Monday, October 3, 2011

Deities' Disappearing Month (October)


In common Japanese language, month is named in order. For example, January is "ichi-gatsu" which literally means first month, Fesbruary "ni-gatsu"(second month)...(gatsu means month in Japanese)
But Japanese language has other romantic month names. For example, January is "Mutsuki" and February is "Kisaragi". And each of twelve names has an interesting story related to the month.
Now is October, tenth month is called "Kanna-duki" which literally means "deities' disappearing month."

This is the story. According to the old Japanese legend, Japan was created by "Okuninushi-no-Mikoto" who is believed to live in Izumo Grand Shrine in Shimane Prefecture. And his children deities live across Japan.  Annually every October, all the deities travel to Izumo Grand Shrine so as to have a family reunion and  make a report on their living area and talk about the next year's schedule. So there are no deities in Japan except in Izumo.That's why this month is called "deities disappearing month."

But only in Izumo area, this month is called differently. It is called "deities' appearing month". Understandable.


  1. I think you might already know that October indicated the eighth month of the year until the middle of the ancient Rome.

  2. Thank you for your comment. English names also have interesting stories!