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Sat Jul 13, 2013, 11:53 PM

Gender bending in Japan

Myth takes us back to the formless void, where among the first generations of gods and goddesses are Izanagi (“He who Invites”) and Izanami (“She who Invites”). The biblical God’s creation of the universe is awesome and mysterious. Not so Izanagi and Izanami’s begetting of Japan, recounted in the eighth-century chronicle “Nihon Shoki.”

Imagine sexually awakened gods who, like children, don’t quite know what to do. They look at each other and are enchanted. Izanami speaks first: “What a splendid young man!” To which Izanagi replies, “What a splendid young woman!”

Their first offspring was a “leech child,” born without limbs or bones. What had gone wrong? The older gods explained: Izanami, the female, had spoken first. Initiative was the male’s prerogative. Chastened, they tried again. This time they got it right. Izanami gave birth to the islands of Japan, and to gods and goddesses without number. The poor deformed baby, placed in a boat of reeds, floated away, never to be heard of again.

Japan, begotten child of childlike gods, escaped the stern sexual discipline imposed by an asexual creator god whose grim intolerance of human passions caused him, for example, to destroy a city, Sodom, for a “sin” known ever since as sodomy. Japan acknowledged no sexual sins, least of all that one, as the 16th-century Christian missionaries who saw this “land of the gods” in its pristine state noted with squeamish disgust.


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Reply Gender bending in Japan (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jul 2013 OP
MadrasT Jul 2013 #1

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Sun Jul 14, 2013, 08:47 AM

1. That was super interesting


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