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Ten aspects of God’s providence



Izanami-no-Mikoto いざなみのみこと is one of the “ten aspects of God’s providence.” It appears tenth on a list of sacred names in Chapter Four of The Doctrine of Tenrikyo. It represents the model of woman at creation as well as the divine principle of the seedplot (seedbed).[1]

Izanami-no-Mikoto is often paired with Izanagi-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 Izanami-no-Mikoto has an antecedent in the Nihon Shoki written with the kanji 伊弉冊尊. [2] (It may be noted that Izanami-no-Mikoto is usually written as いざなみのみこと in Tenrikyo literature.)

Izanami-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 Izanami-no-Mikoto means “scales” while “na” means “without” and “mi” means “white snake.” Therefore, Izanami-no-Mikoto is a white snake 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 a turtle obtained from the southeast, God put the turtle into the serpent, and established the model of woman, giving the sacred name of Izanami-no-Mikoto to her.

While being referred to mi (serpent) in the Ofudesaki, the form of Izanami-no-Mikoto in the muddy ocean is also referred to as a “white snake” (shiro-gutsuna).[6]

Takanori Sato has suggested that the mi refers to a species of lamprey known as sunayatsume (Lethenteron reissneri).[7]

Form in the heavens

Izanami-no-Mikoto is represented by the stars of the Tanabata Festival[6] (specifically Vega).

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

Izanami-no-Mikoto is associated with the Geku or the Outer Shrine of Ise.[6]

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. 6.0 6.1 6.2 中山正善 Nakayama Shozen. 『こふきの研究』 Koki no kenkyu, p. 124.
  7. 佐藤孝則 Sato Takanori. 「泥海—その発生学的意味」 “Doroumi—sono hassei gakuteki imi.” In 『』, p. 78.