Amaterasu – The Sun Returns

“Shines from heaven”

Amaterasu Ômikami is one of the chief deities in Japanese mythology. The Sun Goddess, she is considered the divine ancestor of the Imperial line, and of many of the other key members of the Shinto pantheon.

The chief deity enshrined at Ise Shrine, Amaterasu Ômikami was the daughter of Izanagi and Izanami, as well as the older sister of Susanoo no Mikoto. She was born from Izanagi’s left eye and ordered to rule Takamanohara (the “plain of high heavens” where the deities are said to reside). Amaterasu then remained in Takamanohara, never truly descending to earth, while her grandson, Ninigi no Mikoto, crossed the Heavenly Bridge Ama-no-ukihashi, and took up residence on earth, bringing with him the Three Imperial Regalia which signal the legitimacy of an emperor’s authority.

One of the most repeated stories featuring Amaterasu involves her hiding herself away in a cave, behind a large rock. As the story goes, when she became angry with a series of violent acts committed by her brother Susanoo, she hid herself inside of a cave (Amano Iwayato), depriving Takamanohara and the earth of sunlight. The great many (yaoyorozu) gods were worried and planned to trick her into coming out. Amaterasu was eventually lured out of the cave by music, dancing (including erotic performances), and general festivities enjoyed by the myriad of other deities. When she opened the cave out of curiosity and jealousy, a deity named Amano Tajikara Onokami pulled her out and blocked up the door, bringing light back to Takamanohara and the earth

Amaterasu is, for some Japanese, the mother goddess of their lands. Shining the solar star over the plains of japan, it brought abundance and fertility to the country. One day, in ancient times, Amaterasu quarreled with his own brother Susanoo, kami (god) of the winds and the sea. A violent struggle ensued, and the goddess, seized with remorse and anger, hid in a cave, depriving her people of the warm, mild rays of the sun . To persuade Amaterasu to leave this cave, the gods organized a banquet in which Uzume, the goddess of the Aube, began a dance.

“Curious to hear so much cries and gaiety, Amaterasu glanced out of the cave. An octagonal mirror (“Yata no Okagami”) forged by Ishikori Dome with a single eye was attached to a neighboring tree. Uzume, who was still dancing, shouted at the cantonade: “May this day be praised, we have at last found a goddess as brilliant as the illustrious Amaterasu, to replace her! “
More and more curious, Amaterasu came out a little more to see what this new goddess could look like to replace it.
Indeed a radiant and luminous goddess stood among the gods and goddesses but she realized a little too late that it was only the reflection of her own image in the mirror. Then Tajikarawo, a god known for his strength, prevented him from returning to the cave and the others begged her not to hide again … “

What is the meaning of all this? Amaterasu is the incarnation of the country, the Kami are the people and the elements that make up their lands, following the struggle against his brother who ravaged a good part of the territory and lest it happens again, the divinity had no other Choice than to lock itself up, so as not to have to reproduce a catastrophe. However, the sun is essential for every being and is symbolic of a resplendent nation facing the adversity and the fatality of a tragic event. This is how they will bring Amaterasu out of his prison forever to warm their hearts and revive their courage …

Gentle strength that can carry the life force of the universe in her hands

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