Marriage Ties

The First Gods to Be Married in Japan

This story is recorded in myth. In the beginning of the world, the god “Musuhi” was born first. After that, out of nature something arose. It took shape and became a male and female god. This was the birth of Izanaginomikoto and Izanaminomikoto. In old Japanese, “Izanao” meant “invite”. The gods of invitation. The male and female god inviting each other. The first male and female gods to appear were born as gods inviting each other as a couple.

Japan’s First Proposal

According to myth, the gods of Kumano Taisha Shrine, Izanaginomikoto and Izanaminomikoto, were the first gods to marry. Izanaginomikoto, the male god, spoke first. “Ah, what a wonderful woman you are.” In reply, the female god, Izanaminomikoto, responded. “Ah, what a wonderful man you are.” These words were simple and honest, without bargaining or ornamentation. This was the first proposal exchanged in Japan. The gods of Kumano Taisha Shrine, the first gods in Japan to propose to each other and marry, are gods of marriage.

A Bright, Clear, Honest Spirit

The first gods to marry in Japan, Izanaginomikoto and Izanaminomikoto afterwards gave birth to many more gods and created the country of Japan. The words of proposal these gods exchanged are passed down as the Japanese ideal way of life.

The Three Rabbits

In the rear of the main hall of Kumano Taisha Shrine, there are three hidden carved rabbits. It’s not known when, but people who have found all three rabbits also were able to find love or get their wish, so it’s said that finding them will grant you a wish or bring you happiness. There is another theory that when the moon is full after a rain, and the wind moves the water so that the rabbit and moon’s reflection shimmers on the water’s surface, this is called the “Rabbit of the Waves”. From olden days of this shrine there is a legend that if you ask or tell the location of the third rabbit that you will receive no benefit.