Amaterasu is the most prominent figure in Japanese religion. She is known as the sun goddess and she was born from her father Izanagi’s left eye. She resides on the sky and has control over life on Earth. Amaterasu resides on a celestial mountain that is located in a mirror-like sea which reflects everything in nature.
Origin and history –
“Nihon Shoki, ” translated into English in 720 CE, records the beginning of Amaterasu. It tells how Izanagi was separated from his brother and sister-in-law when he ventured into the underworld to retrieve his departed wife. While separated from them, it was discovered that Izanami with whom he had married was a death goddess. This caused him to be very concerned about anything that happened to her. Upon leaving, he announced his intention to remain in contact with her hoping that this would restore her former health and beauty.
When Izanagi saw her again, he was horror-struck as she had become very thin and wretched. He blamed himself for her condition and asked her if there was anything that he could do to make the situation better. Izanami answered him by saying that he could never see her again and must return to the upper world. This caused Izanagi to be very unfortunate at this news. He longed for change in his life as he greatly wanted to see his wife once more before departing from this world for good.
When did Amaterasu appear?
It is undeniable that Amaterasu is the sun goddess, however, the exact date of her appearance is not known. According to “The Kojiki, ” Amaterasu is the elder sister of Tsukuyomi and Susanoo. It was said that she had been born when Izanagi washed himself after returning from Yomi, the land of the dead.
Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed his left eye with water from the well of wisdom. This myth states that she was created by her father as a result of his washing off impurity in his eye.
How did she become a God?
Izanagi was born to Izanami and this caused both of them to be very concerned about his safety. They were frightened with the possibility that he could be killed.
Izanagi wanted the best for his son especially with regards to living at a place with strange creatures such as demons, trolls, and ogres. He knew that he could not provide Amaterasu with all these creatures and therefore he built a fire house in which she could reside in safely.
However, after a long time, it was then that he began to question where his daughter was. He wanted to see that she had grown into a healthy and beautiful girl. To do this, he ordered the sun goddess to guide him on his mission.
When he found her, it is said that he was very happy and comforted by her sight. She commanded him not to worry any longer as she has been guarding their house in his absence.
What makes her so special?
Amaterasu is remembered as the most celebrated sun goddess. She has been a subject of many sources of literature and even in recent years, she has been used as a part of Japanese culture such as anime or manga. She is also a leading figure in Japanese religion and therefore remains an important part of their society.
There are many reasons why she is so highly regarded. First, she was born from her father’s left eye which causes her to be very special indeed. She is said to have been a direct descendant of the creator god, Izanagi.
Secondly, she is known as the most honored deity to the Izumo tribe. She was given this title because of her connection with Ama-no-Iwato (Heavenly Rock Cave) in which numerous deities reside.
Amaterasu’s connection with sunlight also makes her more important. Sunlight is a vital element that keeps life on Earth up and running. All animals and plants are dependent on sunlight for survival. Humans use all the sun’s energy during the day and they need it for their well-being. If there is a lack of sun, there will be a shortage in food and other conveniences that life demands.
Moreover, sunlight is considered to be the best source of warmth which some humans also depend on. Amaterasu is believed to have taken this role because she controlled and directed all things in existence from within Heaven, causing everything to appear at once.
What does her connection to light have to do with our power as individuals?
As humankind has grown, so has their dependence on technology. Without electricity, for instance, we would be forced to rely heavily on fire. Her importance in our lives is also seen in the fact that we use sunlight to create light. This is our most basic source of illumination.
Amaterasu is one of the main reasons why there are beautiful and unique things in existence today such as plants and trees which cause us to be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the world around us. She upholds the sun and its radiance as a prominent symbol of illumination.
She is also said to have given humans life. Amaterasu brought forth all kinds of living things especially on Earth. Sunlight is also important because it causes us to live. Without even a shadow of sunlight, humans would not be able to survive at all.
The connection between the sun goddess and power has to do with our dependence on the sun for many things that we need in order to live such as joy, warmth, and comfort.