Amaterasu – The Sun Goddess

Amaterasu - The Sun Goddess

In Japan, Buddhism is the faith that people mostly follow now. But in ancient times people believed in Shinto and it still remains a significant part of the spiritual society in Japan. Amaterasu was the sun goddess of the Shinto religion. It is also believed that Jimmu, the first ruler of  Japan was the grandson of Amaterasu.

Amaterasu was the owner of a heavenly garden. Her presence brought happiness everywhere. Flowers blossomed, and birds chirped happily. Her younger brother, Susanoo was a storm deity. He was also very mischievous. He always troubled her. One day when she was away he blew unusually strong winds in her garden. All the trees fell,  and the garden was a mess.

This made Amaterasu so sad that she locked herself in a cave behind a thick, heavy rock door. Japan was plunged into darkness. Weeks passed without the sun,  and the world became sad, sick and depressed.

The other gods had no choice but to  try to bring her back. They decided to trick her. They started to rejoice outside Amaterasu’s cave. They danced, laughed, played loud music to lure her out of her cave. A huge mirror was hung on a tree outside of the cave.

Hearing all the noise, Amaterasu came out and asked why the gods seemed to be so happy. They simply told her that there is a new sun goddess, and that is why they are celebrating. Amaterasu was now curious to see who the new deity was, and so she stepped out of her cave.  The mirror caught her attention, and she walked towards it. Without  realizing that it was her own reflection, she assumed that she was looking at the new goddess. As she stepped forward to get closer to the new goddess, she was caught by one god and the cave was blocked by another. Amaterasu’s presence once again illuminated the fields and life returned to Japan’s land.

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