Ama no Iwato

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Ama no Iwato
Ama no Iwato.

Ama no Iwato

Ama no Iwato (天岩戸, Sacred Rock Cave) is a sacred and important cave in Shinto mythology.

This rock cave surrounds the story of Amaterasu and Susano-o after he scares her causing her to flee into the rock cave.123 Due to Amaterasu hiding here, the sun disappeared from Heaven and Earth casting everything into eternal darkness. The multitudes of kami gather at the entrance to the cave and in the end Ameno Uzume performs a lewd dance to trick Amaterasu to peering out of the rock cave in wonder. The kami Amenotajikarao then grabs and her and pulls her from the cave, bringing the sun back into Heaven and Earth.12

The cave acts as a way to represents the death of the sun and its resurection in winter solstice and solar eclipses.1


1. Yasumaro. O, translated by Gustav Heldt. (2014) “Kojiki. An Account of Ancient Matters”. New York: Columbia University Press.
2. Aston. W.G. (1896) “Nihongi Volume 1: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD697″. Tuttle Publishing.
3. Kodansha. (1993) ”Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia”. Tokyo: Kodansha Ltd.

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