Out of the Cave and into the Light

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Out of the Cave and into the Light

Some people say they were brother and sister, Susano-O and Amaterasu. Other people say they were meant to be husband and wife. One thing, however, was clear. They rarely agreed on even the smallest thing, and so could never tolerate the presence of the other for very long.

    And yet, despite their many differences, there was a very close bond between them, which brought them together again and again. Here is the story of one such meeting.

   The shining sun Goddess Amaterasu had a brother, Susanoo, lord of storms and of the sea.

   Susanoo was an uncontrollable man, often given to violence. When he quarreled with his sister, Susanoo lifted up Amaterasu’s beloved pony and threw it at Amaterasu and her priestesses.

   Amaterasu was so angry that she hid in the cave called Iwayado, and there was no warmth or light upon the Earth.

   The other Kami, or Goddesses and Gods, tried to lure Amaterasu out of her cave, but her anger still burned, and she refused to come out. Ame-no-Uzume, the Kami of joy, knew what to do. She placed a mirror near the entrance of the cave. Then, she did a bawdy dance, which made all of the other Kami roar with laughter. Amaterasu was still angry at her brother, the Kami of the stormy sea, but she wanted to know what made everyone laugh. She crept to the edge of the cave and peeked out at Ame-no-Uzume and, angry as she was, Amaterasu had to laugh. In that moment, a ray of her sunlight escaped from the dark cave and reflected in the mirror. Amaterasu saw her own lovely face and could no longer remain angry. She returned to the world, bringing sunlight and warmth.

May the Japanese people be soon back under Amaterasu’s warm glowing light.

h/t Hecate


    • TMC on March 13, 2011 at 3:14 am
    • Edger on March 13, 2011 at 3:24 am

    …can be pronounced either Nihon or Nippon.

    Both Nippon and Nihon literally mean “the sun’s origin”, that is, where the sun originates, and are often translated as the Land of the Rising Sun.

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