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Do not be afraid to shine.

Amaterasu is the Japanese sun Goddess and supreme Deity of the Shinto faith. Through Her descendent Ninigi, who married Konohana, or Sengen, She is the foremother of the Imperial family. Her name means "Great Shining Goddess of Heaven", and She is the daughter of Izanami and Izanagi, the divine couple who created the lands. Her double shrine at Ise is rebuilt every twenty years, using one of the two identical buildings as a model. Thus the form of Her temple has remained consistent for two thousand years.

Like other solar Deities such as Apollo, Amaterasu is an archer, Her quiver holding one thousand arrows. She is also a weaver who makes the garments of the Gods.

Amaterasu's impetuous, loud, and altogether boorish younger brother Susano-o made it a habit to undo all Her good deeds, and in frustration and fear, She shut herself inside a cave and refused to come out. The other Gods could not bear to be without Her light, and finally enticed Her out by holding a raucous party outside the cave entrance, the highlight of which was the Goddess Uzume performing a divine striptease. Her curiosity piqued by the Gods' roaring laughter, Amaterasu looked out and saw Her own reflection in an octagonal mirror placed there. Fascinated by Her own nearly forgotten beauty, She came out of the cave a little, which was shut fast behind Her.

Amaterasu is associated with royal power, and returning life and joy after dark times, as the sun becomes stronger and warmer after the winter solstice.

Alternate names: Ama-terasu-o-mi-kami



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