The Long Road to Heaven
Japan's Queen of the Underworld. Mother of Nodame.
Her horrific appearance there—half-rotted and swarming with maggots—causes her to choose
darkness and death over life and light.
Izanami is Izanagi’s dead wife, queen of the Underworld and the first woman of the Amatsukami.
In the days when she was alive, she helped give birth to all the Gods and islands of Japan. She died giving birth to a child, and her husband immediately killed the boy out of anger and frustration after the woman he loved was taken from him. Izanami became Queen of Yomi, the Japanese Underworld.
She and Izanagi are forever separated and cannot bear to look on each other any more. The shikome, Izanami’s handmaidens, are almost as terrifying to look on as she is.
Izanami doesn’t get out into the World much. She tends to be reclusive; a common disguise is as old lady living with 47 cats in a house that smells of formaldehyde and dust. Even then, though, a search of her history turns up great achievements in the past—as a biologist, a mother, an ethicist, a philosopher and a campaigner for family values. Her history tends to latch onto her and find a way to express itself, as it does for all the Gods.
Fate catches up with everyone eventually.