delighted to see the beautiful
rainbow bridge in the sky.
They climbed the bridge, and when they had reached the top, looking down
at the earth below,
they were surprised to see that all was in a mess.
They looked at each other: "What a mess! No one can live there! Let's
change it into a nice and
comfortable place for men to live."
"Yes, yes,.....and animals too", said Izanami, the goddess.
Izanagi with the spear in his hand started to disturb and stir the primeval
ocean. The mud expanded
and began to harden, slowly forming a sturdy land.
"That looks fine", Izanagi said, pulling the spear away from
the ocean, but the drops from its tip
congealed, and in falling, formed a small beautiful island, the island
of Ono-koro, with trees along its
beach, and the gentle breeze rippling the surface of the ocean.
"How beautiful! Let's get down", the pair descended and discovered
montains and rivers, plains and
forests. They chose a green plane near a pure river, and built a palace
Izanagi took Izanami's hand in front of the main pillar of the palace,
and said:"Let's get married,
together we can build our country here"
Izanami nodded in agreement, and started the marriage ritual.
Izanagi circled the pillar from the right, while Izanami circled from the
left side. On the point
where they came across each other, Izanami cried out loud: "I admire
Izanagi answered:" Izanami, you're so beautiful and I adore you".
The ceremony ended, and with that marriage eight islands of Japan were
born. They are known as the
isle of Awajishima, Shikoku, Okinoshima, Kyushu, Iki, Tsushima, Sado, and
Izanagi and Izanami also bore many gods thereafter, the gods of household,
ocean, river, wind, tree,
mountain,field and many more.
Finally, Izanami bore the god of fire. She got burned over her whole body.
and died. Izanagi
lamented over his wife for days, and his tears flowed and flowed, forming
the lakes that still exist now.
Thus is the story of the creation of Japan and its beautiful nature.