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. 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.
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".