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There were clouds and mists; there were divine generations who came and who passed away, leaving only him who was The-Lord-in-the-centre-of-the-Heavens and the august God and Goddess who stood each side of him. And then were produced Izana-gi and Izana-mi, the

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man and the woman. They went across the rainbow bridge. The man held his spear downwards and drops flowed from it; the drops hardened and held themselves together and they formed a place on which the Primeval Couple, Izana-gi, the man, and Izana-mi, the woman, could stay. But the mists were still all around them.

They had children there: Wind-child and Forest-child, Waterfall-child and Mountain-child, Stream-child and Field-child, Sea-child and Islands-children. They had children who became the ancestors of men and women. When Wind-child grew up he swept away the mists; the spaces became clear. Then Izana-mi bore the Fire-children. After their birth she sickened; then she was seen no more above the ground.

Izana-gi went down into Meido, Place of Gloom, to find her. He went down through a cave; he went into depths following her voice. She told him not to come farther; she told him not to look where she was. But Izana-gi disobeyed her command. He lighted a torch and looked towards where he heard her voice.

For a little while there was a light in the pale-grey land of Meido. Izana-gi saw Izana-mi. Her eyes were hollow, and her lips were fleshless, and her forehead was a bone. The torch went out, and Izana-mi cursed her husband for having looked on her in the Place of Gloom. She said she would not let him go back to the world of their children, and that she would make him remain a dweller in Meido.

Izana-gi ran back; but Izana-mi pursued him and she called upon the dread dwellers of the Place of Gloom to catch him and hold him. Izana-gi, as he ran, took the shoots of bamboo and the wild grapes that grew upon the comb that was in his hair and flung them to the dwellers in the Place of Gloom. They stopped to eat the shoots and the grapes. Then he ran on. He came to the cave through which he had entered the Place of Gloom. And here Izana-mi, angry still, nearly caught him. He ran through the cave, and he laid hold of a rock that was outside and closed the cave up. Still Izana-mi was angry; she said that on account of his looking upon her in the Place of Gloom she would draw down into Meido a thousand people every day. "Then I shall bring to birth a thousand and a half a thousand people every day," Izana-gi said.

He went out of the cave and he bathed in a stream that flowed by it. He washed off the pollution that came from what he had touched

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in the Place of Gloom. What he washed off became stains on the water. And these stains became beings who brought a thousand people every day down to Meido. Therefore was Izana-gi, through his folk, under the necessity of bringing into birth a thousand and a half a thousand people every day. And because, through the wilfulness of Izana-gi and the anger of Izana-mi, the Primeval Pair became separated, there has been ever since death and separation in the world.

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