Kagutsuchi (aka Hi-no-Kagutsuchi) is the god s religion god or kami of fire and is also known as Homusubi. The son of Izanami and also Izanagi, the fire god is the father of eight warrior gods and also eight mountain gods, amongst others. Such a destructive force as fire in a culture where buildings were commonly made of lumber and paper resulted in Kagutsuchi becoming crucial object of god s religion ritual and a constant receiver of appeasing offerings.

Genealogy & Offspring

According come the 8th-century CE Kojiki (\"Record of old Things\") and Nikon Shoki (\"Chronicle that Japan\" and additionally known as the Nihongi), Kagutsuchi-no-kami, to give his complete name, to be born native Izanami, among the god s religion creator gods, however such to be his fierce warmth that he eliminated his mother in the process. His dad Izanagi to be not finest pleased v this result and therefore lopped off Kagutsuchi\"s head v his an excellent sword, the Ame-no-o-habari-no-kami. Native the blood which gushed out over the bordering rocks and also dripped native the sword\"s blade and also hilt an additional eight gods to be born, all of them an effective swordsmen kami. The two most necessary of this martial gods space Takemikazuchi-no-kami and Futsunushi-no-kami, through the previous being also a thunder god and also patron the the martial arts who famously subdued Namazu the giant catfish that stays beneath the earth and also causes earthquakes by flipping his tail.


Two other gods born indigenous Kagutsuchi\"s blood were Kuraokami-no-kami, that is stated in the Manyoshu poem anthology (compiled c. 759 CE) as being a dragon and rain god. One more is Amatsumikaboshi, the kami the Venus, the evening Star. Her different name is Amenokagasewo.

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The Kagutsuchi myths may well be a supernatural explanation because that the arrival of steel & superior metal products in Japan throughout the Yayoi Period.

After Kagutsuchi\"s decapitation the story continues and also from just about every body part of the fire god, from his left foot come his genitals, eight an ext gods were born. This were mountain gods which represented different varieties of mountains such as forested ones, those through moors, those far away, those possessing iron, those which noted passes come adjoining valleys and, of course, volcanoes. The stories of Kagutsuchi which include the creation of iron and swords might well it is in a mythological explanation because that the come of iron and superior metal goods via immigrants getting here in Japan indigenous mainland Asia at the start of the Yayoi period (c. 300 BCE or previously to c. 250 CE), numerous of whom may well have been warriors.


In an alternative version, or fairly an added segment, tape-recorded in the 10th-century CE Engishiki, prior to she dies Izanami hides away and also gives birth to three more gods: the water kami Mizuhame-no-mikoto, the clay princess, the gourd, and also the water reed. All 4 are instructed by their dying mommy to watch out for Kagutsuchi and, if necessary, act come pacify him if he ever gets out of hand. The classic fire-fighting devices of the ancient Japanese was water, carried in a gourd, to pour on the fire if water reeds and also clay were often used come smother it. Even today in some components of Japan, over there is a midwinter routine where reed majority are placed in the eaves of roofs so the they are handy if a fire have to break out.

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Fire in shinto Rituals

The Japanese have long due to the fact that had a good fear of fire and also the devastation it have the right to cause, no least because Japanese structures were traditionally do from very combustible hardwood and paper walls through wood shale or grass roofs. Fires have destroyed practically every major ancient building and also temple in the old cities of Japan end the centuries, and also during the Edo period (1603-1868 CE), fires to be so constant at the capital Edo (modern Tokyo) that they were well-known as \"the flowers of Edo\".


It is not surprising then that ceremonies to appease and also ward off Kagutsuchi were a typical feature of shinto ritual. In together rituals and prayers, Kagutsuchi is usually referred to as Homusubi, which translates as \"he that starts fires\". The ancient Japanese even dedicated a double yearly ceremony come Kagutsuchi, the Ho-shizume-no-matsuri, which was funded by the imperial court whose sprawling royal residence complexes were commonly victim to fires. The ceremony to be designed to please the god and also ensure he would withhold his destructive flames for one more six months. The destructive fire the Kagutsuchi is in contrast to the purifying fire of shinto rituals, known as kiri-bi, which to be traditionally made by rubbing with each other two pieces of hinoki wood, a kind of cypress.

Kagutsuchi is sometimes equated with Atago Gongen, an additional kami of fire and considered an avatar that the Buddhist figure Jizo. Strictly speaking, though, Atago Gongen is a much more positive figure in Japanese mythology and also acts together a protector from fire or a preserver the it.