The Importance of Amaterasu
Following the American Psychological Associations Guideline’s
Amaterasu is a very important figure in Japanese lore. According to Shinto belief she is a direct line of the Imperial family. Many religions have an origin story, a story that accounts for where everything originated. The Japanese origin story is no different. The Kojiki is the oldest written stories in Japanese History. From this we will begin our Journey.
Inside the Kojiki it holds stories about the Gods, how they came into existence and may other stories. One of the most important Gods in Japanese culture is Amaterasu. Amaterasu is a Kami or “God” of the Shinto religion. She is the Goddess of the Sun, and daughter of Izanagi. Izanagi “The Male Who Invites” and Izanami “Female Who Invites” were the Gods that were sent to create a world. They then created Japan and all other Gods here. When Izanami gave birth to the Fire God he burned her severely and she didn’t survive the ordeal. Izanagi is said to have killed the infant and from his death many other Gods sprung about from his blood. When Izanagi lost his wife he became saddened and enraged. He sulked until he decided to bring his wife back from the dead.
Izanagi then went to the land of the dead or “Yomi” to retrieve Izagani. When he found her she had built a house for herself there. He then persuaded her to leave with him back to the land of the living and she promised to do so as long as he did not look at her. Missing his wife dearly he disobeyed and did so anyway. He see’s that she has become a rotten decaying corpse. Enraged that he had saw her this was she sent the eight Thunder Gods and many others after him. When they failed she went after him herself. Izagani managed to escapes and closed the exit with a boulder. Iazgani then went to cleanse himself after the trip to Yomi. As he purified himself, from his left eye Amaterasu “Heaven Shining Great August Deity”, from his right eye came Tsukuyomi “His