Human history has deep roots. So, whether we are aware of it or not, there are many legacies left behind by people who lived thousands of years ago. The most important of these legacies are undoubtedly the myths, which contain very valuable information about life, daily life, thought practices, cultures and beliefs of previous societies. Although Greek or Scandinavian mythology comes to mind when it comes to mythology today, almost all ancient cultures had their own myths of great detail. Of course, Japan, the ancient country of Far Asia, draws attention with its mythology full of interesting items and characters unique to its own culture. Moreover, the ties of the Japanese, who are famous for their adherence to their traditions and cultures, with their legends, whose origins go back more than 2000 years, have not been broken even today! Here are the 8 most important gods and goddesses in Japanese mythology, from Amaterasu to Susanoo.
1. Izanami and Izanagi
These two sister deities and goddesses were at the forefront of the most important characters in Japanese mythology. Because these two brothers were divine beings responsible for creating the earth according to Japanese mythology. According to legends, Izanagi and her sister Izanami were tasked with putting an end to chaos and restoring order.
The brothers used a sacred spear called “Aminonohuku” to accomplish this difficult task. With this spear, they began to separate the consolidated land masses, to extract new islands from the seabed, and to shape the land. According to legends, the islands that make up Japan appeared in this way. However, from the union of sister deities, hundreds of divine beings, gods and goddesses called kami were born, who were very important to Japanese mythology…
Ebisu was the first child born of the union of Izanami and Izanagi. But he is cursed for the sins of his parents, as he was born without bones in his body. But “Ebisu’s Cursed Journey” will turn into the greatest story of bravery and endurance in Japanese mythology in the years to come…
According to ancient accounts, Ebisu was left to drift and die in a huge ocean the first time he was born due to his innate curse. However, this little deity, stubbornly attached to life, managed to survive by creating a piece of land in the ocean to which he was drawn when he was 3 years old. After overcoming many hardships throughout his life, Ebisu eventually became the patron deity of children, hunters, prosperity, and wealth.
Kagutsuchi is the god of destruction and fire in Japanese mythology. Just like Ibusi, Kagutsuchi, the son of Izanagi and Izanami, had such a powerful spirit that his mother killed Izanami at the time of his birth! On the other hand, Izanagi began to behead Kagutsuchi after a fit of rage, and many destructive spirits, especially the gods of thunder, war, and dragons, were formed from Kagutsuchi’s blood! For this reason, Kagutsuchi was considered the god of destruction and fire in Japanese mythology, and the progenitor of other destructive spirits.
On the other hand, it is possible to see traces of this fearsome deity in everyday life in Japan. In particular, the Japanese royal family organizes “fire protection” ceremonies called “o-shizume-no-matsuri” twice a year to “appease Kagutsuchi.”
Amaterasu, also known as the “great sun of sacred spirits” or “the great spirit radiating from the sky,” is the sun goddess in Japanese mythology. According to legends, this powerful goddess was the right name to become the leader of all holy spirits. Therefore, her father, Izanagi, bestowed upon Amaterasu the power to become the absolute queen of all divine beings. Amaterasu has been a symbol of greatness, order and divine purity for thousands of years.
Tsukuyomi was the moon god in Japanese mythology. According to ancient legends, he was born as a result of a ceremony performed by his father, Izanagi, like many of his brothers, to get rid of his sins. Tsukiyomi married her sister Amaterasu, the sun goddess, and thus the sun and moon ascended to heaven…
Believed to have been created from the nose of Izanagi, Susanoo was the goddess of the storm and sea in Japanese mythology. His temper was capricious and violent, just like seas and storms. This violence due to Susanoo’s nature has caused her to be referred to as one of the most powerful divine beings in legends. However, it was also the leading name in the case of the blackening of the sun in Japanese mythology. Legend has it that during her rivalry with her sister, Amaterasu, the sun goddess, she angered her sister and caused the earth to plunge into darkness.
Raijin was the god of lightning and thunder. Legend has it that when he was angry, he sent bolts of lightning to the earth, and as he pounded the drum in his hand, he flooded the earth with terrible sounds of thunder! However, he is often depicted with three fingers, which symbolize the past, present and future.
Fujin, along with his brother Raijin, was one of the most important deities in Japanese mythology, especially when it came to natural phenomena. Therefore, Fujin and Raijin were seen as two parts of a whole. Fujin, the god of winds, was seen as one of the most ruthless divine beings in mythology. When the two brothers unite, they become the ultimate masters of nature…
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