Mythology of the Shinto

Creation Story
It is said that Earth and heaven where not yet separated, they were like an “egg”, the thinner and cleaner part (supposedly the shell of the egg) was separated and then created Heaven, then the rest (supposedly the egg’s insides) made Earth.

Creation of the Kami
In the Shinto religion Kami are referred to as Gods or Deity, Kami meaning “higher” or “superior”. The Kami are anything, from rocks to animals (anything relating to nature). The creation of the Kami is explained by two main Kami, Izanagi and his sister Izanami. Izanagi and Izanami descended from heaven through “The Floating Bridge of Heaven” (known as a rainbow), and Izanagi dipped his divine spear into the sea below, the Japanese Islands were then created. Later on, Izanagi and Izanami married and had many children, though Izanami died from giving birth to the God of Fire, Homu-Subi. Izanagi then killed Homi-Subi and went in to Yomi (Land of the Dead), in search of Izanami. As he finds Izanami, she says that he is too late and that she had already eaten the food of the underworld, and can never return. Though Izanagi ignores and goes after her, she is angry at him for looking for her, and chases him out of Yomi. After Izanagi escapes Yomi, he feels unclean and that he must be purified, so he decides to bathe in the sea. It is said that, as he washes his face, he gives birth to Susano-o (God of the Sea and Storms) from his nose; Tsuki-Yomi (God of the Moon) from his right eye; and Amaterasu (Goddess of the Sun) from his left eye. From this, the three major Kami where born.

Amaterasu and Susano-o
Amaterasu is the supreme Kami of the Shinto religion, she is known as the Queen of all Kami. Amaterasu was given the heavens and day, Tsuki-Yomi was given the night and moon, and Susano-o was given the sea and storms. Though Susano-o was jealous and enraged by all of his sister power. So Amaterasu’s response was to shut herself away in the “Heavenly Cave of Darkness”, making matters worse by taking the sunlight from the world and causing all the crops to wither and die. She was then tricked by the other Kami that her reflection in a mirror (mirror is a sacred Shinto symbol) was a more powerful Sun Goddess (some believe this was an eclipse), so she decided to come out of the cavern. Susano-o was later banished from heaven and all was good.

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