Awaji Shima (淡路島, Foamway Isle) was the first of the Great Land of Eightfold Isles created by Izanami and Izanagi, inhabited by the Spirit Awajinohonosawake according to the Kojiki. Its location is between N.E Shikoku and Honshu.1
As Awa Shima (Froth Isle) it is stated to have been one of the first children of Izanami and Izanagi. Its name suggests it was an insubstantial being and so like the Leech Child was abandoned. Its name could also be rendered as Shame Isle or Unmet Isle.1
In the Nihongi Ahaji no Shima is stated as the first island born to both these Spirits and looking like a placenta they did not like it and cast it aside. A different version of the Nihongi states it was the second things born to the two Spirits.
Later within the text of the Nihongi it states that Izanagi finally came to retire here after all his work in creating the Islands and Spirits of Japan was completed. It is said he dwelt here in concealment and silence.2
1. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.
2. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697”. Tuttle Publishing.
Check out Japan Archives, our Japanese History Podcast