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(특집 : 세계의 여신신화) 일본의 여신신화와 여음숭배 : Japanese Myth of Goddess and Genital Worship

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서울대학교 종교문제연구소
종교와 문화, Vol.10, pp. 91-125
goddessgenital worshipIzanamiAmaterasuAmenouzume
There are two characteristics in Japanese myth of goddess. First is the correlation to genital worship. Genital worship is in common in myths of Takamanohara and Izumo. Second, Japanese goddesses' characteristics are well embedded in the myth of Izumo. Goddesses in Izumo fully show their characters as a goddess of generation, as a goddess of land, and as a mother of gods.
Genitals are very important clues of development or reversal in mythological events of stories. Also, genitals represent deaths related to caves or graves as a symbol of genitals and requiem masses praying for regeneration. For example, Izanami, who was the goddess of Earth, dies gaving birth to the fire god and since then she rules over the underworld. The sun-goddess Amaterasu was pierced in her genital and retreated to a cave called Amenoiwayato, and then Amenouzume, the medium, brought Amaterasu back with her provoking dances naked. Additionally, another sun-god Sarutahiko gives his divinity to Ninikinomikoto by the medium of Amenouzume's genital.
The trace of Amaterasu, who is promoted from a medium to the sun-goddess, is projected on the medium Amenouzume performing the requiem rite for the sun-goddess. Usually, ancient sun-gods are male like Sarutahiko and Sadanoookami. Izumo's sun-god Sadanoookami was born by Kisakahime, who represents a genital, in a cave through the medium of a gold arrow representing the sun. Genitals and caves are the most crucial path and medium of the life and death. The requiem masses of Izanami and Amaterasu is performed in caves, and also the sun-god Sadanoookami was born in a cave. Besides, Izumo's Oomononushi showed himself by piercing a woman's genital to give birth his baby and killing his female servant through stabbing her genital.
There are plenty of goddesses in Japanese mythology. The goddesses in the heavenly Takamanohara pantheon exist by monogenesis and were born as a couple, in other words, they exist just as concepts. So the goddesses in Takamanohara pantheon don't have any character as a female. On the contrary, in the earthly Izumo, goddesses fully show their characters as a goddess of generation, as a goddess of land, and as a mother of gods. They are guardian deity helping gods to build Izumo. Kamimusuhi send her daughter Kisakahime to save Oonamuchi's life, and send her son Sukunabikona to help Oonamuchi's to foster Izumo. The land-goddess Izanami who create all things reigns both of the life and death as a goddess of underworld. Susanoo's wife Kusinatahime, Oonamuchi's wife Suseribime, the sun-god Sata's mother Kisakahime they are all Izumo's goddesses bringing up gods and guarding gods as wives and mothers. On the other hand, Izumo's god of the gods Ookuninushi's other self Oomononushi receive religious services from the Japanese Imperial family living in Miwa mountain, he gives rise to a disaster if the service is performed with disregardful. So Yamato's Imperial family has to take a wife from one of the Oomononushi's offspring or offer their daughters to Oomononushi's wives.
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