Ame-no-Uzume

May 22nd, 2008 by sabrina

Ame-no-Uzume is the Japanese Goddess of merrymaking and dance. She is the one who lured the sun Goddess Amaterasu to come out of her self-imposed exile in a cave, returning sunlight to the world. She overturned a washtub and began to dance on it, to the delight of the surrounding Gods and Goddesses. Their laughter at her antics made Amaterasu curious enough to step out of her cave. Ame-no-Uzume’s dances have been carried down to modern times as the kagura.

Ame-no-Uzume also accompanied Amaterasu’s grandson Ninigi to earth, where he was to become the first emperor of Japan. When he was about to descend, a large monster appeared in his path, so Ninigi sent the fearless Ame-no-Uzume ahead to investigate. She approached the monster with bare breasts and a mocking laugh, asking who he was to stand in Ninigi’s way. He turned out to be Saruta-Hiko, God of the crossroads, and he was only there to welcome Ninigi. Ame-no-Uzume eventually married Saruta-Hiko.

Ame-no-Uzume’s name means “whirling heavenly woman” and is also seen as Uzume, Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, and Ame-no-Uzume-no-Kami. Epithets for her include The Great Persuader, Terrible Female of Heaven, Daughter of Heaven, Heaven’s Forthright Female, and The Heavenly Alarming Female.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 at 12:33 am 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.

1 response about “Ame-no-Uzume”

  1. ermingarde said:

    Images of Uzume, especially statuary, are quite hard to find. Is anyone able to particularly recommend a website–seen any statues of her anywhere? Thanks!