labor and transcendence
a Japanese sacred mountain
University Press (2003)
The Shinto sun goddess
Amaterasu, from whom the Japanese imperial line claims descent,
is venerated at Akakura Mountain Shrine.
The Kojiki recounts
an episode in which Amaterasu, offended by the defiliments of
Susano, retires into a cave, depriving heaven of her light. She
is lured out by other gods, who errect a mirror at the cave's
mouth, convincing her that she is confronted by a beautiful rival.
According to some accounts,
the site of Akakura Mountain Shrine was determined through a revelatory
vision of Amaterasu descending as a ray of golden light from the
is evoked each year at the Mountain Opening
ceremony, as the congregation raises a sacred rice straw rope
upon which is affixed the Japanese national flag, the Hinomaru,
centered on the sign of the rising sun.
among Women": A Comparative Mythic Analysis of the Development of Amaterasu
The relevant sections of the Kojiki
on Amatersu's retreat into, and emergence from, the cave are found in
the Kojiki chapter "Door of the Heavenly Rock Dwelling":
entry is part of the Glossary
of Shinto Names and Terms
(A helpful on line dictionary of Shinto terms, prepared by the Institute
for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University. )
Click on "Amaterasu"
or go directly to: