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System Lord Amaterasu

Earth Culture of Origin

Japan, Shinto

Alternate Names / Spellings

Presides Over

The sun and the heavenly fields of rice.

Personal Symbols

Earth Mythological References

Amaterasu, the powerful sun goddess of Japan, is the most well-known deity of Japanese mythology. She was created from the left eye of the deity Izanagi, during a bathing purification following his escape from the dark realm of Yomi. From his right eye came the incarnation of the moon (Tukuyomi) and from his nose came the incarnation of wind or storm (Susanowo). The world was then divided among the three with Amaterasu Amaterasu inheriting the heavens, Tsukiyomi taking control of the night and moon, and the storm god Susanowo owning the seas.

Amaterasu brother, Susanawo, was troublesome and uncontrollable. One story tells of Susanowo's banishment to Yomi by Izanagi. Susanowo grudgingly acquiesced but had unfinished business to attend to first. He went to Takamanohara (heaven) to bid farewell to his sister, Amaterasu. Amaterasu knew her unpredictable brother did not have any good intentions in mind and prepared for battle. "What purpose do you come here for?" asked Amaterasu. "To say farewell," answered Susanowo.

But she did not believe his word and requested a contest for proof of his good faith. A challenge was set as to who would bring forth the more noble divine child. Amaterasu made three women from Susanowo's sword, while Susanowo made five men from Amaterasu's ornament chain. Amaterasu claimed the title to the five men made from her belongings. Therefore, the three women were attributed to Susanowo.

Suffice to say, both gods declared they were victors. Amaterasu's insistence in her claim drove Susanowo to violent campaigns that reached its climax when he hurled a half-flayed pony--an animal sacred to Amaterasu--into Amaterasu's weaving hall causing the death of one of her attendants. Amaterasu fled and hid into the cave called the Iwayado. As the incarnation of the sun disappeared into the cave, darkness covered the world.

All the gods and goddesses in turn tried to coax Amaterasu out of the cave, but she refused them all. Finally, the kami of merriment, Ama-no-Uzume, hatched a plan. She placed a large bronze mirror on a tree, facing Amaterasu's cave. Then Uzume clothed herself in flowers and leaves and overturned a washtub, and began to dance on it, drumming the tub with her feet. Finally, Uzume shed the leaves and flowers and danced naked. All the male gods roared with laughter, and Amaterasu became curious. When she peeked outside from her long stay in the dark, a ray of light called "dawn" escaped and Amaterasu was dazzled by her own reflection in the mirror. The god Ameno-Tajikarawo pulled her from the cave and it was sealed with a holy shirukume rope. Surrounded by the merriment, Amaterasu's depression disappeared and she agreed to return her light to the world. Uzume was from then on known as the kami of dawn as well as mirth.

Stargate References

Amaterasu makes her first appearance as part of a Goa'uld delegation, including Lord Yu and Camulus. They are seeking an alliance with the Tau'ri against Baal who has seized control of Anubis' base and Kull Warriors following Anubis' defeat and has gained a great deal of power.

Clearly seeking the weapon used to defeat Anubis for themselves, the Goa'uld try to bluff and threaten their way into securing Dr. Weir and the SGC's cooperation. Thanks to Daniel's counsel, however, there is not much Amaterasu or her companions can do to persuade the Tau'ri to ally themselves with these double-dealing snakes.

While Camulus seeks and is granted asylum with the Tau'ri, Amaterasu and Lord Yu leave empty-handed.


Related Characters

Related Articles

Further Reading

Work in Progress


--DeeKayP 18:09, 10 Jul 2004 (PDT)