When Kagutsuchi was born, his mother Izanami was so badly burned that she died. Thus, while Kagutsuchi himself was not an agricultural deity, he was consistently linked to the fertility of the land. Such a destructive force as fire in a culture where buildings were typically made of wood and paper resulted in Kagutsuchi becoming an important object of Shinto … These were eight of Japan’s most prominent volcanoes, although Kagutsuchi was associated with all of the island chain’s roughly one hundred active sites. But that’s not the end. As we mentioned in the earlier entry, Hiruko (‘Leach Child’), the very first child of the primordial duo Izanagi and… Many of these are minor and localized spirits, but others were well-known and influential throughout Japan. Found this site useful? Izanagi and Izanami were siblings, said in the most widely-known version of the story to be part of the seventh generation of spirits. The Japanese volcano god was not a smith himself, but became the patron of those who used fire in their work. BBCODE: To link to this page in a forum post or comment box, just copy and paste the link code below: Here's the info you need to cite this page. He was also the patron spirit of smiths and ceramic workers. While Atago Gongen could protect against fire, these goddesses could quell it. While Izanami and Izanagi had used the spear to make the first land, they mated with one another to create the lands that appeared afterward. Godchecker™ is a trade mark used under license. Her name means “Lady Kneeding Clay,” and she was associated with the soil and plant growth. These goddesses were associated with agriculture and had the power to, through practical means, dampen Kagutsuchi’s flames. Like the Romans, the Japanese included Kagutsuchi in many of their shrines and rituals to both honor him in the act of creation and to protect against his destructive nature. He did not, however, directly protect against fire. Updates? They were the eighth pair of brother-and-sister gods to appear after heaven and earth separated out of chaos. Mizuhanome, a goddess of water and irrigation, was born in her mother’s death pangs and given instructions for how to pacify her brother if he became uncontrollable. Article last revised on November 19, 2018 by Rowan Allen. Finally, Izanami gave birth to Kagutsuchi. In Greco-Roman mythology, for example, Hephaestus/Vulcan was the smith god of Mount Olympus and the god of volcanoes. The spirit of fire was so hot at birth that Izanami was badly burned and soon died of her injuries. He is a Kami of Sacred Fire. 8. Please mention Godchecker.com when praying to the Gods. In Shinto, the traditional religion of Japan, thousands of kami are associated with every aspect of the natural world and human life. Not sure of the spelling? (Copyright notice.) He was born to Izanagi and Izanami, the god and goddess who created land. The furious Izanagi killed his son in retailiation, cutting his body into eight pieces. Their first child was Kagutsuchi (or Hinokagutsuchi), the Japanese god of fire, who burned his mother to death when she gave birth to him, a metamorphosis linked to the death of the old year and the birth of the new. His violent fires were followed, both mythologically and in real life, by growth and fertility. While Japan’s volcanoes have been relatively quiet in recent decades, eruptions have been a common aspect of the country’s history. To avenge her, he killed Kagutsuchi and cut his body into eight pieces. Although not directly related to one another, he is one of several gods that links volcanoes to metalworking and human invention. The ancient Japanese recognized the link between their volcanoes and the rich soil around them. The original source of fire undoubtedly was lightning, and such fortuitously…, Izanagi and Izanami, (Japanese: “He Who Invites” and “She Who Invites”) the central deities (kami) in the Japanese creation myth. With the islands in place, they gave birth to more spirits. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Shintō, indigenous religious beliefs and practices of Japan. After some misfortune, they created the islands of Japan. A shrine was built for him on Mt. Kagutsuchi is also and example of a world-wide trend among volcanic gods. Published on November 3, 2020. These pieces were said to have become new mountain spirits, and in some legends the mountains themselves. Copyright © 1999-2020 Godchecker, Inc. All rights reserved. I am the owner and chief researcher at this site. Kagutsuchi was the god of destructive fire, volcanoes, ceramic workers, and smiths. HTML: To link to this page, just copy and paste the link below into your blog, web page or email. While the erupting mountains were fire in its most primal sense, the same threat was present in man-made fires as well. • Amatsu-Mikaboshi (天津甕星), the kami of stars who existed before the Kotoamatsukami. In an archetype that developed independently around the world, the Japanese linked the heat of a forge or kiln with the natural heat of the islands’ many active volcanoes. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Mentioned under Takemikazuchi. For all media enquiries please contact us here. Trespassers will be burned. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Pronunciation: Coming soon He is still worshiped at his own private temple at The Peak, Mount Atago, near Koyoto. Name: Kagutsuchi Izanagi punished his son harshly for causing his mother’s demise. In revenge, Kagutsuchi's father Izanagi cut off his head, then sliced his body into eight pieces, which became eight volcanoes. These pieces were strewn across the lands of Japan, creating eight new mountain spirits. Kagutsuchi’s body formed many of the islands’ most prominent volcanic mountains and deities associated with them. Kagutsuchi (aka Hi-no-Kagutsuchi) is the Shinto god or kami of fire and is also known as Homusubi. Omissions? What a terrible tragedy. If you wish to use our material in your essay, book, article, website or project, please consult our permissions page. In many tellings, these spirits were associated with volcanoes. As the spirit of vulcanism, it is understandable that Kagutsuchi would play an important role in Japanese religion and its creation story. One of these major spirits was Kagutsuchi, the god of volcanoes and fire. Ho-musubi, also called Kagu-tsuchi, or Hi-no-kami, in the Shintō religion of Japan, a god of fire. For official Godchecker merch please visit our God Shop where a wide range of items are available to buy. Corrections? It wasn’t the kid’s fault, but father Izanagi took drastic action and hacked his son into pieces. Meanwhile, the general opinion was that you couldn’t be too careful when it came to fire safety. Often these shrines were placed on mountains, several themselves volcanic, so they could serve as both places of worship and as places to look out for dangerous fires. The left-over lumps of Kagutsuchi became mountains, and a handful of Yama-no-Kami deities sprang out of his blood. In most volcanically-active regions of the world, the god of this primal form of fire was also the god of smiths. Please like and share this article if you found it useful. SHARES. For all your purification needs, use one of his special sacred firelighters. The poor lady was scorched to death. Among these were goddesses who were said to have been born as Izanami died. As a volcanic god, Kagutsuchi represented the destructive nature of fire. Kagutsuchi and characters like Hephaestus did not develop from a shared archetype. His mother, the female creator Izanami , was fatally burned giving birth to him; and his father, Izanagi , cut him into pieces, creating several new gods. In fact, Japan is home to nearly 10% of the world’s active volcanoes. The son of Izanami and Izanagi, the fire god is the father of eight warrior gods and eight mountain gods, amongst others. Just copy the text in the box below. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Small eruptions happen frequently and larger events have historically occurred at an average of three to four times per century. At traditional Shinto shrines throughout Japan he was recognized for both his ability to create and destroy. Try entering just the first three or four letters. Area of expertise: Fire, Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care On this island, they met at the Mighty Pillar of Heaven in the center and began to create more land. In these sites, Kagutsuchi was often associated with Haniyasubime or Mizuhanome. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ho-musubi, Ancient History Encyclopedia - Kagutsuchi. They were spirits of power, lightning, and ravines. His mother, the female creator Izanami, was fatally burned giving birth to him; and his father, Izanagi, cut him into pieces, creating several new gods. Different versions of the story exist, but Izanagi and Izanami were generally said to have created many spirits of the landscape, rivers, seas, and other natural features. There are over nine hundred Atago shrines throughout Japan and imagery of Kagutsuchi was included in many. While the early Japanese people did not understand geology as we do today, their mythology also reflects the importance of volcanic activity in creating their landscape.

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