モルモン

とは?

What of the

Mormons?

日本の末日聖徒  

イエス・キリスト教会歴史

 Improvement Era

 About  Japan  

 

戻る

The LDS Church magazine, The Improvement Era, originally established for the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association from which organization it took its name, later became the official magazine of the Church until the Ensign replaced it in 1970. The Era, as it was called, included international news as well as local Utah and LDS Church news. Many of the issues, especially during the period of 1901 until 1920, included articles about Japan. The most lengthy were reports about, and then later, from the Japan Mission. which was opened in 1901. Additionally Japan was becoming a more powerful nation and made the International News section from time to time. For the next several months, we will provide some of this interesting information from about 110 years ago.

116

Improvement Era 1914

A floating bridge extended earthward from the heavens. On this the divine pair stood, and Izanagi plunged his jeweled spear into the liquid mass beneath, stirring it until it thickened. As he withdrew the spear, sluggish drops fell from its point, congealed and formed an island upon which they twain descended. This was the first creative act. The "Island of the Congealed Drop" (known in modern geography as "Awaji," and located at the entrance to the Inland Sea) became the first of the Japanese archipelago, and was the base from which these two gods operated in the creation of the other islands embraced in the Everlasting Great Japan.

Improvement Era 1914

The God of Clay and the Goddess of Fresh Water married. The issue of this union was the "Goddess of Food," who at one time received a messenger from Amaterasu. This messenger had been sent to see if there really lived a food-possessing goddess in the "Land of Luxuriant Reedy Moors" (Japan). The Food-goddess therefore, took fish from the sea and hairy beasts from the hills and prepared a feast for her guest, who, being enraged at the manner in which the food was served, killed her. Her corpse became a fruitful field in which grew rice, barley, millet, beans, grass and the mulberry tree. The Sun-goddess, on hearing of the murder, wept and sent to learn if the Food-goddess was really dead. The second messenger found her dead body; it was overgrown with vegetation. He took of every kind and carried them to Amaterasu, who rejoiced and ordained that the fruits of the field should be the food of man; and she appointed husbandmen to till, to sow and to reap.

Improvement Era 1914

Izanagi, after the death of his wife, was sad and lonely. Finally, Orpheus-like, he followed his Eurydice to Hades and pleaded for her return, which she fain would do, but parleyed so long with the gods of the "Root Land," that Izanagi grew impatient, broke a tooth from his hair comb, lit it as a torch and rushed in-only to find her a heap of foul putrefaction in the midst of which sat the Gods of Thunder and Rain! Horrified at the awful spectacle, he fled back to the upper world, pursued, but not overtaken, by the ugly gods of darkness. He retreated to another part of the earth (Japan), where he purified himself by bathing in a stream, and in this act, from each article of clothing discarded and from the filth washed from his body, were born the wicked gods who have ever since warred with the good gods and tormented mankind.

Improvement Era 1914

The "Impetuous Male" god, Susanoo, was driven out of heaven. He paid a visit to Hades where he encountered a murderous, eight-headed dragon. By a clever stratagem, he slew the dragon and found in its tail a sword (called "Cloud Cluster") of superior temper, which he afterwards presented to his sister, Amaterasu. Returning to Idzumo, in Japan,  he lived a strenuous life, and, after much fighting, established himself as ruling god. But Amaterasu, seeing war and contention on the earth, decided to send one of her own family to rule and subdue the land. A grandchild named Ninigi was chosen for this mission. But before his descent, envoys were dispatched to the earth to obtain the submission of the ruling deity. This finally accomplished, Ninigi descended and lighted on a mountain peak in southwestern Japan.  At the departure from heaven, Amaterasu gave her grandson three treasures (which now form the sacred emblems in the imperial regalia)-the mirror, emblem of her own soul, the "cloud cluster" sword, taken from the dragon's tail, and a stone seal. Giving these she said, "For centuries upon centuries shall thy descendants rule this kingdom. Herewith receive from me the succession and the three-crown talismans. Should you at any future time desire to see me, look in this mirror. Govern this country with the pure lustre that radiates from its surface. Deal with thy subjects with the gentleness which the smooth rounding of this stone typifies. Combat the enemies of thy kingdom with this sword, and slay them on the edge of it." After Ninigi's descent, heaven and earth became further separated, and communication with heaven by the floating bridge ceased.