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Here we tell one of the more interesting stories of this great beauty that involve her petulant and mischievous brother, Susanoo, a defiled crafting room, a goddess in hiding, 800 plotting gods, more roosters than Colonel Saunders would know what to do with, a partial strip tease and a clever trick.

Susanoo must have been going through his teenager years in this story, because he was out of control, messing with the rice fields, and his sister’s home. Amaterasu had finally had enough when he decided to throw a flayed horse into her weaving hall. Apparently she took her craft pretty seriously, so she decided to hide in a cave.

This of course presented a problem. I did mention that Amaterasu was the Shinto sun god. Things got pretty dark at this point in the story, with the world being plunged into darkness and all. This was such a big problem that 800 myriads of gods got together to sort out a solution to coax Amaterasu out of the cave.

raku vase
Amaterasu – Raku Pottery Vase

Can you imagine 800 myriads of gods searching for roosters? The gods assembled all the cocks they could find in front of the cave and propped up a mirror and some jewelry in front of the cave. Another goddess, Amenouzume wanted to get the crowd of gods going, so she turned over a tub to act as her impromptu stage, partially disrobed and started dancing.

The gods were delighted to see the show and were laughing and having a good time, and Amaterasu was puzzled as to how everyone could be so happy while the world was in darkness.

To complete their plan, the gods told Amaterasu that there was a god more illustrious and beautiful than she was outside of the cave. Both shocked and curious, she peaked outside of the cave and is if on cue, all those roosters started to crow, and then she saw her reflection in the mirror and was thus lured out of the cave.


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