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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Yakusanoikazuchi
[Yakusa no ikazuchi no kami] (Kojiki)
The "eight kinds of thunder kami" that festered inside Izanami's corpse as seen by her consort Izanagi in the underworld of Yomi. Suffering mortal injury from giving birth to the fire kami Kagutsuchi, Izanami died and went to the underworld, where she was followed by Izanagi. Disobeying Izanami's warning not to look upon her, Izanagi lit a torch and saw her rotting body swollen and covered with maggots, and inhabited by the "eight thunder kami."

According to Kojiki, in her head was the "great thunder," in her breast was the "fire thunder," in her belly was the "black thunder," in her genitals was the "cleft thunder," in her left hand was the "young thunder," in the right hand was the "earth thunder," in her left leg was the "sounding thunder," and in her right leg was the "reposing thunder."

An "alternate writing" transmitted by Nihongi, however, states that "great thunder" was in her head, "fire thunder" was in her breast, "earth thunder" was in her belly, "young thunder" was in her back, "black thunder" was in her rectum, "mountain thunder" was in her hands, "field thunder" was in her feet, and "cleft thunder" was in her genitals. Of the eight thunders, three have the same name and place in the two accounts, three agree in name only, and the remaining two are different. The fact that eight thunders were produced in Izanami's dead body parallels the fact that eight kami were produced from the dismembered body of the fire kami Kagutsuchi. While eight is considered a sacred number, it is here likely used merely to denote "a great many."

According to the various Kojiki and Nihongi accounts mentioned above, Izanami ordered the "hags of Yomi" and the eight thunder kami to chase Izanagi, who had fled in horror after seeing the corrupted state of Izanami's body. Izanagi, however, threw down magical peaches at Yomotsuhirasaka (the "Even Pass of Yomi"), and thus dispersed his pursuers.

-Kobori Keiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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