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Drawing of the goddess Amaterasu.
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Amaterasu

Amaterasu was the Sun goddess of the oldest Japanese religion called Shinto. When her brother Susanowo treated her badly, she hid in the cave of heaven and closed the entrance with an enormous stone. This made the world dark, and evil spirits came out of their hiding places.

In despair, a conference of the gods decided to trick Amaterasu into coming out by having a party near the cave. They put a big mirror in front of the cave and beautiful jewels on a tree. Uzume, the goddess of laughter, began a dance accompanied by loud music.

Hearing the music and laughter, Amaterasu was so curious that she took a look outside to find out what was going on. She was so fascinated by her own brilliant reflection in the mirror that she came out of the cave. Finally, the light covered and colored the world.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA