Myths and Folklore Wiki
Advertisement
Myths and Folklore Wiki


Ame-no-Uzume or Ama-no-Uzume (天宇受売命 or 天鈿女命) is a Japanese goddess of the dawn, merriment and revelry, meditation, and the arts (specifically of dancing). She is also known as "the Great Persuader" and "the Heavenly Alarming Female", and is often considered a representative of female power.

Myths & Legends

Amaterasu and the Cave

After a fierce argument with her brother Susano-o, Amaterasu hid inside the Ama-no-Iwato ("heavenly rock cave"), which hid the light and warmth of the sun from the world. Although many dieties tried to lure her out with many different methods, including the craftsmanship of many fine artifacts and buildings, but Amaterasu was stubborn and did not come out.

Ame-no-Uzume then made an attempt, and gathered some of the objects that had been crafted by the other dieties during their attempts. She hung a bronze mirror and a piece of jade jewelry from a tree in front of the cave, then overturned a tub and began dancing in front of the gathered dieties. As part of her dance she removed her clothing (made from a variety of plants such as moss and leaves), revealing her chest and belly, and the display caused the dieties to laugh raucously.[2] Wondering what was going on, Amaterasu asked what all the noise was about, and they replied that "A diety greater than you is here."[3] Lured out by her curiosity and confusion, Amaterasu was faced with the mirror where she saw her own reflection, and the other dieties blocked the cave with a rock and a "Shimenawa" (enclosing rope) to keep Amaterasu from returning. With Ame-no-Uzume's help, the dieties persuaded Amaterasu to return to the heavens, bringing the sun with her.

the music and dancing used in Shintō religious ceremonies known as "Kagura" is said to have originated from this performance.[4]

A Meeting on the Heavenly Bridge

Much later, Amaterasu orders Ame-no-Uzume to accompany her grandson, Ninigi, to go to earth and pacify Japan. While on their way there, they travel along the Ame-no-Ukihashi ("Floating Bridge of Heaven") and are stopped on it by the earthly god Sarutahiko. At first he does not allow the two to pass, but eventually allows their passage and becomes a guide to Japan after Ame-no-Uzume persuades him. In some tellings of this story she flirts with Sarutahiko as part of this persuasion.

After Ninigi's journey Sarutahiko and Ame-no-Uzume were married.

Modern Depictions

Ame-no-Uzume is still worshipped today as a Shinto Kami, a diety indigineous to Japan.

Video Games

Gallery

References

  1. By Unknown author - http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/art/207776, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46849428
  2. An article details what she wore and used; "[She] wrapped heavenly club moss around her as the Obi/sash, made the Kazura/head dress from the spindle tree, made the Sasa-ba/bamboo grass leaves into a bouquet, took into her hand a Hoko/spear wreathed in eulalia grass and danced the 1st archetypal Kagura on a sounding board (overturned wash tub) outside the door of the rock dwelling." - https://www.tsubakishrine.org/history/ame-no-uzume-no-mikoto.html
  3. Traditional Japanese Arts And Culture: An Illustrated Sourcebook. University of Hawai'i Press. 2006. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-0-8248-2878-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=I6iwdB4oi7IC&pg=PA17#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  4. Alternate summary of Ame-no-Uzume's myths, or Amenouzume -https://www.britannica.com/topic/Amenouzume
  5. By Yoshitoshi - https://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/330742.html?mulR=1752970907%7C182#, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=97823087

}}