Ancient Japan

Shinto Creation Stories

The Creation of the Gods

   After the creation of Heaven and earth, Divine Beings were produced between them.

   Hence it is said that when the world began to be created, the soil of which lands were composed floated about in a manner which might be compared to the floating of a fish sporting on the surface of the water.

   At this time a certain thing was produced between Heaven and Earth. It was in form like a reed-shoot. Now this became transformed into a God, and was called Kuni-toko-tachi no Mikoto. 1

   Next there was Kuni no sa-tsuchi no Mikoto, 2 and nextToyo-kumu-nu no Mikoto, 3 in all three deities.

   These were pure males spontaneously developed by the operation of the principle of Heaven. 4

   The next Deities who came into being were Uhiji-ni no Mikoto and Suhiji-ni no Mikoto, also called Uhiji-ne no Mikoto and Suhiji-ne no Mikoto. 5

   The next Deities which came into being were Oho-to nochi no Mikoto and Oho-to mahe no Mikoto.

   The next Deities which came into being were Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto. 6

   These make eight Deities in all. Being formed by the mutual action of the Heavenly and Earthly principles, they were made male and female. From Kuni no toko-tachi no Mikoto to Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto are called the seven generations of the age of the Gods.

Translated by W.G. Aston, Nihongi (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1896), 1-2

Edited by Richard Hooker



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Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanagi no Mikoto and the Creation of the Gods


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1997, Richard Hooker
Updated 9-20-97