Kagu-tsuchi

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Kagu-tsuchi or Kagutsuchi (カグツチ?), referred to as Hinokagatsuchi (火之迦具土?) in the Kojiki, and Kagutsuchi (軻遇突智?) or Homusubi (火産霊?) in the Nihon-Shoki, is the kami of fire in Japanese mythology.

Mythology[edit]

Kagu-tsuchi's birth burned his mother Izanami, causing her death. His father Izanagi, in his grief, beheaded Kagu-tsuchi with his sword, Ame no Ohabari (天之尾羽張), and cut his body into eight pieces, which became eight volcanoes. The blood that dripped off Izanagi's sword created a number of deities, including the sea god Watatsumi and rain god Kuraokami.

Kagu-tsuchi's birth, in Japanese mythology, comes at the end of the creation of the world and marks the beginning of death.[1] In the Engishiki, a source which contains the myth. Izanami, in her death throes, bears the water god Mizuhame, instructing her to pacify Kagu-tsuchi if he should become violent. This story also contains references to traditional fire-fighting tools: gourds for carrying water and wet clay and water reeds for smothering fires.[1]

Name[edit]

The name Kagutsuchi was originally a compound phrase, consisting of kagu, an Old Japanese root verb meaning "to shine"; tsu, the Old Japanese possessive particle; and chi, an Old Japanese root meaning "force, power".[2]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ashkenazy, Michael. Handbook of Japanese Mythology. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio, 2003. 186
  2. ^ Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition (国語大辞典(新装版)?) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan, 1988

References[edit]

  • Ashkenazy, Michael. Handbook of Japanese Mythology. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio, 2003.
  • Bock, Felicia G., trans. Engi-shiki: Procedures of the Engi Era. ASU Center for Asian Studies (Occasional Paper #17).

External links[edit]