Shinto Creation Myth
The god Izanagi and goddess Izanami churned the ocean with a spear to make a small island of curdled
salt. Two deities went down to the island, mixed there, and bore main islands, deities, and forefathers of
Izanagi is a deity born of the seven divine generations in Japanese mythology and Shintoism, and is
also referred to in the roughly translated Kojiki as "male who invites", or Izanagi-no-mikoto. He and his
spouse Izanami bore many islands, deities, and forefathers of Japan. When Izanami died in childbirth,
Izanagi tried (but failed) to retrieve her from Yomi (the underworld). In the cleansing rite after his return,
he begot Amaterasu (the sun goddess) from his left eye, Tsukuyomi (the moon god) from his right eye,
and Susanoo (tempest or storm god) from his nose. The story of Izanagi and Izanami has close parallels
to the Greek Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, but it also has a major difference. When Izanagi looks
prematurely at his wife, he beholds her monstrous and hellish state and she is shamed and enraged.
She pursues him in order to kill him. She fails to do so, but promises to kill a thousand of his people
every day. Izanagi retorts that a thousand and five hundred will be born every day.
There are similarities also between Izanami and Izanagi on the one hand, and the Mayan deities
Itzamna and Ix Chel on the other. Among the Maya as among the Yamato, the male god is a gentle
deity, creator of the sun and moon, while the female goddess (Ix Chel in Central America) is only
benevolent while in company of her husband. If isolated from him, she becomes a malevolent goddess
of floods, destruction and death. She has a serpent growing from her head, much like Izanami in Yomi.