Folk Tales: Creation of Izu

Izu Old Folk Tales

Izu Folk Tales MapThe story begins a long, long time ago on what was just another day. At this time, the Izu Peninsula did not exist, so when the god of Mount Fuji looked east all he could see was only the ocean.

As he gazed, the thought occurred to him that perhaps he should create a bountiful land there. As soon as he did, he caused the seabed to rise up. A great red fire emerged from that burned day and night. Finally the burning lava cooled off hardening into the peninsula we see today.


The newly formed land was called [Izu no Kuni] (出ずの国) or the Land that Emerged. Today, is it still called Izu but is written as 伊豆半島(Izu Hanto) .

But as the land was being formed one of the fire balls flew into the middle of the ocean and dropped with a big splash. This became Oshima. Unfortunately, the god of Mt. Fuji forgot all about this fireball and never extinguished the heat. This was a big mistake so that even today, the Oshima volcano sometimes erupts sending fire and smoke high into the sky.

One day a young lad passed by where the god of Mt. Fuji was. The god spoke gruffly to the boy asking "Who are you?!"

"I am the prince of Tenjiku (India),' he replied. "I angered my father, the king, and escaped Tenjiku arriving here. I really like this beautiful place and would like to have part of it. How about it? Can you give me some land?"

The god of Mt. Fuji, who had taken a liking to the lad, gave him the newly created Izu Peninsula.

The prince immediately traveled throughout his new land but thought it to be just a little too small. So he decided to create a few small islands. He began searching for someone to help him with this when out of no where an old man with three daughters appeared.

Two of the sisters were named Wakamiya and Tsurukinomiya. The third was called Mime (見目), who was a real beauty. The old man told the three children to help the prince from Tenjiku to create more land and then left.

MokkoThe prince then instructed Wakamiya and Tsurukinomiya to go to the god of Mt. Fuji, ask him for soil which they then carried in mokko on their backs. Once they got to the ocean they dumped the soil into the ocean creating islands. Mime, however, took fire and lava from the Oshima volcano and dumped it into the ocean where it solidified and created the first island in just one day. This island is still called Hatsushima, The First Island.

In this manner 10 islands in all were created by the sisters. These island are called the Izu Islands today.

Thanks to the hard work of the sisters and their removal of the soil from Mt. Fuji, today we can enjoy the beautiful shape that it has today.

However, as the sisters traveled between Mt. Fuji and the ocean, they spilled some of the dirt from the mokko which accounts for the mountains and lakes in Hakone.

The Japanese Original

Tale of the Creation of Izu

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Wednesday, 24 July 2024

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