Hear about Kagutsuchi on Episode 3 of our Podcast, the Japan Archives.


  • Affiliation: Shinto
  • Deity of: Fire, Volcanoes, Slash and Burn Agriculture
  • Family: Izanagi (father) Izanami (mother) Haniyamahime (wife) Children (numerous, see below)


Kagutsuchi (Flame Elder – 軻遇突智) is the God of Fire in Shinto Mythology. He is also known as Hinoyagihayao (Swift Burning Flame Man), Hinokagabiko (Blazing Flame Lad), Hinokagutsuchi (Flickering Flame Elder – 火之迦具土) in the Kojiki and Nihongi12 as well as Homusuhi (Plume Growth – 火産霊) in the Nihongi and Hymns.2

In the Kojiki he is said to be the son of Izanagi and Izanami born after the Spirit Ōgetsuhime.1 However, in one version of the Nihongi he is born after Torinoiwakusufune. In another version he took as a wife the Spirit Haniyamahime and together they had the Spirit Wakumusubi. Yet another version states he was born after the Spirit Haniyasu.2

During his birth he burnt his mother Izanami causing her to fall gravely ill and eventually die. Izanagi in his grief and anger takes his sword (Itsunoohabari) and beheads him.12

His blood turns into the Spirits Iwasaku, Nesaku, Iwatsutsunoo, Mikahayahi, Hihayahi, Takemikazuchinoo, Kuraokami and Kuramitsuha with his body turning into another eight Spirits called Masakayamatsumi, Odoyamatsumi, Okuyamatsumi, Kurayamatsumi, Shigiyamatsumi, Hayamatsumi, Harayamatsumi and Toyamatsumi.1 This is related in the Kojiki as the Nihongi omits some of these Spirits. One alternative version of the Nihongi does mention one extra Spirit with the name Iwatsutsunome. She was the sister of Iwatsutsunoo.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.

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