Amaterasu is in Shintoism, the goddess of the sun. According to legend, all Japanese emperors have as ancestor. It would introduce rice, wheat and silkworms. It appears on the Japanese flag in the guise of the solar disc, whether or not its rays.

It is sometimes attached to his name qualifier okami or omikami meaning "great goddess."

The Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki evoke this goddess.

She was born the left eye of his father, Izanagi, when it was purified by ablution after his return from the land of the dead. Izanagi ordered him to lead the Takamanohara, kingdom of heaven.

Amaterasu and his brother Susanoo, kami of the sea and wind, were rivals. Thus, when he visited, there was a long struggle, after which he enferma Amaterasu in a cave ( "Amano-Iwato"), hiding at the same time the sun for a long period. According to another version, angry, it shuts himself itself. As a punishment, banished Amaterasu Susanoo the kingdom of heaven. To redeem themselves with his sister, Susanoo offered him thereafter sword Kusanagi no tsurugi.

Links of the goddess with the imperial family
According to the Kojiki, Amaterasu ordered her grand-son Ninigi down on Earth and the government. To this end, she confided in addition to the sword that she had received from her brother, the mirror Yata no kagami, and the jewel Yasakani no magata. These three items became sacred insignia of the imperial family and were then sent to Jimmu, the first emperor, son of small-and Ninigi ancestor of all Japanese emperors.

From the Meiji Restoration until the end of World War II, the emperor was therefore regarded as a living god whose cult was for this reason a national affair. In the twentieth century, the descent was one of the foundations of the expansionism of Japan and Showa Koshitsu Shinto. In December 1945, the Supreme Allied Commander, however, promulgated a directive establishing the separation of religion and state and abolishing the subsidy places of worship. In his Proclamation imperial New Year 1946, issued at the request of the occupying forces, Emperor Showa said that the belief he was a god in human form (akitsumikami) was incorrect, without renouncing his divine descent .

Since ancient times, the imperial princesses who were not married became priestesses of the temple of Ise, which is dedicated to Amaterasu. During the Second World War the high priestess was one of the sisters of Hirohito. Kazuko Taka, one of the girls was the high priestess from 1974 to 1988. His sister, Atsuko Ikeda, has been replaced since.

Popular culture
* The main character in the video game Okami, Amaterasu is embodied in white wolf.
* In the manga Naruto, Akatsuki's brother Sasuke Uchiha, and a member of the Akatsuki, uses a technique black flames burning everything. This technique is called Amaterasu, the celestial light.

Read also Origami


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