National birth myth: Awaji Island, the birthplace of Japan
According to the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, the gods Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto stood on the gfloating bridge of heaven and stirred the blue expanse of the sea with a spear. When they drew the spear, up the brine dripping from the end of the spear hardened into an island. The island was called gOnokoro Island.h The two gods descended to the island, exchanged wedding vows and the nation was born. The first island created was Awaji Island, after which the other islands came into being one by one. Japan was thus created. There are many theories concerning where Onokoro Island exists, but there is a place in Minami Awaji City that has been called Onokoro Island since ancient times, and there is the Onokorojima Shrine that enshrines the two gods. There are also theories that is Nushima on the south end of Awaji Island, Eshima on the north end, or Awaji Island in its entirety.
After the birth of the nation, Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto produced the god that was supposed to protect the terra firma, and the gods of the land, the sea and nature. These were Amaterasu Omikami, Tsukuyomi no Mikoto and Susanoo no Mikoto.
After eradicating the giant snake Yamata no Orochi that appears in the mythology of Izumo, Susanoo no Mikoto married Kushinadahime and sired a large number of gods. One of them was Okuninushi no Mikoto, which brings us to the gnation creating myth.h
In addition to Onokorojima Shrine, numerous other shrines on Awaji Island enshrine Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto. Of these, Izanagi Shrine (Awaji City Taga), where the gods have been worshipped as the gods of the Awaji island since ancient times, is said to be the place where Izanagi no Mikoto spent the remainder of his life after charging Amaterasu Omikami with uniting the country and establishing Kakuri Shrine.
Miketsukuni: The country that contributed food for the ancient Imperial Court
Since the times when the Yamato dynasty was established, the Awaji area supplied the table of the imperial courts with food, like Wakasa, Shima and Kii. Known as the cornucopia of gourmet foodstuffs such as onions and Awaji beef, the Awaji area continues the tradition today. The gbirth of the nation mythh, by the way, is said to have originated from the gbirth of the island mythh told by the Amazoku of Awaji. The myth was adopted by the Kojiki and Nihonshoki that tell the origin of the Yamato dynasty and used as the opening. This is connected to the fact that the Yamato Imperial Court placed the miyake in Awaji and directly controled Awaji Island, and furthermore because of the fact that Awaji was called Miketsukuni, and it was a special area that contributed food to the imperial court.
It is thought that perhaps because of this, the seafarers of Awaji were sent to the Imperial Court, they told the court about Awajifs mythology, thus becoming the grandiose gbirth of the nation mythh when the Kojiki and Nihonshoki were compiled (Nara Period).
Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center
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