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Amaterasu is the supreme deity of the Japanese religion of Shintoism and the legendary ancestor of Japans imperial family The full name of this deity is Amaterasu Omikami This means in Japanese the Great Spirit Illuminating the Heavens In the two earliest scriptures of the history of Shintoism Amaterasus origin differs These two scriptures are the Nihon shoki and the Kojiki Nihon shoki states that she was the child of Izanagi and Izanami the first Shinto gods The Kojiki states that Amaterasu was born from Izanagis left eye Izanagis ritually washed his eye after going to hell and that is when she was born She was sent to rule the heavens One day Amaterasu briefly hid herself in a cave when offended by her brother Susano-os scandalous behavior When she hid the universe became dark and chaos broke out The other gods new that the world would seize to exist if she didnt come back so the lured her out by offering her a festive dance and a bronze mirror When she arrived at the dance she saw her reflection in the mirror To fix all the problems that were going on from the darkness and chaos she sent her grandson to better Japan Amaterasu gave her grandson the sacred mirror a sword and a jewel These items became imperial symbols His great-grandson Jimmu in 660 BC became the first emperor of Japan Amaterasus supposed role in founding Japans imperial line served as a major part of the pro-imperial nationalist ideology that fueled Japanese modernization in the Meiji Restoration of 1868 Amaterasus cult centers on the Shinto shrine at Ise on south central Honshu Island She is regarded as the guardian deity of the Japanese nation
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