October 4th, 2007 by sabrina

Here’s a more lighthearted story.  It reminds us that we can’t shut ourselves away when things go wrong, and that we have more of an impact on our world than we know.

Amaterasu (pronounced AH-mah-tay-RAH-soo) is the Japanese Shinto sun Goddess, whose name means “she who shines in the heavens”. She is the most important Goddess in the Shinto pantheon, having invented the cultivation of rice, the use of silkworms, and the art of weaving. Her most famous myth involves her brother, Susanoo, God of storms. One day, Susanoo, in a drunken rage, destroyed Amaterasu’s rice fields, palace, and shrines, and killed several of her handmaidens. In her anger, Amaterasu shut herself away in a cave. Without the sun, all life on earth began to wither and die. The Japanese deities gathered outside of her cave and made plans to get her to come out. After setting up a mirror across from the cave, the Goddess Ame-no-Uzume began to dance. When the other Gods began to laugh and cheer, Amaterasu peeked out of her cave to see what was going on. Seeing herself in the mirror for the first time, she was amazed at her own beauty and stood entranced. The Gods persuaded her to remain out of the cave to share her beauty with the world. She consented, and continues to shine on us all.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2007 at 5:52 pm and is filed under Southeast Asian. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 responses about “Amaterasu”

  1. bodhi said:

    I think this might be why I like the ancient greek gods so much. They seem alot more human…”in her anger, she shut herself alone in a cave”? how about, “in her anger, she punched him in the face and then vaporized his butt”? 🙂

  2. sabrina said:

    Personally, I like the vaporizing too, but most of these myths are written by men, so …