She is a goddess in the Japanese myth who established Japan with IZANAGI.
Izanagi and Izanami, husband and wife, are Japanese main gods.Together they created the Japanese archipelago.
The following is the creation story.
By direction of the god in heaven, Izanagi and Izanami stood onAme-no-Ukihashi(the floating bridge of heaven) with their hands holding a spear called Ame-no-Nuboko(the heavenly spear), and churned the brine with the spear, saying "KohroKohro" .Then, the salt water that dripped from the end of the spear coagulated and formed the first island of the Japanese archipelago, that is, Onogoro Island.
This island is supposed to be located near the present Awaji Island.
As they set foot on Onogoro Island, they erected a huge pillar called Ame-no-Mihashira (the heavenly august pillar), and built around it a very wide palace Yahirodono.
Finished producing the Japanese archipelago, Izanami produced various gods such as the god of the sea and rivers, and the god of wind and trees.
By the way, have you ever heard of this phrase, that is, "Narinarite, Nariawazaru Tokoroari", "Narinarite, Nariamareru Tokoroari".This famous phrase was produced at this time.When Izanami said, "My body seems to have something deficient", Izanagi answered, "My body seems to have something excessive". Izanagi suggested to his companion that filling up Izanami’s deficient part with his excessive part to produce a country.
I suppose if the origin of sexual intercourse is also described like that, it might be a pleasant story.
Then they began to move round the pillar Ame-no-Mihashira. Izanagi rounded to the left and Izanami rounded to the right. At the place they met, Izanami exclaimed, "Ananiyoshi, E Wotoko" ("How delightful I am to meet with a handsome youth!" and Izanagi replied "Ananiyoshi, E Womina" ("How delightful I am to meet with a lovelymaiden!") After spoken thus, they fell into connubial relationship.
Their first child Hiruko, however, didn't have the limb. So they took the child on a boat made of reeds and threw the boat into a river (set the boat adrift). Their second baby Awashima was as disappointing as the first.
Incidentally, Hiruko is said to have become the god called Ebisu-sama afterward.
Now, sorely disappointed at their failure, they did Hutomani (divination). Then they realized that the reason why they had deformed children was that woman Izanami called out to man Izanagi. In other words, it was the woman's fault. Woman's precedence was not proper.
Well, someone, especially those who are exceedingly interested in the discrimination against women might be offend at the situation.
Therefore, Izanami and Izanagi tried moving round the pillar again, and they finally had a normal baby. Thus, Izanami, reckoned the Awaji Island as the placenta, produced islands(supposed to be the Japanese archipelago) one after another.
This kind of mythology, men and women moving round something to get married or men and women having deformed children tried again to carry out, widely ranges around the Southeast Asian countries. Deformed children seemed to be an extraordinary awe to the ancients.
However, Izanami was so badly burned when she gave birth to the fire god Kagutsuchi.
Izanami's death brought the conception of "Life and Death" to Japan.
The following is the related story.
Izanagi, who was grieved at the death of Izanami, had cut Kagutsuchi in two with a single stroke of his sword and buried the corpse of the goddess to Mt. Hiba (this mountain is supposed to be in Izumo). However, Izanagi, who couldn't, for the life of him, forget Izanami , went down the slope called Yomotsu-Hira-Saka and approached the gate of Yomotsu-Kuni (the land of the dead).
Then he (Izanagi) implored her (Izanami) to turn back, saying, "A country producing hasn't totally ended yet. Please come with me for the sake of the world." Izanami, however, refused his proposal, saying, "I have already eaten the food in Yomotsu-Kuni (the land of the dead) so that I cannot turn back."
Nevertheless, Izanami also missed Izanagi. So she said, "Before I do leave here, I must obtain the permission of the deities of Yomotsu-Kuni", and she hid in the back, with leaving the word firmly, "Wait here till my return, but remember you must NOT on any account peep into the inside."
Izanagi, however, felt uneasy about her returning being too late. And broke the comb Yutsutsuma-Gushi that he was wearing in the left bunch of his hair, put a light to the comb, and then peeped into the inside stealthily.
To his astonishment, he found a ghastly changed Izanami there. Eight thunder gods Yakusa-no-Ikazuchi (8 colored thunder gods) dwelt in her. And besides, her body was already decayed and was infested with maggots.
This description is similar to the Greek myth "Orpheus and Eurydice", isn't it.The story in Japan might be rather dark, though.
Izanagi, who was so terror-stricken, began to break into a run. Soon, Izanami, who disgraced herself in his presence, ran after Izanagi with Yomotsu-Shiko-Me (female devil of the land of the dead) and Yakusa-no-Ikazuchi (eight thunder gods).
When Yomotsu-Shiko-Me nearly caught him up, Izanagi threw his belongings to her. His belongings turned a bamboo shoot and a wild vine. While Yomotsu-Shiko-Me was eating them Izanagi ran away.
Now, Yakusa-no-Ikazuchi(eight thunder gods) began to run after him. Although Izanagi desperately tried to resist them with a sword and climbed Yomotsu-Hira-Saka, this opponent was so formidable that he couldn't sent the opponent away.
Izanagi found a peach tree and he threw a peach at Yakusa-no-Ikazuchi to expel. The peach had a mysterious power to drive a demon away. Izanagi thanked the peach that helped him.
Eventually, Izanami tried to rush at Izanagi. The very point she nearly overtook him, Izanagi finally managed to escape from the land of the dead. And he blocked the entrance with a huge rock.
From the other side of the huge rock, Izanami cried, "Why did you do such a thing? Move this huge rock immediately. Otherwise, I will kill 1,000 of your subjects a day". Then Izanagi vowed, "I will create 1,500 new ones a day."
Therefore, it is said that human beings are destined to die.
Later on, Izanami was called Yomotsu-O-Kami and became a ruler of the land of the dead.
This will be the first divorce in Japanese legend.* grin *
Please note: "Yomotsu-Kuni" could be described "the nether world" or the Greek myth "Hades".
-Translated by irphy-