It is a genjutsu which affects the target through physical sensations shared between them and the user to perform the illusion. Like its counterpart, in exchange for the temporary ability that it grants the user, the Sharingan with which Izanami is cast is rendered blind and loses its light forever. According to Itachi, this technique and Izanagi form a pair, but unlike the latter, which is a technique capable of altering destiny, Izanami is instead one that "decides" it.
To begin the technique, after selecting any arbitrary moment, the caster uses their Sharingan to remember the physical sensations both of their body and that of their opponent's during that instant like a photograph (represented as: A). The user must then intentionally replicate the same sensation and in the same way, memorise that instant with their Sharingan (represented as: A'). Izanami overlaps and connects these two identical bodily sensations (A and A'), as well as the flow of time between them, creating an infinite loop of events that entraps the opponent's consciousness. The user can also use their Sharingan to remember multiple sensations, (represented as B, C and so forth) and those sensations will also be used when Izanami is activated. The user also doesn't need necessarily to replicate A with A' to initiate Izanami. They can also replicate B with B' or C with C' as well. The more sensations they memorise, the better their chances would be to initiate Izanami on a person and the more sensations the victim will experience each time they repeat a loop.
Whilst under the effects of the technique, the target stands motionlessly as the loop of events continually replays inside their mind. Each time a loop is repeated, any physical damage incurred is reset as it were before the start of the loop, although the remains of severed appendages do not disappear. The illusion of the user and anyone they were fighting alongside also have any damage reset as well such as the blindness that comes with Izanami. Despite being able to become consciously aware of their situation and act differently, the victim is unable to significantly alter or escape from the inevitable progression of these events as the illusions they're fighting will also quickly adapt to their changes in order to force the victim to experience the memorised sensations. However, because this technique was created to reprimand and save the users of Izanagi, the victim is able to escape the infinite loop if they can acknowledge the real results of their actions and in doing so, accept their fate. In the anime, it's shown that there is no other way to undo this technique even by someone who has complete control over their chakra. The illusion of the caster also seems to be sentient as the illusionary Itachi was shown to be shaking his head when Kabuto futilely tried to undo the technique without accepting his fate first. The illusion of the user and anyone they're fighting alongside also repeats their verbal actions such as the illusionary Itachi telling the Illusionary Sasuke not to leave his side, an action Itachi did to Sasuke. The illusion of the user will continuously tell the victim to take a closer look at them and acknowledge their mistakes until they do so.
According to Itachi, there was a point in time where members of the clan abused the abilities granted by Izanagi, instead simply casting the technique as a means of escaping the undesirable results of their actions. Whilst this resulted in little issue if only one person were using Izanagi, if there were two or more casters, they would begin to fight amongst each other over personally favourable outcomes. Thus, as dōjutsu users were unlikely to succumb to ocular genjutsu, Izanami was created as a method to reprimand such clansmen, as well as save them from their own arrogance. By imprisoning them within an unalterable loop of events, the victim was forced to accept the reality they had created if they ever wished to escape the illusion. However, because of the dangers involved in using a technique with a built-in escape route in a real battle, Izanami became classed as a kinjutsu. As such, Izanami is ironically not a genjutsu to be used on an enemy, but on a friend who has lost their way as a means of helping them find themselves again.
Like the various techniques used with the Sharingan, this technique is named after a Shintō goddess. In this case, it is Izanami, who, together with her brother and husband Izanagi, created the islands and other deities of Japan.
One of the most famous stories about Izanami tells the tale of how Izanagi goes into Yomi, the Japanese underworld, to retrieve her after she died giving birth to the Shintō fire god, Kagutsuchi. In Yomi, he manages to get Izanami and they both try to leave, however, Izanagi was not supposed to look at her before they escape. Right before they reach the exit, Izanagi looks back and sees her in a decayed form. Frightened, Izanagi flees from Yomi and blocks the cave. Izanami curses Izanagi saying that she will kill 1000 people per day. In response, Izanagi says that 1500 people will be born each day. In another variation of the story, it is stated that Izanami told Izanagi to leave, however, he came back while she slept and lit a fire that revealed her decayed form, prompting him to escape out of fright, and barricade her inside with a giant boulder.
After his failed attempt to get Izanami, Izanagi washed himself in a stream. As he cleaned his left eye, Amaterasu was born, as he cleaned his right eye, Tsukuyomi was born, and as he cleaned his nose, Susanoo was born.
- ↑ Fourth Databook, page 232
- ↑ Naruto chapter 581, page 15
- ↑ Naruto chapter 587, page 1
- ↑ Naruto chapter 581, pages 15-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 587, page 2-5
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 338
- ↑ Naruto chapter 586, pages 14-17
- ↑ Naruto chapter 586, page 18
- ↑ Naruto chapter 587, page 6
- ↑ Naruto: Shippūden episode 337
- ↑ Naruto chapter 587, pages 3-6