"Copyright Hrana Janto, used by permission of the artist. http://hranajanto.com " Amaterasu Omikami
Great Divinity Illuminating Heaven

Amaterasu is honored as the ruler of all deities, as the guardian of Japan's people, and as the symbol of Japanese cultural unity.  Her emblem, the rising sun, still flies on Japan's flag. 

There is one central myth of Amaterasu.  She quarreled with her brother the storm-god Susano-o and brought winter to the world.  Two reasons are given for her annoyance with him: one, because of his murder of Amaterasu's sister, the food-giving goddess Uke-Mochi; the other, because of his deliberately provocative acts against Amaterasu her self.
  This was too much for the sun goddess.  She left this mad world and shut herself up in a comfortable cave.  Without the sun, the entire world was blanketed with unending blackness.  The eight million gods and goddesses, desperate for their queen's light, gathered to call out pleas that she return.  but in her cave the goddess stayed.
  Uzume, shaman and goddess of merriment, took matters into her hands.  She danced an sang, screaming bawdy remarks until becoming a strip tease.  The gods and goddesses started to shout with delight.
  Amaterasu hearing the noise and commotion opened the door of her cave a crack.  The Gods and Goddesses had placed a mirror outside her cave.  Amaterasu who had not seen her beauty, was dazzled.  While she stood there dazed and delighted.  The other divinities grabbed the door and pulled it open.  The sun returned to warm the winter-weary earth.  Amaterasu punished Susano-o by having his fingernails and toenails pulled out and by throwing him out of her heaven.

"Picture copyright Hrana Janto, used by permission of the artist. http://hranajanto.com "


Miko (Shrine Priestess) Kagura


This page last updated: 03/01/2018