At first, the book says, the world was like the inside of an egg and had not quite formed. Slowly the clear liquids rose to become the sky. The heavier bits sank to form a jellylike Earth. Land floated across the jelly just like oil floats on water.
Then a reed grew out of the Earth and turned into two spirits. These spirits created seven pairs of Gods called Kami. The last pair was Isanagi and his wife Izanami.
The other Kami gods gave Izanagi and Izanami a spear. The Heavenly Jeweled Spear with a shaft made from coral. They ordered Izanagi and Izanami to finish creating the world with it. Izanagi and Izanami stood on a rainbow called the Heavenly Floating Bridge. They stirred the liquid beneath them with the tip of the spear and when they lifted it up, a drop of liquid fell from the spear and formed an island. Izanagi and Izanami built a palace and a sacred pillar on the island. According to Japanese tradition, they walked around the pillar. Izanagi went one way. Izanami went the other. When they met on the other side, Izanami said to her husband, "How handsome you are. " "How charming you are," said her husband. But he was unhappy because the rule was that the husband should speak first to his wife, not the other way around. This rule is still observed by some people in Japan.
When Izanami had a baby, it turned out to be a baby leech. She put it on a reed in the water-- where leeches live today -- and left it. Izanagi and Izanami asked the gods why they did not have the kind of children they wanted. The gods told them that it was because Izanami had spoken to her husband first. So Izanagi and Izanami went back to the island and walked around the pillar again. This time Izanagi spoke first to his wife. When Izanami next had a baby she gave birth to eight islands, which grew into the land of Japan -- a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean.
After all their hard work, Izanagi and Izanami were hungry. So Izanagi created the god of rice to give them some food to eat. Rice is the most important food in Japan today.
The last child Izanami had was the god of fire but as he was born, he burned her so badly that she died. Now alone, Izanagi went tot he river to wash his face. As he washed, the Sun was born out of his left eye and the Moon out of his right. And from his nose-- where sneezes come from -- the storm god was born. Izanagi had finished creating the world and was glad that Izanami had helped him create such a beautiful place.
How to become a cult leader. If any of you do this, and trace it back to me, I'll make you drink the koolaid... ;)