22 Facts About Amaterasu


Amaterasu, known as Amaterasu Omikami or Ohirume no Muchi no Kami, is the goddess of the sun in Japanese mythology.

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Name 'Amaterasu Omikami' has been translated into English in different ways.

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One of the variant legends in the Shoki relates that Amaterasu ordered her brother Tsukuyomi to go down to the terrestrial world and visit the goddess Ukemochi.

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Amaterasu then sent another god, Ame-no-Kumahito, who found various food-crops and animals emerging from Ukemochi's corpse.

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Amaterasu had the grains collected and sown for humanity's use and, putting the silkworms in her mouth, reeled thread from them.

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Five gods and three goddesses were born as a result; Amaterasu adopted the males as her sons and gave the females – later known as the three Munakata goddesses – to Susanoo.

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One of Amaterasu's weaving maidens was alarmed and struck her genitals against a weaving shuttle, killing her.

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Amaterasu's therefore was enraged, and straightway took up her abode in the Rock-cave of Heaven, and fastened its Rock-door.

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Inside the cave, Amaterasu is surprised that the gods should show such mirth in her absence.

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Curious, Amaterasu slid the boulder blocking the cave's entrance and peeked out, at which Ame-no-Koyane and Futodama brought out the mirror and held it before her.

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Amaterasu ordered Ame-no-Oshihomimi, the firstborn of the five male children born during her contest with Susanoo, to go down to earth and establish his rule over it.

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At the advice of Omoikane and the other deities, Amaterasu then dispatched another of her five sons, Ame no Hohi.

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Amaterasu again demurred and suggested that his son Ninigi be sent instead.

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Amaterasu thus bequeathed to Ninigi Kusanagi, the sword Susanoo gave her, along with the two items used to lure her out of the Ame-no-Iwayato: the mirror Yata-no-Kagami and the jewel Yasakani no Magatama.

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Takamimusubi or Amaterasu then told Iwarebiko in a dream that the giant crow Yatagarasu would be sent to guide them in their way.

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Amaterasu then established his palace-capital at Kashihara and ruled therein.

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When Jingu returned victorious to Japan, she enshrined the deities in places of their own choosing; Amaterasu, warning Jingu not to take her aramitama along to the capital, instructed her to install it in Hirota, the harbor where the empress disembarked.

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Amaterasu has 5 sons Ame-no-oshihomimi, Ame no Hohi, Amatsuhikone, Ikutsuhikone, and Kumanokusubi.

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Amaterasu can be considered a goddess of the wind and typhoons alongside her brother, and even possibly death.

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In contrast, Amaterasu, while enshrined at other locations, can be seen as the goddess that represents Japan and its ethnicity.

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Amaterasu is linked to a snake cult, which is tied to the theory that the initial gender of the goddess was male.

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Amaterasu has the highest position among the Shinto deities, there has been debate on her influence and relation to women's positions in early Japanese society.

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