伊邪那岐

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Japanese[edit]

Kanji in this term
Jinmeiyō Grade: S Grade: S Grade: S

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Uncertain. Various theories exist, including:

  • Old Japanese いざ (iza, a beckoning interjection or call similar to hey and the root of verb 誘う (izanau, to beckon, to call; to tempt)) + (na, Old Japanese possessive particle, superseded by (​no)) + (ki, male, common element in Japanese male given names)
    This theory dates to 1798 in the 古事記伝 (Kojiki-den, “Commentaries on the Kojiki”) by Motoori Norinaga, a scholar of ancient Japanese. This etymology would suggest that the name Izanagi meant something like “the (male) caller, the (male) beckoner”, perhaps in reference to Izanagi's calling forth of the islands of Japan from the sea.
  • iza as alteration of isa from (isao, deed, exploit) + (na, Old Japanese possessive particle) + (ki, male)
    This dates to the 1954 book 神代史の新研究 (Jindaishi no Shin Kenkyū, “New Research into the Chronicles of the Age of Gods”) by Kurakichi Shiratori. A possible flaw is that isao derives from older adjectival form isawoshi, and further truncation from isao to isa might seem unlikely. However, isa is found as a root in other words such as 勇める (isameru, to add power to: to encourage, to urge onwards) or , 勇魚 (isana, whale, apparently isa “power” + na “fish”).
  • izana as alteration of ishana in Buddhist term 伊舎那天 (Ishanaten, the ruler of the sixth heaven of the realm of cravings) + (ki, male)
    This theory is one of the older ones, dating to a text in 1339 by Kitabatake Chikafusa, the 神皇正統記 (Jinnō Shōtōki, “Chronicles of the Authentic Lineages of the Divine Emperors”). The ishana in Ishanaten is a borrowing from Sanskrit ईशान (īśāna, lord, ruler), which is suggestively also used in Sanskrit as an epithet for Vishnu, the Hindu god of creation and existence. A possible flaw is that it may be unlikely to use a borrowed Buddhist term for a native creation god. However, Buddhism arrived in Japan around 552 (possibly even centuries earlier), or at least some 160 years before the first mention of Izanagi, perhaps leaving time for borrowed words to gain acceptance.

The pronunciation of the name shifted from Izanaki to Izanagi. The older Izanaki is still used as an alternate reading.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

伊邪那岐 (hiragana いざなぎ, katakana イザナギ, romaji Izanagi) (alternative reading hiragana いざなき, katakana イザナキ, romaji Izanaki)

  1. (mythology, religion, Shintō) Izanagi, the Japanese creator god, and the father of Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi & Susanoo.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9