Izanagi and Izanami Picture

So the story behind this is Shinto legend. Paraphrased from "Eastern Religions," by Michael D. Coogan:

Izanagi, the August Male, and Izanami, the August Female, [brother & sister; god & goddess] came into being in the 8th generation of kami [spirits]. They stood on the Floating Bridge of Heaven and dipped a jeweled spear [which I switched to a pendant] into the "jelly-like mass" to create an island called Onogoro [that silver ball on the planet]. They descended to this island, noticed their gender difference, and thought, "Oh, let's mate."

First, Izanami gave birth to a "leech-child" [monster], so they enlisted help from older kami. Izanami then had a whole lot of kami and also the Japanese islands. Her last child, though, was the god of fire, and the burns incurred from his birth killed her. [The flames are less deathly-looking because this is a PEACEFUL scene.] She went to Yomi, the land of the dead.

Izanagi went after her, she begged him not to look at her, he did anyway, she was rotting and gross, he fled, she and the Hags of Yomi chased him, he barely escaped (just like Orpheus & Eurydice! Ah, parallels in mythology.)

To purify himself, he bather in the Hi river [the silvery lines on the planet]. As he did so, Amaterasu, the sun goddess, was born from his left eye, and Tsukiyomi, the moon god, was born from his right. [I know, I messed up the sides, I put the sun on THE left, not HIS left. Also, isn't it intriguing how the traditionally male sun & female moon are switched?] The storm god, Susano ("The Raging Male"), was born from his nose.

Izanagi made Amaterasu ("The Person who Makes the Heavens Shine" ... poetic, isn't it?) the supreme diety, Tsukiyomi was made lord of the night, and Susano got the sea. Susano, however, challenged the authority of his siter, and challenged her to a "divinity contest" which consisted of seeing who could have the most kids. Susano clearly won, though there was some argument because while he had the most, Amaterasu had had more males (I am not even going to comment on the stupidity of her argument here. Unngh.)

So Susano went about wreaking havoc, and Amaterasu shut herself in the Heavenly Cave of Darkness [that dark thing over on the right, there ^__^]. This deprived the world of sunlight, so the gods enticed her with a mirror and banished Susano from heaven.

Gotta love mythology. Anyway, this thing is a combination of pencil, crayon, paint, oil pastel, and eyeliner.
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