Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Story/Myth of Japanese Sun Goddess

The eight islands of Japan were the children of the first gods. After the creation of the islands Ama-Terasu came into being and she was the leader of the gods. Ama-Terasu is the sun goddess. She became the sun goddess because of her kind generous thoughts. She was born from the left eye of her father and she has two brothers-- Sosa-no-wo the Storm god and the Moon god (which has no name and was ill tempered).

One day Sosa-no-wo the other wicked brother of Ama-Terasu was told to go to the lower world where it is cold and black unlike the shining kingdom of Ama-terasu's. Sosa-no-wo decided to go and visit his sister in the shining kingdom before going to the lower world where his kingdom lies. Ama-terasu knew that her brother was coming by the roaring sounds. She thought that he was going to try and take her shining kingdom away so she put on the weapons to fight. 100s of arrows carried on her back two swords stuck through her belt and an arrow and a sword in her hands.

Soon Sosa-no-wo came carrying nothing like a weapon and politely he said "High sister I came to visit you before I go to the lower world where I'm supposed to go." Ama-terasu was ashamed of her self thinking that her brother was trying to take her kingdom away. Then Sosa-no-wo continued "And would you be kind enough to let me stay at your kingdom?"

Ama-terasu took her weapons off and made Sosa-no-wo feel welcome. She even gave him 3 rice fields to plant the seeds.But Sosa-no-wo stayed longer in the heavens than he said and did unpleasant things like make rude remarks of the other gods and just to be mean he stamped around in the clouds to make thunder and turning sky gray. He was lazy too. He never took care of his fields and the fields where often drowned by flooding.And each day he got jealous of his sister's shining kingdom and the healthy rich harvests. And soon Sosa-no-wo let out a mighty roar in a tantrum and did awful things. Ama terasun was very upset about her brother when she saw this and said "I have been so kind to him and now see what he repays me with but I must stay nice and calm to show example to the other gods."Sosa-no-wo kept on causing problems and one day he let some of the spotted colts from the heavens into the rice fields where they galloped around and ruined the crops. When the gods came to celebrate the spring fruit harvest, he'd spoiled the feast by creating a mess.Still each time Ama-terasu held her temper and forgave her brother. She waited for her brother's visit to end and for him to go to his kingdom in the lower world. But there was no sign of him leaving.

One day Ama-terasu was weaving her golden cloth of the gods when she suddenly heard a noise from above. Sosa-no-wo was making a hole by removing the tiles from the roof. And before she could notice what was happening Sosa-no-wo pushed one of the spotted goats through the hole. Ama-terasu jumped from the spinning wheel and pricked her finger on the spindle. This time she could not forgive her brother and she ran out of the palace in to the cave of heaven and locked herself in.

Without the Sun goddess darkness fell over the heavens and only the Moon goddess and the Storm goddess enjoyed the darkness. The crops were starting to die because they can not grow without sunlight.All the gods met at the banks of the peaceful heaven lake. they decided to get the cloud spirit to talk to her. But Ama-terasu didn't respond and they now decided to show how much they love her by praying and begging. She thought that they had a new god and felt very sad but then she noticed that they where praying to her. She was very confused about this and peeked out. She saw a reflection of her but she thought that they really had a new Sun goddess and when she was just going to return to her cave, all the gods cheered. Ama-terasu was so confused and stepped out to see what the shining thing can be which she thought it was a new Sun goddess.She slowly crept out of her cave and soon as she did the Goddesses threw a sacred rope of rice straws because they knew that she would not step over the sacred rope. Ama-terasu stepped closer and closer when suddenly she noticed that the new goddess was only her reflection and laughed. Then she swept open her arms and let the light come back again to earth and heaven.

A great feast was held for Ama-terasu for her coming back. 

The Emperor of Japan is supposed to be a direct descendant of Ama-terasu, and that is why the people of Japan regarded him as a semi-god.

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