Sunday, October 7, 2007

God and Goddess in Japan

In Japanese mythology they have so many beliefs. Most of Japanese beliefs are influence by 3 beliefs; they are Shinto, Buddhism and Taoism, or even Hindu’s.

The first God create two divine, the male was Izanagi and the female was Izanami. God give an assignment them to create the first land and give a halberd (weapon) with jewels, Amanonuhoko (means, Heavenly Halberd of the Marsh) to help them. Then they went to the Amenoukihashi (means, floating bridge of heaven) and stir up the ocean with the halberd. When the salty water drops from the halberd, it created island Onogoro. They descended from heaven to the island and starting to build their palace. Eventually they wished to mate, so, they built a pillar called Amenomihashira around which they built a palace called Yahirodono (the hall whose area is 8 arms' length squared). Izanagi and Izanami circled the pillar in opposite way, and when they met, Izanami, the female deity, spoke first in greeting. Izanagi and Izanami finally get mated and had 2 children,
Hiruko (watery child) and Awashima (pale island), but both of them had bad form. So, Izanagi and Izanami put the children into a boat and throw away to the ocean and make a petition to God and asked for the reason why that happened. The God answered that Izanami not supposed to be spoken first in greeting. Then they went around Amenomihashira (the pillar) again and this time Izanagi spoke first in greeting during the ceremony and the union was success. The gods born from Izanagi and Izanami are symbolic of important aspects of nature and culture.
Izanami, however, died giving birth to the child Kagututi (incarnation of fire) or Ho-Masubi (causer of fire). She was buried. In anger, Izanagi killed Kagututi.

Izanagi deeply suffer from Izanami’s death and take a journey to Yomi (the shadow land of the dead). He searched Izanami and found her but he can see her appearance clearly. He asked her to follow him back to the world. Izanami said that was too late, because she already ate the underworld food and become one with land of the death. Izanagi disappointed, but refused to leave Yomi. Finally Inzami agreed to follow him, but first she want to rest and ask Izanagi not to enter her bedroom. But while Izanami was sleeping, Izanagi come and took the comb that bound his long hair and illuminated her face with light as a torch. Under the light, he saw the horrid form of the once beautiful and graceful Izanami. She was now a rotting form of flesh with maggots running over her ravaged body.
Izanagi can’t control his fear and started to run, and return to the world without Izanami. Izanami woke up shrieking and anger. She and Shikome (foul woman-Yomi's creatures) hunted for him to bring back to Yomi.
To get away from the pursuit, Izanagi, hurled down his headdress became a bunch of black grapes that make shikome fall, but continued pursuit. Next, Izanagi threw down his comb became a clump of bamboo shoots. Now it was Yomi's creatures that began to give chase, but Izanagi urinated against a tree, creating a great river that increased his lead. But they still pursued. Izanagi, forcing with hurl peaches at them. He knew this would not delay them for long, but he was nearly free for the boundary of Yomi .
Izanagi burst out of the entrance and quickly pushed a boulder in the mouth of the cavern that was the entrance of Yomi. Izanami screamed angry and told Izanagi that if he left her, she would bring death 1,000 living people everyday. Izanagi furiously replied he would be give life to 1,500 people. This is began the existence of Death.

Then, Izanagi went on to purify himself after recovering from Yomi. As he undressed and removed the adornments of his body, each item he dropped to the ground formed a deity. Even more gods came into being when he went to the water to wash himself. The most important ones were created once he washed his face:
Amaterasu (incarnation of the sun) from his left eye,
Tsukuyomi (incarnation of the moon) from his right eye, and
Susano (incarnation of storms and ruler of the sea) from his nose.

Some of the God’s that have great influence in Japanese mythology:

Aizen Myo-o
Is a God of amour, who changes passion into desirability of enlightenment or mercy to all live beings. Aizen Myo-o initially originated from Vajrasattva (Buddhism) character or Ragaraja in Hindu’s belief.
If in other mythology, amour of Gods are define handsome as well beautiful, then Aizan Myo-o looks fierce with its 3 eyes, Lion Head in its hair, and 3 pairs of hands (each hold bell, stick, lighting, lotus flower, and arrow). Although its fierce figure, Aizen Myo-o to be trusted as God with full of mercy.

Amaterasu, is Shinto Sun Goddess who born from the tear in Izanagi's eye. She was the most well-known deity of Japanese mythology. Her full name is Amaterasu Omikami means “she makes heaven shinning”. Until 1945, she was praise as holy royal ancestors of Japanese Kings.

Ame No Uzume
Also be known as the name of Uzume, Dawn Goddess who successfully persuaded Amaterasu with his dance, to come out from Amaterasu hiding place.

God of Destitution, shown as a man with beard and to be dressed in rags and dirty. It said that if Bimbogami coming in the house, it will be hard to expel him. And the house occupant will be poverty stricken interminable.

God’s of Epidemic. No one knows what it looks like however surely it’s not a popular God.

Usually be called Enma or Yama the owner of hell and death realm which his duty is to judging human sin during their life. In his duty as Judge, he assisted by his sister, 18 generals and also thousand of soldiers. This character often appears in anime or manga such as Dragon Ball, Yuyu Hakusho, and Jigoku Shoujo.

Fujin (Futen)
God of Wind with white beard which told stand on the top of mountain and carrying a big bag of wind. Fujin appears in fighting game, Mortal Kombat 4, as God of Wind.

Also well known by the name of Juroujin, he is a member of 7 Lucky Gods. Long Life God who always carrying a scroll contain “The Secret of Wisdom” and companied by black deer.

The War God’s and prime protector of the Japanese people. A century after The King Ojin past away, there was a child in his place of birth carried an Ideogram which shown “Hachiman” name, that’s why “Hachiman” can be concluded as King Ojin deification. Hachiman also known as the God’s of Agriculture. Hachiman sometimes can be symbolizing as a pigeon.

The God’s who protected leaves in all the seasons.

The God’s of Pox. Again, this is not the God’s that people likes.

Inari was the rice and prosperity God. His popular form was an old man with beard sitting over a big bag of rice. Sometime he has shown as a woman with a long flowing hair. He always appeared with two fox. In Buddhism, his shape resemble with Dakiniten.

He is son from Izanagi and Izanami. Kagututi means incarnation of fire or also called as Ho-Masubi or Hino Kagutsuchi means causer of fire. So, he is the Fire God who lived in a top of Atago Mountain. His mother, Izanami, burn to death after giving birth to him. In anger, Izanagi cut his son as eight parts, what was to become eight volcano mountains in Japan.

He is The God of Typhoon. Is rather an understatement for his habit of causing great disasters with destructive typhoons. Then Kami-Kaze will be used to name one of the typhoons that ever crossed Japan.

The God of Oak tree.

Be known as Karitei-Mo. She was Goddess Mother of All Evils, who fond to eat children. After Buddha gives her a lesson, she repents and become Buddha follower. Later Kishima-Jin was children protector.

Kwannon (Kannon)
God of Mercies, in Buddhism known as Guan Yin (Kwan Im). Until now Kwannon is the most popular deity. Her statues are easy to find in the house of Buddhist follower. Kwannon was the Goddess that chooses to live in the earth to help humans.

God of War and Victory, has eight hands that hold various weapons. The Japanese warriors believe that Marishi-Ten can make them invisible.

God’s of Earth Quake. The peoples of Japan are familiar with the earth quakes. That why this God was arising there from.

God’s of Thunder. His Appearance looks frightful with fiery skin and eagle’s claws. He will hit the drums that twining around his body to expel thunder. Raiden often appear with Fujin. He owns a thunder beasts called Raiju which he sends in the form of a fireball, leaping through trees and clawing at things.
if Raiju fall asleep will be woke up used fire arrows. Raiden is one of favorite character in fighting game, Mortal Kombat.

Goddess of Fuji Mountain who has a beautiful face, who can make flowers bloom and always leaves flower calyx as her footprints. Sengen-sama guarding wellspring “Immortality”, but she wasn’t gave it to anybody who ask for it.

God’s of Thunder-Storm (sometimes to be called as God’s of Sea) because he was incarnation of storms and ruler of the sea. Born from Izanagi nose. Susano-Wo was the God that destroyed a snake monster name Yamato-no-Orochi and he found a sword “Kusanagi” in the snake’s tail. He is has lasting enmities with Amaterasu. In some versions of the myth, Susano rules not only the seas but also all elements of a storm, including snow and hail.

God’s of Moon, he born from Izanagi right eye. Tsukuyomi taking control of the night and moon. there are version that told Tsukiyomi killed Uke-Mochi (Goddess of Food) and raising Amaterasu’s anger. So Amaterasu said to him that she doesn’t want see her brother again, so that the sun and the moon never shown up together at the same time.

God’s of Food or also called as Ugetsu-no-Hime, who married with Inari. This Goddess also be said The Goddess who created cows and horses.

One of the four guardians that protecting earth from evil force attack. Zocho or Zochouten is the south guardian. By influent from china mythology in Japanese tradition southward also can be symbolize by Phoenix bird.


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