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I told you not to look, and yet you ignored me! You will pay for the shame you have caused me!
~ Izanami to Izanagi.

Izanami-no-Mikoto is the primordial Shinto earth-mother goddess and sister/wife/counterpart to Izanagi-no-Mikoto. She helped stir the oceans on the Bridge of the Heavens, and settled down with Izanagi on Earth on their island Onogoro. On their first marriage ceremony she made the mistake of speaking to Izanagi first, so the ritual had to be repeated. After the second ceremony she gave birth to various deities.

But then she gave birth to Kagutsuchi, the god of fire, and died from the severe burns of the flames. When she perished, she went to Yomi, the Land of the Dead. Izanami ate from the furnace of Hell, and went to petition the deities of the Netherworld to let her go. Before they would leave, she made her husband promise not to look at her.

However, while Izanami was sleeping, he took the comb that bound his long hair and set it alight as a torch. Under the sudden burst of light, he saw the horrid form of the once beautiful and graceful Izanami. She was now a rotting form of flesh with maggots and foul creatures running over her ravaged body. Crying out loud, Izanagi could no longer control his fear and started to run, intending to return to the living and abandon his death-ridden wife. Izanami woke up, shrieking and indignant, and chased after him. She also sent Yakusa-no-ikazuchi-no-kami (Raijin) and shikome (foul women) to hunt for Izanagi and bring him back to Yomi.

Izanagi burst out of the entrance and pushed a boulder in the mouth of the Yomotsu Hirasaka to create a separation between the world of the living and the world of the dead, as well as separating Izanagi from Izanami. Izanami screamed from behind this impenetrable barricade and told Izanagi that if he left her she would destroy 1,000 residents of the living every day. He furiously replied he would give life to 1,500 residents. Their marriage, as a result, came to a complete end.