Amaterasu, also known as Amaterasu-ōmikami, holds a significant place in Japanese mythology as the goddess of the sun. She is revered as a central deity in Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan. According to mythological accounts, Amaterasu emerged from the celestial Plain of High Heaven (Takamagahara), born as one of the children of Izanagi and Izanami, the divine couple responsible for creating the world and its deities.


Amaterasu is often depicted as a radiant and majestic goddess. She is typically portrayed as a beautiful young woman adorned in vibrant robes, symbolizing the colors of the rising sun. Her visage emanates an aura of brilliance and warmth, representing the life-giving properties of sunlight. Often depicted with a radiant golden crown or a halo encircling her head, Amaterasu exudes an otherworldly glow.

Amaterasu, as a white-furred wolf, appeared ordinary to most but had distinct crimson markings. These markings included a circular pattern on her forehead with lines extending outwards, slanted lines around and beneath her eyes, and circular spirals and curls on her chest. Her tail, muscular shoulders, and leg shanks had cloud-like patterns.

Powers & Abilities

Amaterasu’s powers are closely tied to her role as the sun goddess. As the bringer of light and warmth, she possesses control over daylight and is able to shape the world’s climate. Amaterasu’s presence in the sky influences the growth of crops, nurturing the land and fostering prosperity. Moreover, she has the ability to dispel darkness, banishing evil and promoting purity. Legends speak of her ability to generate powerful beams of sunlight and to manipulate fire for both destructive and restorative purposes.


Amaterasu is part of the illustrious divine lineage of Japanese mythology. She is the sibling of Susanoo, the tempestuous god of the sea and storms, as well as Tsukuyomi, the moon god. The trio represents the three celestial luminaries in Japanese folklore. Amaterasu’s descendants include various other gods and goddesses, shaping the pantheon of Japanese deities.

The goddess has also been identified as the key ancestor for all Emperors of Japan.


Amaterasu is symbolically linked to various elements associated with the sun. The rising sun itself serves as a powerful representation of her presence and influence. The crow, known as the yatagarasu, is often depicted as her sacred messenger. Additionally, the mirror, called Yata no Kagami, is closely associated with her, believed to reflect her divine radiance and serve as a conduit for her power.


Amaterasu’s importance in Shintoism led to her being widely venerated throughout Japan. Many Shinto shrines dedicated to her, such as the renowned Ise Grand Shrine, attract countless visitors seeking her blessings. Worshipers often offer prayers and make offerings of food, sake, and other symbolic items associated with sunlight. Festivals celebrating Amaterasu, such as the Omatsuri, involve elaborate rituals, music, dance, and processions, expressing gratitude and seeking her divine favor.

Facts about amateratsu

  • Amaterasu’s withdrawal into a cave, resulting in the world’s darkness, is a prominent episode in Japanese mythology known as the Ama-no-Iwato.
  • Legend has it that Amaterasu was coaxed out of the cave by the other deities performing a celebratory dance, which became the foundation of traditional Japanese performing arts.
  • The Japanese imperial family claims direct descent from Amaterasu, further highlighting her revered status in Japanese culture and history.
  • Amaterasu is considered one of the most important deities in the Shinto pantheon, and her worship continues to play a significant role in Japanese culture.


Amaterasu Facts

Rules over: Sun
Symbols:Yata no Kagami (Mirror)
Sacred animals:Crow
Parents:Izanagi (Father), Izanami (Mother)
Siblings:Tsukuyomi, Susanoo
Greek Similar: Apollo, Helios
Roman Similar: Sol