The Mirror of the Sun Goddess (Fairy Tale)

Amaterasu, the luminous sun goddess, and Susanoo, the capricious sea god, define the celestial drama that influences both the heavens and the earth. This tale weaves the mythology of creation with the enduring struggles of sibling rivalry and redemption

Mary F. Nixon-Roulet
The Mirror of the Sun Goddess (Fairy Tale)

This image was created with the assistance of DALL·E  and Canva.com

Many, many years ago, when the gods reigned in high heaven, the country of Nippon rose from the waters. Izanagi and Izananu, standing upon the floating bridge of heaven, thrust down a glittering blade. They probed the blue ocean and the drops from the sword’s point hardened and became islands; and thus was created the “Land of Many Blades,” the isles of Nippon.

Now Izanagi and Izananu were the highest of the gods of heaven, and they had two children, Amaterasu and Susanoo. Susanoo was made god of the sea, and his sister was the bright and beautiful sun goddess, whose name meant Great Goddess of the Shining Heaven.

She reigned happily from her bright golden throne for many years, but Susanoo, like many other brothers, was a tease, and he made his sister very angry with some of his tricks. She was quite patient with him, as elder sisters should be, but at last there came a time when she could no longer stand his naughty ways.

Amaterasu sent Susanoo one day upon an errand, for she wished him to find a goddess named Uke-mochi, who lived in the reedy moors. When Susanoo found her he was tired and hungry, and so he asked her for food. Uke-mochi took food from her mouth to give him and this made him very angry. “Why feed me with foul things? You shall not live!” he cried; and, drawing his sword, he struck her dead.

When he went home and told Amaterasu what he had done, his sister was in a great rage and left her brother in total darkness. She fled to the cave of Ameno and closed the entrance with a huge rock. Then was all the earth dark, for the sun goddess no longer shed her light upon men. So terrible was it upon earth that at last the other gods met together near the cave, to consult and see what could be done.

They tried in every way to persuade Amaterasu to come forth, but she sulked like a naughty child and would not shine upon them. At last they thought of a plan to entice the goddess from her cavern by means of an image of herself. So a mirror was made, very large and fine. It was hung upon a tree, just before the door of the cave, and a strong hempen cord was put in the hands of a god who hid himself beside the door.

A number of cocks were started to crowing, and the lovely goddess Uzumé began to dance to music from a bamboo tube. The gods kept time by striking two pieces of wood together, and one of them played a harp made by placing six of their bows together with the strings upward and drawing grass and rushes across them. Great bonfires were lighted, and a huge drum was brought for Uzumé to dance upon. This she did with so much spirit and grace that all the gods were delighted. They laughed with joy, clapped their hands, and fairly shook high heaven with their merriment.

Amaterasu heard the noise and could not understand it. She was annoyed because the gods seemed to be having such a good time without her. She had thought that they could not possibly get along unless she let the light of her face shine upon them. She was naturally very curious to find out what it was all about. So she pushed open the door of her cave, just a little bit, and peeped out. There, by the light of the bonfires she saw Uzumé’s graceful dancing, and heard her sing,

sun goddess

This image was created with the assistance of DALL·E and Canva.com

   “Hito futa miyo 
    Itsu muyu nana 
    Ya koko no tari.”
[1]

“Why does Uzumé dance and why do the gods laugh? I thought both heaven and earth would be sad without me”, said Amaterasu crossly.

“Oh, no,” laughed Uzumé. “We rejoice because we have here a deity who far surpasses you in beauty.”

“Where?” demanded the sun goddess indignantly. “Let me see her!” and as she spoke she caught sight of her own reflection in the mirror.

She had never seen such a thing before and was greatly astonished. She stepped outside her cave to see more plainly this radiant rival, when lo! the god who was waiting, seized her and drew her forth, quickly passing the rope across the cave door to prevent her return. Thus was the sun goddess restored to earth.

[1] “Gods! behold the carven door, 
Majesty appears! Rejoice! 
Our hearts are fully satisfied!” 

This story is part of "Japanese Folk Stories and Fairy Tales" by Mary F. Nixon-Roulet. Read all the stories from this enchanting collection HERE!

โœโœโœ

The story you've just experienced is a work of fiction, a creation of the imagination meant to entertain, provoke thought, and inspire. From the heart-fluttering highs of love stories to the spine-tingling chills of horror, these stories are unbound by the mundane. Whether you're in the mood for a quick escape or a deep dive into fantastical realms, explore the place where imagination echoes beyond the ordinary - Echoes of Imagination!

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