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Myths and Legends of Japan

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Myths and Legends of Japan

Japan has many myths believed to be true by the Japanese culture. Such as: "You can tell a person's character from their blood type". The Japanese creation myth starts off with brother and sister gods Izanagi and Izanani. They dipped a spear into the churning sea and when they pulled it out the drops that fell on the water surface became the islands of Japan. Next the sun goddess Amaterasu, was created and was soon sent to heaven to rule over the world. She some time ago left the universe in darkness and chaos. Amaterasu sent her grandson to calm Japan, giving him the sacred mirror, sword, and jewel, which became imperial motifs.

In Japanese mythology there are a lot of things that can make up a myth. Japanese myths frequently include serpents in them. There are tales of woman turning into snakes. Not all myths are about snakes. But most of the time when people think about Japanese mythology, they might think of snakes because they are so closely connected with the Japanese myths ordinarily. There are two different types of snake women; ones that are evil are ones that are good. One closely related story to the snake woman is that there is a palace under the sea at the very depth:

" A snake woman lives there who is believed to be the daughter of the sea god. Any man who goes down and meets her there she marries and she takes good care of them. When the man has to return to his world she gives him special powers or wealth. There is a story of a snake woman that every Japanese school child knows. It starts with a young boy fishing one night and catches a multicolored turtle and he brings it home. The next morning he wakes up, not to see the turtle but a beautiful woman in place of it. He is then asked by the snake woman to come down to the sea and live with him. He lives with her for three years and he gets homesick so he asks the snake woman if he can return home. She says yes and gives him a box and she says if you want to come back down and live with me again then you cannot open the box. The turtle then guides him back to his village. He looks around and sees that this is not his village and then he realizes three centuries have past and he opens the box and immediately his hair turns white and his skin wrinkles and then his body withers away into dust."

The snake legends vary in time periods. Not all snake legends happen in Japan some legends



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