Still reading the “Nihongi”, although the latest myth I read made it feel more like I was watching an episode of “Maury”.
*Maury is sitting on stage in his usual chair*
Maury: She claims he impregnated her during their first time together. He says even a god can’t get someone pregnant in just one day. Who’s telling the truth? We find out on today’s episode! First, please welcome The Heavenly Grandchild!
HG: Hello Maury.
Maury: So, Heavenly Grandchild, you met Ataka-ashi-tsu-hime shortly after you descended from the heavens to claim the land promised to you by your august grandmother, Amaterasu-omikami, yes?
HG: That is correct.
Maury: You asked her father, Oho-yama-tsu-mi no Kami, for her hand in marriage very quickly.
HG: That I did.
Maury: But, after you consummated your union, she came to you the next day and told you she was pregnant. While most people would be thrilled to learn that their spouse was with child, you mocked her and denied that you were the father.
HG: “There is surely some doubt of this, and therefore did I mock. How is it possible, Heavenly God though I am, in the space of one night to cause anyone to become pregnant? Truly they are not my children”.
Maury: Well, there’s only one way to find out if a Heavenly God can, in fact, get someone pregnant in one night! Earlier, we had Ataka-ashi-tsu-hime take a paternity test. We sealed her in a pit and had her light a fire. If she and her children emerge hurt, then the Heavenly Grandchild is not the father. If they are unharmed, the Heavenly Grandchild is the father.
*Dramatic music plays, the pit is broken open*
Maury: Heavenly Grandchild, you…
*Ataka-ashi-tsu-hime and four children emerge from the it, unharmed*
Maury: ARE THE FATHER!
*Audience hoots and hollers*
A-a-t-h: I told you you were the father! “The children which thy handmaiden has brought forth, and thy handmaiden herself, have of our own accord undergone the danger of fire, and yet have suffered not the smallest hurt. Will the Heavenly Grandchild not look on them?” It’s time you take responsibility!
HG: “I knew from the first that they were my children, only, as they were conceived in one night, I thought that there might be suspicions, and I wished to let everyone know that they are my children, and also that a Heavenly Deity can cause pregnancy in one night. Moreover, I wished to make it evident that thou dost possess a wonderful and extraordinary dignity, and also that our children have surpassing spirit.”
Maury: So you denied your kids and mocked your wife for their own good and to teach everyone else a lesson? I don’t know about that, but I want you both to speak to my counselors before you go home. Coming up, “Is my husband a serial cheater?” Hera will find out if her husband, Zeus, has ever been faithful to her. That’s next on “Maury”!
Seriously, in one variant of the myth, that was the Heavenly Grandchild’s excuse for denying his children. Oh, I knew they were mine, but I was worried about what everyone else would think! Bullshit. He just didn’t want to take responsibility. #YesAllMen, even the gods. 😛
*The quotes come from W.G. Aston’s translation of “Nihongi”.