Post by Lady Anastasia on May 17, 2007 16:18:19 GMT -5
Amaterasu was born from Izanagi
Izanami died after giving birth to the kami of fire. Izanagi journeyed to Hades to find her. Finding her decayed body crawling with maggots he fled in horror back to the land of the living. To purify himself he entered a body of water and when he washed his left eye there came into existence the Sun Goddess, the Great Kami Amaterasu; and when he washed his right eye Tsukiyom the Moon Kami, emerged. After years of struggle the Japanese people were waring against each other and the Sun Goddess sent her grandson, Ninigi, to become the first emperor of Japan. Shinto is unique among the religions of the world in representing the Supreme Being as feminine in gender.
Amaterasu (Ama Terasu, Omikami, Shinmei, Ten-sho-Ko-Daijan, O-Hiru-Me-No-Muchi), was a highly revered Japanese Shinto sun goddess. The daughter of the Creator god Izanagi and goddess Izanami, Amaterasu was known as "She Who Shines in the Heavens", "Illustrious Goddess" and "Ruler of the Plain of Heaven", and the Japanese Imperial family was descended from her. Written about in the Kojiki and Nihongi Japanese Sacred Texts, she has been revered since at least 600 A.C.E. The principal Kami of Shintoism, Amaterasu has been depicted in artistic paintings and sculptures.
Honored at every family shrine, her primary Sacred Site is the Ise Naiku Shrine, where the body of Amaterasu is represented by a mirror. Located at Ise-Jingue on Ise on the island of Honshu, the Naiku Shrine is pulled down every twenty years and then rebuilt in its original form.
The tutelary goddess of the Emperor, Amaterasu created rice fields called "inada" where she cultivated rice. She also taught the people how to cultivate wheat and silkworms, as well as, how to weave with a loom. Amaterasu has reunited and reestablished her partnership with her brother/husband god Susanowa and regularly spends some time with him at his Sacred Site at Keino Matsubara, Awajishima. For more updated current information about her, please see the Hierarchs of Twelve Universal Rays article about Amaterasu.
NAME: Amaterasu Omi-kami, Heavenly Illuminating Great August Deity
IMAGE: Said to be the most beautiful woman in all the world or Heaven.
SYMBOLS: Rising sun, eight sided mirror, white face, or "omo-shiroi" which was said to be the first words she spoke on leaving a cave she had been hiding in due to trouble Susano-o had started plunging the world into darkness. It means interesting and was in response to her seeing her own face for the first time in the mirror they used as part of the plain to lure her out of the cave.
HOLY DAYS: 12/22. Tohji-Taisai--Shinto rite honoring Sun Goddess Amaterasu. After Storm God Susano-o angered Her, and She withdrew into a cave until enticed out with music and dance.
HOLY BOOKS: The Kojiki (Chronicles of Ancient Events) and the Nihongi (Chronicles of Japan).
PLACE OF WORSHIP: Temple the one at Ise being the largest.
RELATIVES: Izanagi (father), Tsuki-Yumi no Mikoto, Susano-o no Mikoto (brothers), Ninigi (grandson.)
Amaterasu is the most important divine being in Shintoism and the ruler of all the Kami (higher beings), while there are other Gods and Goddesses who came into being before her, such as Kuni toko tachi no Mikoto the first God, and the Eight Divine Pillars who came after him.
She is the one who it is said to rule the Plain of High Heaven and is the source of all light and life, as well as the Goddess who introduced most agriculture and silk worms to Japan, although female is the starting place for the Yang that comes to Earthly beings.
Not born in the conventional way she and her two brothers came about when Izanagi, the God Who Invites, began to grieve for his wife Izanami, the Goddess Who Invites, who had died giving birth to the God of fire.
Having failed to win her back from Yomi no Kuni, the Land of the Dead, when he was overcome by revulsion on seeing her dead form. Izanagi retuned to the Earth and washed himself to clean away his shame and defilement.
While washing, the water that fell from his left eye became Amaterasu the Goddess of the sun, water falling from this right eye became her brother Tsuki-Yumi the moon, while the belligerent God of storms Susano-o appeared when he blew his nose.
Along with providing life and light to the land, Amaterasu made life better for the people by taking over from goddess of food Uke-mochi, who use to produce the lands bounty by vomiting it out, introducing the growing of millet, beans, rice, and wheat. Which had to make dinner a much more pleasant affair!
Amaterasu could be said to be the very spirit of Japan, so much so that it was once believed that she sent her grandson Ninigi to become Jimmu the first emperor ( 660 B.C.E.), giving him the three imperial regalia; the mirror for brightness and honesty, the sword for strength, resolution and wisdom and the jewels for gentleness and compassion, after him the land was ruled by her though the subsequent emperors within whom she was said to dwell.
Post by Lady Anastasia on May 17, 2007 16:19:35 GMT -5
When you speak of the stories of any Shinto Kami, you find that they are all interwoven with each other... To understand Amaterasu, you also have to read on Susano'o and Uzume...
Susanowa, (Susanoto, Susano, Susano-Wo) was a Shinto wind, storm, weather, and sea god. According to Japanese mythology, he was born from the nose of the Izanagi and represents the both the physical world and the chthonic otherworld. Susanowa was the archetypal shamanic journeyer, spiritual warrior, and vision quester who gained notoriety as a Shinto god who followed the dictates of his own inner voice and heart even if they were at odds with conventional wisdom and the customary ways of the other Kami.
"Conquering Kami", "Powerful Transformative Healer of Illnesses, and "Wielder of the Grass Cutting Sword", he was credited with wiping out the plaque, as well as, defeating enemies and monsters. Portrayed artistically in paintings and sculptures, Susanowa was also mentioned in the Shintoism Nihongi and Kojiki Shintoism texts. The brother of the Shinto moon god Tsuki-Yomi and the sun goddess Amaterasu, Susanowa represented both the physical world and the chthonic otherworld.
Out of primordial necessity, Susanowo initially mated with his sister Amaterasu, but their earlier partnership was short-lived since she was repulsed by his temperamental excesses and sought refuge in a heavenly cave until she was eventually coaxed out by seeing the reflection of her divine purity in a mirror. Grounding his passionate nature in the earthly realm, Susanowa later on fathered offspring that included the harvest god O-Toshi-No-Kami with other consorts. Then after the passage of many years, a more even-tempered, less volatile, and seasoned Susanowa reestablished his partnership with sister/wife Amaterasu. For more updated current information about her, please see the Hierarchs of Twelve Universal Rays article about Susanowa.
Susano'o-no-mikoto, also romanized as Susano-o, Susa-no-o, and Susanowo; in Shinto is the god of the sea and storms.
Susano'o is the brother of Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, and of Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon. All three were spawned from Izanagi, when he washed his face clean of the pollutants of Yomi, the underworld. Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed out his left eye, Tsukuyomi was born from the washing of the right eye, and Susano'o from the washing of the nose.
Susanowo is curiously also known as "Susanowa", although that may be an incorrect transcription of the name. He is infamous for his connotations as the god of evil and serpents and having been thought to cause storms, having dominion over the sea.
Sources tell of long-standing rivalry between Susano'o and his sister. When he was to leave heaven by orders of Izanagi, he went to bid his sister goodbye. Amaterasu, suspicious, proposed a challenge on the spot: each of them was to transform an object of the other's into people. Amaterasu created three women from Susano'o's sword while he created five men from her necklace. Claiming the men were hers because they were born of her necklace, Susano'o destroyed her rice fields, hurled a flayed pony at her loom, and killed one of her attendants in a fit of rage. Amaterasu, in fury and grief, hid inside Ame-no-Iwata, the "heavenly rock cave", thus effectively hiding the sun for a long period of time.
Though she was persuaded to leave the cave, Susano'o was punished by being banished from heaven. He descended to the province of Izumo, where he met an elderly couple. Seven of their eight daughters had been devoured by the eight-headed serpent Yamata-no-Orochi and it was about to come for the eighth, Kushinada-hime. After the couple promised their daughter's hand in marriage to Susano'o, he agreed to slay Orochi. With the aid of eight bowls of sake (one for each head), Susano'o decapitated the monster once it had fallen asleep.
From one of Orochi's tails, Susano'o pulled out a sword, which he named Ame-no-murakumo-no-tsurugi ("Heaven's Cloud-Gathering Sword"), later known as the Kusanagi. The sword was presented to Amaterasu as a reconciliation gift and was later given to her descendant Ninigi along with the Yata-no-Kagami (a mirror) and magatama (sacred jewels) as proof of his divine right to rule.
The Japanese Shinto goddess of joy and happiness, called the Daughter of Heaven and Heaven's Forthright Female. Her name means "whirling". She is also the goddess of good health, which people obtain from drinking the blessed water of her stream. When the sun goddess Amaterasu had hidden herself in a cave, thus covering the earth in darkness and infertility, it was Uzume who brought her back. With her provoking and curlew dances she managed to make the gods laugh so hard, that Amaterasu left the cave intrigued. Her emerging brought light and life back to earth. Her brother Ninigi married Uzume to the deity who guards the Floating Bridge to Heaven.
The dances of Uzume (Ama-no-uzume) are found in folk rites, such as the one to wake the dead, the Kagura (dance-mime), and another one which symbolizes the planting of seeds.
Even a God Finds It Hard to Love and Be Wise At The Same Time
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