KAGATSUCHI – The Shinto god of fire, also called Omasubi (“starter of fire”). He was the last-born child of the deities Izanagi and Izanami and his flaming birth, like lava erupting from his mother Izanami’s womb, caused her departure to the land of the dead, Yomi. When Izanami failed to trick her spouse Izanagi into returning her tainted self to the world of the living she became the ruler of the land of the dead, like the slain god Osiris in Egyptian mythology.
Kagatsuchi’s father, Izanagi, was so enraged at the havoc wreaked by this last-born son’s birth that he drew his celestial sword and sliced the new-born deity into bits and then scattered the pieces, with each piece becoming one of the many volcanoes of ancient Japan. Kagatsuchi was a greatly feared deity and rituals were held twice a year at the Emperor’s palace to honor and appease him.
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