Two founder gods who play an important role in Shinto mythology as part of the generation of gods who created the earth and its beings. Izanagi is he who invites while Izanami is she who invites. Izanagi and Izanami created the first land by dipping a spear into the formless mass that made up the earth. After descending to this land, Izanami was tricked into going to Yomi, the land of the dead. After failing to rescue her, Izanagi purified himself of the defilement of Yomi by bathing in a river. While doing so, three new kami, or gods, were born from his two eyes and his nose, the figurative children of Izanagi and Izanami. They were the sun goddess Amaterasu, the moon god Tsukiyomi, and the storm god Susano. Izanagi in time retired, making Amaterasu the supreme deity while Tsukiyomi became the lord of the night and Susano the lord of the sea. Meanwhile Yomi, the god of death, failed to prevent Izanagi from returning to earth. Izanami grew angry and pledged to kill a thousand beings every day. To counteract this, and to ensure that the living would more than balance the dead, Izanagi promised to bring to life one and a half thousand beings every day.
SEE ALSO: Amaterasu; kami; Nihon-Shoki