Amaterasu is the Japanese Shinto Goddess of the Sun and Universe. Her full name is Amaterasu-O-Mi-Kami. It’s meaning is “August Person Who Makes The Heavens Shine”. She is also considered to be the Goddess of the Universe and appears in the two earliest written records for Japanese for mythology. She is a major Shinto Goddess. She and her attendants weave the fabric of the universe. All Japanese emperors are considered to be her descendants.
Her parents are Izanagi and Izanami who are the Japanese primordial deities. She was born from Izanagi’s left eye. Her brother Tsukiyomi, who is the God of the Moon, was born of his right eye. She has another brother, Susano-Wo, who had been banished by their father. Her children are Ame-no-oshihomimi, Ame-no-hohi, Amatsuhikone, Ikutsuhikone, Kumanokusubi, Takiribime. Tagitsuhikusubi and Ichikishimahime.
When Susano-Wo was banished by their father, he went to his sister’s kingdom to challenge her to see who is the most powerful by producing the most male gods. Amaterasu produced three daughters with her brother’s sword. Susano-Wo produced five sons with his sister’s beads. Amaterasu decided that she was the victor because her beads were used to produce the males. Susano-Wo decided he was the winner and wreaked havoc on Earth. Amaterasu hid in a cave when Susano-Wo defiled her home and killed one of her attendants.
Amaterasu was adamant about staying hidden. When she hid, the light was taken from the world allowing evil Gods to carry on without fear. The good Gods beseeches Amaterasu to come out and she refuses. The Gods and Goddesses came up with a plan to lure her out. They got a rooster that crows with the coming dawn and mirrors to reflect her light. When the cock started crowing Ame-No-Uzume, the Goddess of laughter, danced until her clothes flung off and the surrounding deities laughed. Amaterasu, curious, came to the mouth of the cave. She saw her reflection in the mirror and was lured of the cave by her own beauty.
Amaterasu is a beautiful Goddess and I enjoyed learning about her. Are you enjoying this series? Are there any specific ones you want to see? If so, let me know in the comments below. Til next week…