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Main > Japanese folktales > Fairy tale "The Land of Yomi"

The Land of Yomi

From the glorious clouds of High Heaven, from the divine ether, the vital essence, and the great concourse of eternal deities, there issued forth the heavenly pair—Izanagi, His Augustness, the Lord of Invitation, and with him, Izanami, Her Augustness, the Lady of Invitation.

Together they stood upon the Floating Bridge of High Heaven, and they looked down to where the mists swirled in confusion beneath their feet. For to them had been given power and commandment to make, consolidate and give birth to the drifting lands. And to this end the august powers had granted them a heavenly jewelled spear. And the two deities, standing upon the Floating Bridge of Heaven, lowered the jewelled spear head-first into chaos, so that the mists were divided. And, as they waited, the brine dripped from the jewels upon the spear-head, and there was formed an island. This is the island of Onogoro.

And His Augustness, the Lord of Invitation, took by the hand Her Augustness, the Lady of Invitation, his lovely Younger Sister, and together they descended to the island that was created. And they made the islands of Japan; the land of Iyo, which is called Lovely Princess; the land of Toyo, which is called Luxuriant Sun Youth; the land of Sanuki, which is called Good Prince Boiled Rice; and Great Yamato, the Luxuriant Island of the Dragon Fly; and many more, of which to tell were weariness.

Furthermore, they gave birth to many myriads of deities to rule over the earth, and the air, and the deep sea; and for every season there were deities, and every place was sacred, for the deities were like the needles of the pine trees in number.

Now, when the time came for the Fire God, Kagu-Tsuchi, to be born, his mother, the Lady Izanami, was burned, and suffered a change; and she laid herself upon the ground. Then Izanagi, the Prince who Invites, asked, “What is it that has come to thee, my lovely Younger Sister?”

And she answered, weeping, “The time of my departure draws near ... I go to the land of Yomi.

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