Japanese Mythology

The Shinto and Folk Gods of Japan...

AMATERASU

Shinto Sun Goddess

Picture of the Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu from our Japanese mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Central Shinto Sun Goddess

She was born from a tear in Izanagi’s left eye, while Tsukiyomi, the Moon God, was born from his right.

She had to take refuge in a cave following a bit of domestic violence caused by Susano-wo. Her disappearance caused a terrible stoppage of sunlight — far worse than any eclipse dragon eating the sun.

She had to be lured outside her barricaded cave with much tact and diplomacy. This involved tempting her out with a jeweled necklace and a glittery mirror to check out her reflection.

What Goddess can resist a little flattery? Now she is back in the sky and loves to be noticed. At the seashore near the famouse shrine at Futami-At-Ise, she likes to rise between two rocks, one large, one small. These are known as the ‘Wedded Couple Rocks’. Shore-bound pilgrims gather to watch as she rises. And give her a polite round of applause.

Hopefully this kind of attention will stop her diving back into her cave again.

Amaterasu Facts and Figures

Name: Amaterasu
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names:

Gender: Female
Type: Goddess
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: the Sun
Area of expertise: Sun

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 374

Cite this article

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Article last revised on November 19, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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