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, or is a part of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. The name Amaterasu derived from Amateru meaning "shining in heaven." The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great august kami (god) who shines in the heaven". The Emperor of Japan is said to be a direct descendant of Amaterasu.
Amaterasu was born from Izanagi-no-Mikoto while he was purifying himself after entering Yomi, the underworld, failing to save Izanami-no-Mikoto. As he purified himself, gods began to form from his body. From Izanagi's face, the most important gods fell, including Amaterasu who came from his left eye. She became the ruler of the sun and the heavens along with her brother, Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon and ruler of the night.
Originally, Amaterasu shared the sky with Tsukuyomi, her husband and brother until he killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi. She offered him food that she pulled "food from rectum, nose, and mouth" (Roberts 110) . Disgusted, Tsukuyomi killed her upsetting Amaterasu. Labeling Tsukuyomi as an evil god, she split away from him separating night from day.
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