Tsukuyomi no Mikoto 月夜 見 尊 The Divinity of the Moon

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Tsukuyomi no Mikoto

articolo in italiano

 

 

 

 

Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto (月夜 見 尊) sometimes abbreviated simply Tsukuyomi is one of the main Kami deities of the shintō, one of the meanings of its name is: 「Moonlit night」 is considered the divinity of the moon, very important in the celestial hierarchy in Japanese myth and religion.

In according to Kojiki, the father of all Kami (Izanagi) and his sister and partner Izanami created all the divinities by entrusting each one of them with his task, until Izanami died in childbirth due to the burns caused in generating Kagutsuchi (the deity of fire) . At that point Izanagi contested Ame-no-Ohabari whose meaning is: 「the sword of heaven」 killed the fire Kami separating the body into eight parts from which the 8 main Yama-no-Kami (protectors of the mountains) were born while from the blood that fell along the blade of the sword of the sky that separated the body of Kagutsuchi 8 other Kami (also identified as ryū) were born.

Izanagi later went to Yomi-no-kuni in an attempt to recover his beloved, but the underworld had contaminated Izanami by transforming her, so upset Izanagi once fled from there through the purification rite generated the three main Kami deities. From his right eye he conceived his second son Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto, while the firstborn Amaterasu-ō-mi-Kami (the solar divinity, from the left eye) finally Susanō-no-Mikoto (the Kami of storms and of the sea, born from Izanagi's nose).

Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto lived in Takama-ga-hara which literally means: 「the plateau of paradise」 it is considered the residence of the Kami, which he shared together with his sister Amaterasu-ō-mi-Kami (which according to some interpretations is also identifies as the wife) and all other deities. A legend has it that Uke-Mochi (the Kami of food) invited the solar deity to a banquet but instead Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto went to represent him, at which point Uke-Mochi welcomed his guest with joy and prepared lunch, the divinity Lunar ate the dishes with great pleasure and good taste, but when he discovered that the courses had been generated by the orifices of the divinity of the food he went on a rampage and killed Uke-Mochi (this episode is told in the form of legend, as the attribution of the killing of the divinity of food according to a precise interpretation of Kojiki is to be attributed to the other brother Susanō-no-Mikoto by virtue of a spite and not of the discovery of how the banquet had been prepared).

 

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Shortly afterwards Amaterasu-ō-mi-Kami learned what had happened, she was so angry and sorry that the solar deity refused to share the sky with her brother and moved elsewhere, effectively generating day and night. , since from that moment the two Kami no longer lived together. Tsukuyomi is also the nickname that the Japanese give to the lunar satellite, moreover the divinity is honored through holidays and events, several quotes in anime and manga including Naruto and in particular in Bishōjo-senshi-Sērā-Mūn (in Italy known with the name of Sailor Moon). Matsunō-Taisha a jinja at Arashiyama (the well-known tourist area whose literal meaning is: "the mountain of the storm" located near Kyōto-shi) is consecrated to the lunar divinity.

We would like to thank our friend and collaborator Paolo Napolitano who once again takes us into Japanese mythology by making the stories behind the divinities of the rising sun known.