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The Myths of Japan: The Beheading of the God of Fire

Devastated by the death of his wife, Izanagi cries, and another deity—the goddess of spring water—emerges from his tears. After burying Izanami, Izanagi turns toward Kagutsuchi, the fire god who caused the tragedy. Filled with wrath, he pulls his sword and beheads Kagutsuchi with a single swing. Blood drips from the blade onto the ground, producing eight new deities, while eight others emerge from Kagutsuchi’s maimed body. These are the gods of rocks, swords, thunder, flames, waterfalls, and valleys, and their emergence symbolizes the evolution of the world from an idyllic realm into a more complex and dangerous place.