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Kagu-tsuchi カグツチ o Hinokagatsuchi the God of the Fire

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One of the main deities of Japanese mythology and religion, Kagutsuchi Kami sama is linked to a powerful element, one of the primary ones, for this reason its strength and its power is among those most imported in the pantheon of divinities of the Rising Sun.

Kagutsuchi (カ グ ツ チ)  also called Hinokagatsuchi, as reported in Kojiki (the oldest chronicle existing in Japan, which improperly can be defined as the Japanese bible), or Homusubi-no-Mikoto name mentioned in the Nihon- Shoki (later of the Kojiki) is among the most important Kami deities of the shintō.


Kojiki book japan


Literally the name means: 「shine, strength, power」 is the divinity of fire and protector of blacksmiths and potters. In Kojiki it is said that Izanagi and his partner and sister Izanami created all the Kami deities, entrusting each of them with their role until Izanami generating the last deity (Kagutsuchi) was severely burned and shortly after he disappeared leaving Takama-ga-hara (the residence of the Kami).

This is among the most important and central events of Kojiki, in fact, the disease and the subsequent disappearance of Izanami started the generation of other Kami, including: Kanayamahiko-no-Kami (the god of metals, born from the burn of Izanami) Haniyasu-hiko (the divinity of the earth, born from the last dejection of Izanami) while the last Kami generated (born from the liquids of the kidneys) was the divinity of the water Mizuhame-no-Mikoto. Desperate and angry about what had happened to his wife Izanagi he grabbed the Ame-no-Ohabari (the sword of the sky) and killed Kagutsuchi by separating the body of the Kami from the fire into eight parts from which the 8 main Yama-no-Kami were born ( the protectors of the mountains):

To-Yamatsumi (born from the head) - Masaka-Yamatsumi (born from the chest)
Odo-Yamatsumi (born from the belly) - Oku-Yamatsumi (born from the reproductive system)
Kura-Yamatsumi (born from the left hand) - Shigi-Yamatsumi (born from the right hand)
Ha-Yamatsumi (born from the left foot) - Hara-Yamatsumi (born from the right foot).


While two other very important Yama-no-Kami are Ōyamatsumi (considered the older brother of Amaterasu-ō-mi-Kami) the main Kami who rules all the mountains, also protector of sailors and soldiers and his daughter Konohananosakuya-hime (the Kami of the Fujisan). Instead from the blood that fell along the blade of the Ame-no-Ohabari that separated the body of Kagutsuchi 8 other Kami were born, also identified as dragon deities, according to an interpretation of the Kojiki they are:


Iwasaku the dragon gods of roots - Nesaku the other dragon gods of roots
Iwatsutsunō the dragon god of stone - Mikahayahi the dragon god of speed
Hihayahi the other dragon deity of speed - Kuramitsuha the dragon deity of darkness
Kuraokami the dragon deity of rain and snow, and lastly Takemikazuchinō the dragon deity of the sword (he is also considered the first Sumō wrestler).


Subsequently Izanagi went to Yomi-no-kuni for attempt to recover his beloved but the underworld had contaminated Izanami transforming her, upset by the event he (once escaped from the underworld) through the purification rite generated the three main Kami deities . The first-born Amaterasu-ō-mi-Kami, the female Kami of the sun (which was born from the purification from the left eye), her second-born the male Kami of the moon Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto (born from the right eye) and finally the third-born ( born from the purification of the nose) Susanō-no-Mikoto, the Kami of storms and the sea (while in a variation it is mentioned that the three deities were created with the Yata-no-Kagami that the father of the Kami held in his hand during the ceremony ).


Atago jinja shrine


Several jinja (shintō shrines) have been consecrated to the deity Kagutsuchi, the most important of which is Atago-jinja located near the Atago-yama (called by the Japanese Atago-san) at Ukyō-ku locality belonging to Kyōto-shi. The figure of the fire Kami is very popular among anime and manga, in fact there are direct and indirect references, as in Naruto as well as in Yu-Gi-Oh as well as appearing in various videogames.

Thanks  to our friend and author Paolo Napolitano for giving us this important article that brings us closer to the figures of the Japanese gods.



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