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Ten aspects of God’s providence



Izanagi-no-Mikoto いざなぎのみこと is one of the “ten aspects of God’s providence.” It appears ninth on a list of sacred names in Chapter Four of The Doctrine of Tenrikyo. It represents the model of man as at creation well as the divine principle of the seed.[1]

Izanagi-no-Mikoto is often paired with Izanami-no-Mikoto, as seen in verses of the Ofudesaki (6:31, 6:52, 11:71, 12:142 and 17:6).

Sacred name

The sacred name Izanagi-no-Mikoto has an antecedent in the Nihon Shoki written with the kanji 伊弉諾尊. [2] (It may be noted that Izanagi-no-Mikoto is usually written as いざなぎのみこと in Tenrikyo literature.)

Izanagi-no-Mikoto is a major character in classical Shinto myths. Yet, according to Tadamasa Fukaya:

Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto in Tenrikyo and Izanagi and Izanami in the myth have no relation with each other except one same meaning, shared by both: “husband and wife.”[3]

According to Hisanori Kontani, the “Iza” of the sacred name Izanagi-no-Mikoto means “scales” while “na” means “without” and “gi” means “merman.” Therefore, Izanagi-no-Mikoto is a merman with smooth skin without any scales.[4]

Representation in the Kagura Service

In the Kagura Service, the positions of Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto are reserved for married couples who are staff members of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. A different pair of married couples are assigned to the role each month.[5] Although the performers representing Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto should be situated at the center, that is impossible because the Kanrodai stands there. Instead, they perform face to face standing east of Kumoyomi-no-Mikoto and wear hexagonal headgear.

Form in the muddy ocean

According to the Truth of Origin, when God the Parent searched for materials to create human beings, God found a fish and a serpent to make into the models of husband and wife.

After consuming an orca obtained from the northwest, God put the ocra into the fish, and established the model of man, giving the sacred name of Izanagi-no-Mikoto to him.

There is some speculation over whether what the “fish” may represent. Although it is referred as uo (fish) in the Ofudesaki, early versions of the Story of Creation (Divine Record) also refer to it as a merman (ningyo) and gigyo (also gegyo and geigyo). Takanori Sato has claimed that in the Edo period, geigyo referred to a Japanese giant salamander (o-sanshouo).[6]

Form in the heavens

Izanagi-no-Mikoto is represented by the stars of the Tanabata Festival[7] (specifically Altair).

Ura-shugo or “indirect explanation of the divine providence”

Izanagi-no-Mikoto is associated with the Naiku or the Inner Shrine of Ise.[7]

External links


  1. The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, p. 31.
  2. 天理教青年会資料調査班 Tenrikyo Seinenkai Shiryochosa-han. 「教祖伝史料の検討『中山みきノート批判』」“Oyasama-den shiryo no kento: Nakayama Miki kenkyu noto hihan.” 『あらきようりよう』 Arakitoryo 149 (Fall 1987), p. 234.
  3. Fukaya, Tadamasa. A Doctrinal Study: The Truth of Origin, p. 41.
  4. Kontani, Hisanori. My Lecture on the Koki, the Divine Record, p. 18.
  5. Morishita, Saburo S. Teodori: Cosmological Building and Social Consolidation in a Ritual Dance, p. 123.
  6. 佐藤孝則 Sato Takanori. 「泥海—その発生学的意味」 “Doroumi—sono hassei gakuteki imi.” In 『』, pp. 74–77.
  7. 7.0 7.1 中山正善 Nakayama Shozen. 『こふきの研究』 Koki no kenkyu, p. 124.