Ainu creation myth

ainu creation myth

The wagtail arrived and was confronted with a mess. He was unsure how he should proceed. After much deliberation, the wagtail fluttered his wings, dragging mud and sand from the waters. He tramped it down with his feet and tail, creating dry land. Soon islands began to emerge from the ocean. Even today, the wagtail is still at work, beating the ground with his tail. The world that Kamui and the water wagtail had created was so beautiful that the animals that lived in the sky begged Kamui to allow them to live there. Apart from these sky animals who were given permission to live on the beautiful world, Kamui created other beings. The first people were the Ainu. Their bodies were made of earth, their hair of chickenweed, and their spines made of willow sticks. Then

Kamui sent the Divine Man, Aioina, to teach the people how to hunt and cook.

The Japanese or Shinto creation myth is contained within two important sources: the Kojiki. or Records of Ancient Matters, commissioned by Emperor Gemmyo and written by O no Yasumuro in 712, and the Nihongi. or Chronicles of Japan, which dates to 720 and was also written by O no Yasumuuro. Both sources were influenced by Chinese beliefs and reflect the animistic Shinto religion. The Kojiki and Nihongi provide a three-tiered cosmology: Heaven, the World, and the Underworld. Izanami and Izanagi, the central figures of the following creation myth, are considered by many to personify the Chinese yin and yang.

The creation myth described in the Nihongi is more complex than the myth contained within the Kojiki.

Category: Ainu

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