Miscellaneous Myths: Amaterasu and the Cave


There are a lot of myths about the Sun taking a holiday, for one reason or another and they rarely go well for anybody. Turns out we need the Sun to, you know, live and when it decides to take a vacay, people tend to
object on account of the whole dying thing. One of the more noteworthy examples of this story
comes to us straight from Shintoism With the story about the sun goddess, Amaterasu And her increasingly annoying younger brother,
the storm god Susanoo-no-mikoto Now, we’re off to a good start when Susanoo gets
himself kicked out of heaven before the story even BEGINS. Izanagi, our buddy from the Underworld video,
orders Susanoo to travel to the underworld And Susanoo, not too stoked to be told to go to hell,
decides to visit his sister, Amaterasu, first and spend some time catching her rays
to calm himself down. Now the problem is, Susanoo has earned
a bit of a reputation for trouble. So Amaterasu’s juuust a little suspicious
when he storms on by for a visit. As a show of good faith, Susanoo suggests that they
engage in a friendly duel of god-making. Unfortunately, the winning conditions
are poorly defined, And after creating a total of eight gods, both deities
proudly proclaim themselves to be the winner. In the course of their subsequent
argument, Susanoo loses his temper and throws a flayed pony into Amaterasu’s weaving hall. Yeesh. So the shock of that gratuitous violation of hospitality causes one of Amaterasu’s attendants
to drop dead on the spot, And Amaterasu gives a resounding “screw it”
and storms off to sulk in a cave. Now obviously, THIS is bad for everybody. Without Amaterasu’s sunlight, the world
starts to wither and die and even worse, demons start leaking out of
the underworld and wreaking havoc. To put it lightly, bad scene for everybody. So the gods decide they HAVE to find a way
to lure Amaterasu out of her cave before things get even worse. Their FIRST plan is to put a whole bunch
of roosters outside of her cave so that Amaterasu will hear the crowing and think,
“Ah, gee! Must be time for sunrise!” Predictably, this plan does not work, and they
presumably fire whatever god came up with it Their next plan is a liiitle more inspired So first off, they set up this mirror outside the cave So that once Amaterasu comes out of the cave,
she’ll see her own reflection, aaaand… Uhh, it’s not, strictly clear why they
thought this would be helpful? Then one of the gods who’s
actually been paying attention goes to get Ame-no-Uzume, the
goddess of fun, partying, and the dawn and suggests that she lures out
Amaterasu with a strip tease I’m not joking, or exaggerating Now as the goddess of fun and partying,
Ame-no-Uzume is more than down to get naked if it means saving the world –
and probably even if it didn’t. So Amaterasu hears all the commotion outside, pops her head out of the cave,
sees the roosters, the mirror, and the enthusiastic naked dawn goddess, and comes out for real! Read into that symbolism as much, or as little, as you want to. So the other gods promptly seal up the cave so Amaterasu can’t pull that stunt again and Amaterasu returns to her regular sun duties Susanoo is subsequently banished from heaven
for causing the whole mess and he wanders the earth for a while
having adventures until he eventually gets back into Amaterasu’s good graces again by
gifting her the legendary sword, Grass-Cutter. Yay (sung) Here comes the sun do do lo do Here comes the sun and I say, it’s alright Little darling it’s been a long lonely winter little darling It feels like years since its been here here comes the sun do do do do here comes the sun and I say, it’s alright little darling their smiles returning to their faces little darling it seems like years since its been here here comes the sun do do do do here comes the sun and I say its alright sun, sun, sun here it comes sun, sun, sun here it comes

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