Myth#6 : Amano Iwato (cave of the solar deity)

After Susanoo’s victory by the Ukei (divination), he started behaving in a violent way and it got more violent day by day.

Now, Amaterasu Omikami became very angry at his behavior and hid herself in the cave called “Amano Iwato”. Takamanohara and land of Japan were in complete darkness. All the deities are at a complete loss and gathered in Amenoyasu River and discussed what to do.

Shunsai Toshimasa, ’Iwato Kagura No Kigen’, c. 1887. From Wikimedia Commons

They conducted a plan offered by Omoikane. They first gathered fowls and let them all crow together. Secondly, they collected hard stones fom upstream of Amenoyasu river and irons from Mt. Kanayama and had Ishikoridome create a mirror called “Yata No Kagami”. Thirdly, they had Tamanooya created a jewel of a magatama (comma-shaped bead) called “Yasakani No Magatama”. At the same time, they call Amenokoyane and Futotama to do a divination with deer bones collected in Mt. Amanokaguyama to seek for the divine will. Furthermore, they dug up a Sakaki wood (evergreen trees where deities are believed to descend.), and hung Yasakani No Magatama (the jewel of a magatama) on its upper branches. On its middle branches, they hung Yata No Kagami (the mirror) and on the lower branches, they hung white and blue cloth made of mulberry bark.

Futotama held up the decorated Sakaki tree in both hands, and Amenokoyane started reciting shinto prayers in front of the cave.
Amenotajikarao stand aside the rock door of .
Amenouzume laid a tub upside down in front of the rock door of the cave and started dancing as being possessed by divine spirits.
As other deities was watching Amenouzume dancing, they laughed loudly and clapped their hands.
As it sounded too lively outside, Amaterasu Omikami wondered and opened a little bit of the rock door. At that moment, Amenotajikarao who was standing aside the rock door throw it away with his full strength and pulled her out. Sooner, Futodama stretched the Shimenawa (sacred border rope) across the entrance of the cave and said to her, “you cannot go back to inside the cave”.
As Amaterasu Omikami came out, the complete darkness was gone and it became quickly bright.