Drawing of the goddess Amaterasu.
Click on image for full size
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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