Amaterasu

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Amaterasu (天照?), Amaterasu-ōmikami (天照大神/天照大御神?) or Ōhiru-menomuchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神?) is a sun goddess and one of the principal Shinto deities ( kami?). The meaning of her name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great august kami who shines in the heaven".[1] She was born from the left eye of Izanagi as he purified himself in a river and went on to become the ruler of the Higher Celestial Plain (Takamagahara).

She is also said to be directly linked in lineage to the Imperial Household of Japan and the Emperor, who are considered descendants of the kami themselves.

Contents

History

Difference between Kojiki and Nihon Shoki

In Kojiki, Amaterasu was born after Izanagi-no-Mikoto failed to retrieve Izanami-no-Mikoto from Yomi. However, in the Nihon Shoki, Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, who was still alive, together decided to create the supreme deity to reign over the world, and gave birth to Amaterasu.

The episode of sending her grandson to Ashihara no Nakatsukuni (Japan) is also different in two myths. In Kojiki, Amaterasu Omikami commanded her son to rule over the earth, but he refused, saying that earth was too filled with chaos. Amaterasu then sent Ame-no-hohi in his place. After three years of hearing no word from him, Amaterasu's grandson, Ninigi-no-mikoto, took over control of the earth. On the other hand, the main article of Nihon Shoki records the myth that it was Takamimusubi-no-Kami who took control of the event and sent his maternal grandson Ninigi to Japan. The role of Amaterasu Omikami is ambiguous in the episode.

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