Finally. Three-and-a-half weeks in Japan and I finally feel completely at peace. Kamidana with Amaterasu-omikami enshrined within. She’s facing east, and the sun sets beautifully over downtown Sasebo behind Her.
About a third of the entire set-up were things I already owned, but even estimating the price of those and adding it in to a grand total, everything was less than $100. Hello, Japan.
Amaterasu Omikami – Japanese Goddess of
the Sun. As ruler of the High Plain of
Heaven, Amaterasu is the central figure of the Shinto pantheon. She is the highest manifestation of the
universe, Her radiance shining its life-giving rays over Her people and the
earth. Her beauty and light is
encompassing, producing fertile fields of rice, wheat, and flowers. Her most
popular and prevalent myth tells of when Amaterasu, overcome with grief, hid Herself
away in a dark cave, causing the world to be plunged into darkness and
despair. Only the mirror reflection of
Her exuberance and glory was powerful enough to draw Her out of hiding. She is the inventor of weaving and spinning,
and is represented by the mirror.
Amaterasu (天照?), Amaterasu-ōmikami (天照大神／天照大御神?) or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神?) 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.
I found this site while I was in Japan. It actually has a very cute, interesting, funny, informational and well done Kojiki manga and tales of Izumo in manga form. My only regret is it isnt longer, but its a great beginners’ resource I wanted to share. Please check it out!
Kami of the Sun, first of the “three noble children” produced by Izanagi, and highest of all kami entrusted with rule over the Plain of High Heaven (Takamanohara).
According to Kojiki, Amaterasu came into being when Izanagi washed his left eye as part of his purification following his visit to the underworld (Yomi). In commissioning Amaterasu to rule the Plain of High Heaven, Izanagi also entrusted her with the jewel necklace called Mikuratana no kami. | X
Kamidana for the New Year! Doors are open at Ami-sama’s request, to help air out all the bad things from the past year. “Treat it as My home away from home,” She says. “I don’t like it when it gets stuffy.”
So quick story: it was super rainy this morning, which bummed me out because I was planning on decorating the Ami-sama’s kamidana and refreshing Her offerings and I like doing that when the sun is out. I go home and start fixing things. As soon as I place the last thing on the shelf (the newly lit incense stick), the sun breaks through the clouds – and these are the photos that came of it. Just some small saturation and cropping; all the light streaks are real!
Amaterasu Omikami – Japanese Goddess of the Sun. As ruler of the High Plain of Heaven, Amaterasu is the central figure of the Shinto pantheon. She is the highest manifestation of the universe, Her radiance shining its life-giving rays over Her people and the earth. Her beauty and light is encompassing, producing fertile fields of rice, wheat, and flowers. Her most popular and prevalent myth tells of when Amaterasu, overcome with grief, hid Herself away in a dark cave, causing the world to be plunged into darkness and despair. Only the mirror reflection of Her exuberance and glory was powerful enough to draw Her out of hiding. She is the inventor of weaving and spinning, and is represented by the mirror.
As a whole, the Royal Family is happy and grateful for whatever food is put in front of them. Because Omikami is the only one of all of them who can actually cook, they are very humble when accepting food that is made for them, and will never complain about a meal.
Amaterasu is very adventurous when it comes to food, and she will happily try anything once, even if it looks/smells unappetizing. Her favourite food is cherry cakes.
Shiranui is much more reserved in his tastes, and will likely turn down more exotic food, but will never turn down a good meal if it is offered to him. His favorite food is sashimi.
Oshi is somewhere between his mother and his uncle on the subject. He will gladly eat whatever is put in front of him, but if he’s unsure of something on his plate he will nibble at it like a child (and because of his physical form, no one will argue with him over it– he does still look like a child after all). His favorite food is nigiri.
Omikami, being the “chef of the family”, is more picky than the others. He will gladly try new things, but prefers the finer side of dining, as opposed to comfort foods. He loves caviar.
So I really love this movie, it’s a part non-fiction part fiction account of old Japan (even though the language is pretty modern, of course) and the Empress/Queen/Shamaness Himiko. I really love this movie.
But beware it is very graphic and has adult themes so it may not be suitable for everyone, and especially not those under 18
So if you’d like to check it out click the title of the movie, the full film is subbed and on Youtube.
make me choose → apollo/artemis or TSUKUYOMI/AMATERASU (asked by hecvte)
the goddess of the sun once sent her husband, the god of the moon, to represent her at a feast hosted by the goddess uke mochi. while the food looked exquisite, tsukuyomi-no-mikoto found its preparation so vile that he killed uke mochi for daring to serve it to him. upon discovering what her husband had done in her name, amaterasu-omikami was furious. she moved evermore to another part of the sky, never again to look upon his face. in such a way was the cycle of night and day begun.
To begin… because Im Konko, it doesnt mean I dont know or dont have any right to talk about Shinto knowledgably. Thats like saying someone who is Jodo Shinshu doesnt know or can talk about Buddhism, it doesnt make any sense.
firstly, I practiced Shinto before Konkokyo. Intimately and seriously. its still part of my faith deeply.
second, Konko is deeply rooted in Shinto, pre war and pre Shrine (Jinja) Shinto. It goes back and connects to the ancient style of worship, though it was founded around the Meiji era.
The reason it split into a sect is because the government in Meiji era wouldnt accept gods outside of the Kojiki to be worshipped. At one time Tenchi Kane no Kami-sama was worshipped as Kanayamahiko-no-mikoto, Omoikane-no-Kami, Susanoo-no-mikoto (even registered as a Susanoo Jinja) or a composite deity of Amaterasu Omikami-sama, Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto, and Kanayamahiko-no-Mikoto
after the ban was lifted, it was still strict so the government classified any Shinto faith that didnt revere Amaterasu Omikami-sama as the main deity as sects.
Izumo Taisha and Fushimi Inari are actually Shinto sects, despite people thinking they are Jinja Shinto.
I studied Shinto practices and traditions while in seminary school. all the sacred items we use, I can buy in Jinja Shinto supply stores
to say Im different or I dont know, well, I dont know why others would imply that, but it is misinformation, and I know an attempt to put me down “oh, shes not really Shinto, theyre different! Im Shinto, so I know more!”
Sorry, it doesnt cut it. Im Shinto, -and- Konkokyo. Konkokyo priests study Shinto. Our rituals are the same. Many just consider us Shinto priests. In Japan, no one picks out the difference unless they are really knowledgable or care to make the distinction. In North America its a little sensitive because many of the founders of Konko in NA faced racism and oppression due to laws during WWII. many Konko pioneers found themselves in camps because they were “Dirty Shinto worshippers”. its because of this I senstively make distinctions in North America. also, when you say that we dont know about Shinto, it hurts more because of that past. despite in NA wanting to make distinctions precisely because of that past, it hurts more because we are so close that it happened to them.
Im just tired of people on tumblr trying to claim authorities that are misinformed when they havent even studied or practiced the faith. Or are people who say they have authority over others about Shinto but dont practice it (yes Ive seen that on here) , or the ones that do practice, then try to claim authority.
Just because Shinto has a small and less knowledgable presence in the English speaking world doesnt give you authority to say whatever you like because “no one will know!” or discourage others. Its not an exclusive club. Its not a closed practice. Its not “like Vodun or Aboriginal spirituality where you need to be invited in!” Its Shinto, its open, the shrines are tourist attractions (to my dismay, but thats another topic) for Heavens sake. Please stop exerting authoritative stance on it being closed.
Tumblr can get very, very toxic and cruel, and ignorant quickly. Ive seen people put down and discouraged from being Shinto by non-practitioners, screaming “appropriation”, ignoring the pleas of practitioners, priests, and other deeply connected to Shinto saying its ok and please practice it sincerely. its very frustrating. especially trying to share your faith overseas
dont silence us, please. please dont silence me, grasping at straws because im Konko its “not real Shinto” or “I wasnt born in Japan”. dont erase my culture or my voice. i love Shinto and Konko so much, I left my family alone to train here in Japan to get ordained. Spending 5am to 11pm days in seminary school and training in the Hiromae itself.
Im not acting arrogant - Im being stern Im serious about this faith and my knowledge behind it. Im tired of being silenced and seeing others open to my faith be shunned by people who havent even heard of Kanayamahiko no Mikoto, Konpira-sama, or any other deity thats not Inari-sama or Amaterasu Omikami-sama without googling them excersizing Shinto authority on others
this may come off as harsh, i realize that. But Im hurt, sick, and tired of seeing this. I really am. Its why I left tumblr for a year. But I dont want to run away. I want to share my faith of Shinto and Konko openly. I dont want people to forego buying that kamidana, availible to everyone, I may add, because someone on tumblr with an angry voice said they couldnt
I get it, I get appropriation. I get being hurt in North America by Japanese heritage. Ive been bullied and beat to nine yards for being a half breed. too white for the asians, too asian for the whites. lunch made fun of, being called a devil worshipper when my friends saw my kamidana. being fetishized, ESPECIALLY as a miko!
But my personal experiences and pain dont trump the official standing and words of the Jinja/Sect Shinto view. There ARE times when Im so hurt, want to say , “this is mine and none of you can practice it” but thats me, not the faith speaking. I want to be a good representative and proper, so Im going to represent it in the ways the faiths want to be represented.
Im not saying anyones voice is invalid. We should all learn and share from each other. please feel free to write about why you feel people shouldnt practice Shinto. Its good, its healthy, I want to hear those opinions and why you say them!
But no one should excersize authority over others. Even as a priestess, Im not going to. I’ll give you my opinion if you ask, but controlling your actions or making you feel bad is not cool. The only reason I say Shinto is open with a slight authority is because its not my own words, but the official standing, and is evident in the action. Theres no signs at shrines saying “no foreigners allowed”.
Im here to educate, thats all. If I see something problematic, Ill gently educate, but getting angry and hurting the person wont help them learn. and it just makes things worse. I cant control everyone. I can only educate and share opinions.