The story of Amano Iwato Shrine and its celestial cave begins with the tale of the divine couple Izanagi-no-kami and Izanami-no-kami who give birth to the Japanese islands and various other kami in the time after heaven and earth become separated.
Their daughter, Amaterasu-Omikami could not bear her brother’s troublemaking and took refuge by hiding herself in a celestial cave. Bereft of Amaterasu-Omikami’s natural brilliance, the celestial and terrestrial world became dark and gloomy, and there was much confusion in the land.
The kami held a matsuri and performed a sacred dance in front of Amaterasu-Omikami’s cave. Intrigued by the merriment, she peeked outside and eventually agreed to return to the world, bringing back her peaceful light that harmony and order might be restored.
(You can read the rest of this article at this link. This article was first published on November 4, 2019, on JAPAN Forward, who aim to reveal the true face of Japan to the English speaking world in areas ranging from politics to sports and pop culture.)
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