How Kototama Makes the World

According to Rei Torii in Kamigami no Nazo

Kototama refers to the rhythms that bring forth the manifested world.

Mother rhythms are the five vowels  あ   い  う   え   お  which span the dimensions of infinite space. They are the processes of movement of: space, wind, fire, water, and earth. Moving space gives rise to moving wind, which gives rise to moving fire, and which in turn gives rise to the flowing down of moving water/liquid and earth/solid.

Father rhythms are the eight consonants which develop time. These are the processes of creating life and building the world.

Koji Ogasawara:  T”he world is perpetually beginning right here, right now!”

The 48 sounds of Hotsuma no Kototama

Please refer to the Hotsuma woshite table. This becomes a Chart of Generating Space and Time.

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Top row symbols are the mother symbols which span space.

Right column symbols are the father symbols of time.

The elements in the matrix, combinations of father-mother rhythms are the processes of generating space and time.

Mother Rhythms (vowels) generating space:

Symbol   /   Sound   /  Name   /   Movement of:

Circle   /   sound  あ   /   utsuho   /   space

Bell   /   sound  い  /   kaze   /   wind

Triangle   /   sound  う   /   ho   /   fire

River   /   sound  え   /   mizu   /   water

Square   /   sound  お   /   hani   /   earth

Father Rhythms (consonants) generating time, i.e., developing humans and culture:

.         The Source starting to breathe

|        Breath coming from heaven to earth (unseen to seen)

||       Separating into two (male, female)

+       combining the two

T        making humans

Y        making father

^       making mother

–        people spreading east-west

L        making leaders

<>     making countries

Observe that the Hotsuma character for utsuho is a circle. It represents ku (sora), the sacred place that creates everything in the universe. It marks places of power such as pyramids, stone circles, and kofun burial mounds. Note: utsubo is a sacred vessel and also refers to a mother’s womb. We also know of the Tsubo no Ishibumi, a stone monument, which the poet Matsuo Basho sought  at Tagajo.