A Newly-born Kojikiden ukiyoe
In a time when the world was still filled with emptiness and chaos, many gods came into being and flourished.
However, even as the gods thrived, they realized that the balance of the cosmos had deteriorated. This was caused by the existence of a variety of factors leading to strife, including resentment, hatred, jealousy and antagonism.
In order to bring balance back to the cosmos, the gods placed love at the center of it.
Thus they were able to counter strife with prosperity and peace.
In order to maintain this balance, the gods left the leader of this country with three words.
This is the story of the three words, the foundation of this oldest continuously existing country in the world.
At the center of the cosmos, a light suddenly appeared.
As though directed from the center to the outside, Takamimusubi and Kamimusubi appeared.
In accordance with a balance between the pull of the inside and the recoil from the outside, many other gods appeared.
But these gods had no incarnate form. They were merely spirits.
So the gods created two new gods, a man and a woman, and gave them flesh.
They were Izanagi and Izanami.
The gods entrusted both of them with the destiny of creating the world.
To help them accomplish this, the gods granted them something special. It was Love.
The two were granted the ability to create new life from their love.
They gave birth to many gods, but there was a misunderstanding over a trivial matter, and the two were never able to recover from it.
Many words were spoken that could not be undone, and their love turned to hatred.
To purify this uncleanliness, the three most exalted gods came into being. They were the three main Shinto gods Amaterasu, Susanoo and Tsukuyomi.
After that, myriad gods harmonized with each other, centered on Amaterasu.
However, her brother Susanoo disrupted this harmony, and was banished from the heavens to the world.
Following this, he exterminated the Yamata-no-Orochi, the giant snakes that were terrorizing the world.
Ookuninushi, Susanoo’s grandson six generations later, took Susanoo’s daughter as his wife, and they began building a nation in the land of Izumo.
But Ookuninushi’s brothers stood in the way of this nation-building.
Resentment, hatred, jealousy, antagonism... Wrapped in darkness, the gods quarreled, and these quarrels led to war.
The balance of this country, built on a foundation of love, was on the brink of collapse. Nevertheless, Ookuninushi grew through a series of trials, and triumphed over his brothers.
His nation-building seemed to succeed…
However, in this nation, where fighting had been justified, the people’s hearts were not healed.
The Inclined balance swaying one direction, began leaning even further.
At that time, an envoy from Amaterasu appeared – Takemikazuchi, the supreme god of war in Takamagahara.
Takemikazuchi carried the following words from Amaterasu to Ookuninushi.
A power struggle between them causes deep sorrow; our country has been filled with love from time immemorial.
When Ookuninushi heard these words, he understood the heavens’ decree, and immediately yielded his country.
When Ookuninushi gave up the country, balance was restored, and peace returned to the world.
Amaterasu put the finishing touches to it.
She ordered her grandchild, Ninigi-no-mikoto, to take an ear of rice and the Three Sacred Treasures and descend to the surface of the world to rule it.
At the same time, the sovereign of this country was given the laws by which he was to govern.
Those laws were... The Three Oracles.
Time passed, and life grew bountiful. Man did not know how to stop demanding more wealth.
Due to exposure to plunder, occupation, domination, confrontation, neighboring countries’ threats…., one sovereign after another was replaced.
The world was almost entirely dominated, and finally, the attack came to the last stronghold – Japan.
The cosmos balance was growing steadily worse.
Finally, the world was enveloped in war.
As balance was completely destroyed, total annihilation threatened.
Then, one sovereign took a stand.
Following the Three Oracles, he offered his own self as a sacrifice.
Before this man, who transcended sorrow, anguish and hatred, the course of the world was corrected, and once again good times returned.
Since Emperor Jimmu, the first emperor of our country, took his oath, 125 generations have passed.
Japanese imperial year 2676
The longest continuously existing country in the world.
That is our country, Japan.
What are the Three Oracles that saved the world?
What do these words mean?
What is the truth hidden in these words?
Now, the story of the myriad gods, or yaoyorozunokami, exploring the meaning of these words begins.