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Kagu-tsuchi

Kagu-tsuchi

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Encyclopedia
, also called , , or , is the kami
Kami
is the Japanese word for the spirits, natural forces, or essence in the Shinto faith. Although the word is sometimes translated as "god" or "deity", some Shinto scholars argue that such a translation can cause a misunderstanding of the term...

of fire
Fire worship
Worship or deification of fire is known from various religions. Fire has been an important part of human culture since the Lower Paleolithic...

 in Japanese mythology
Japanese mythology
Japanese mythology is a system of beliefs that embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculturally based folk religion. The Shinto pantheon comprises innumerable kami...

.

Mythology


Kagu-tsuchi's birth burned his mother Izanami
Izanami
In Japanese mythology, is a goddess of both creation and death, as well as the former wife of the god Izanagi-no-Mikoto. She is also referred to as Izanami-no-kami.-Goddess of Creation:...

, causing her death. His father Izanagi
Izanagi
is a deity born of the seven divine generations in Japanese mythology and Shinto, and is also referred to in the roughly translated Kojiki as "male-who-invites" or Izanagi-no-mikoto. It is also pronounced Izanaki-no-Okami....

, in his grief, beheaded Kagu-tsuchi with his sword, Ame no Ohabari (天之尾羽張), and cut his body into eight pieces, which became eight volcano
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

es. The blood that dripped off Izanagi's sword created a number of deities, including the sea god Watatsumi
Watatsumi
was a legendary Japanese dragon and tutelary water deity. In Japanese mythology, is another name for the sea deity Ryūjin 龍神; and the ruling the upper, middle, and lower seas were created through the divine progenitor Izanagi's ceremonial purifications after returning from Yomi "the...

 and rain god Kuraokami
Kuraokami
, , or is a legendary Japanese dragon and Shinto deity of rain and snow. In Japanese mythology, the sibling progenitors Izanagi and Izanami gave birth to the islands and gods of Japan. After Izanami died from burns during the childbirth of the fire deity Kagutsuchi, Izanagi was enraged and killed...

.

Kagu-tsuchi's birth, in Japanese mythology
Japanese mythology
Japanese mythology is a system of beliefs that embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculturally based folk religion. The Shinto pantheon comprises innumerable kami...

, comes at the end of the creation of the world and marks the beginning of death. In the Engishiki
Engishiki
-History:In 905 Emperor Daigo ordered the compilation of a new set of laws. Fujiwara no Tokihira began the task, but work stalled when he died four years later in 909. His brother Fujiwara no Tadahira continued the work in 912 eventually completing it in 927...

, a source which contains the myth, Izanami, in her death throes, bears the water god Mizuhame, instructing her to pacify Kagu-tsuchi if he should become violent. This story also contains references to traditional fire-fighting tools: gourds for carrying water and wet clay and water reeds for smothering fires.

See also


During World War Two, an American B-29 bomber group, "The 40th Bombardment Group", was nicknamed the "Kagu-Tsuchi Group". They participated in the fire-bombings of Tokyo.
  • Kojin
    Kojin
    Kōjin, also known as , is the Japanese kami of fire, the hearth, and the kitchen. He is sometimes called Kamado-gami, literally the god of the stove. He represents violent forces that are turned toward the good of humankind....

    , kami of fire, the hearth, and the kitchen
  • Kagu-tsuchi in popular culture

External links