“Morning has broken, like the first morning…God’s recreation of the new day.” (From “Morning has broken“, Eleanor Farjeon, 1931)
Image by NOAA
“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” Shakespeare, 1564-1616
In October of 2013, Japanese Prime Minister Abe “became the first prime minister in 84 years to attend the most important ceremony in Shinto, the Sengyo no Gi at Ise Shrine … Amaterasu is enshrined in the inner sanctum. The highlight of the ceremony is the removal of a mythological ‘sacred mirror’ used to lure the sun goddess out of her cave.” (“Back to the future: Shinto’s growing influence in politics”, by David McNeill, 23 Nov. 2013, Japan Times, Emphasis added)
In this myth, we see a reflection of solar technology:
“Concentrating solar power (CSP) uses arrays of mirrors to generate large amounts of heat from concentrated sunlight. The heat is then used in a conventional power cycle or other heat engine to produce mechanical power that drives an electrical generator.” http://energy.sandia.gov/?page_id=907
Perhaps Japan had this technology already at the time of the oldest recorded tales of Amaterasu in 680 AD? “Solar technology isn’t new. Its history spans from the 7th Century B.C. to today. We started out concentrating the sun’s heat with glass and mirrors to light fires. Today, we have everything from solar-powered buildings to solar-powered vehicles…
3rd Century B.C.
Greeks and Romans use burning mirrors to light torches for religious purposes.
Chinese document use of burning mirrors to light torches for religious purposes.”
In “1963 Japan installs a 242-watt, photovoltaic array on a lighthouse, the world’s largest array at that time.” https://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/pdfs/solar_timeline.pdf
And, yet, Prime Minister Abe and his government continue to push nuclear power, itself a dangerous failed human attempt to re-create the power of the sun on earth. It is an attempt by humans to play God. Japan should know better than anyone the high cost of playing as gods with nuclear, because of Hiroshima-Nagasaki and now Fukushima.
“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”.[N 1] The Emperor of Japan is said to be a direct descendant of Amaterasu.”
“The oldest tales of Amaterasu come from the ca. 680 AD Kojiki and ca. 720 AD Nihon Shoki, the oldest records of Japanese history. In Japanese mythology, Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, is the sister of Susanoo, the god of storms and the sea, and of Tsukuyomi, the god of the moon. It was written that Amaterasu had painted the landscape with her siblings to create ancient Japan. All three were born from Izanagi, when he was purifying himself after entering Yomi, the underworld, after failing to save Izanami. Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed out his left eye, Tsukuyomi was born from the washing of the right eye, and Susanoo from the washing of the nose.
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, out of disgust, he killed the goddess of food, Uke Mochi, when she pulled “food from her rectum, nose, and mouth”  This killing upset Amaterasu causing her to label Tsukuyomi an evil god and split away from him; separating night from day.
The texts also tell of a long-standing rivalry between Amaterasu and her other brother, Susanoo. When he was to leave Heaven by orders of Izanagi, he went to bid his sister goodbye. Amaterasu was suspicious, but when Susanoo proposed a challenge to prove his sincerity, she accepted. Each of them took an object of the other’s and from it birthed gods and goddesses. Amaterasu birthed three women from Susano’s sword while he birthed five men from her necklace. Claiming the gods were hers because they were born of her necklace, and the goddesses were his, she decided that she had won the challenge, as his item produced women. The two were content for a time, but her brother became restless and went on a rampage, destroying Amaterasu’s rice fields, hurling a flayed pony at her loom, and killing one of her attendants in a fit of rage. Amaterasu, who was in fury and grief, hid inside the Ama-no-Iwato (“heavenly rock cave”), thus effectively hiding the sun for a long period of time. Though she was persuaded to leave the cave, Susanoo was punished by being banished from Heaven. Both later amended their conflict when Susanoo gave her the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi sword as a reconciliation gift.
According to legend, Amaterasu bequeathed to her descendant Ninigi: the mirror, Yata no Kagami; the jewel, Yasakani no Magatama; and the sword, Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi. This sacred mirror, jewel, and sword collectively became the three Imperial Regalia of Japan.
Worshipping the Sun Goddess
The Ise Shrine located in Ise City, Honshū, Japan houses the inner shrine, Naiku dedicated to Amaterasu. Her sacred mirror, Yata no Kagami is said to be kept at this shrine as one of the Imperial Regalia of Japan. At this shrine, a ceremony known as Shikinen Sengu is held every 20 years to honor Amaterasu. The main shrine buildings are destroyed and rebuilt at a location adjacent to the site. New clothing and food is then offered to the goddess. This practice is a part of the Shinto faith and has been practiced since the year 690.
The worship of Amaterasu to the exclusion of other kami has been described as “the cult of the sun”. This phrase can also refer to the early pre-archipelagoan worship of the sun itself.
Note 1: “ama means “heaven”; tera is an inflectional form of teru, “to shine”; su is an honorific auxiliary verb which shows respect for the actor; then amaterasu means “to shine in the heaven”. And ō means “big” or “great”; mi is a prefix for noble and august beings.
Akira Matsumura, ed. (1995). Daijirin (in Japanese) (2nd ed.). Sanseido Books. ISBN 978-4385139005.
Roberts, Jeremy (2010). Japanese Mythology A To Z (2nd ed.). New York: Chelsea House Publishers. ISBN 978-1604134353.
Wheeler, Post (1952). The Sacred Scriptures of the Japanese. New York: Henry Schuman. pp. 393–395. ISBN 978-1425487874“. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Amaterasu
Independence of Japan’s nuclear regulator questioned after shakeup By Mari Saito and Kentaro Hamada
Jun. 11, 2014 – 03:00PM JST http://www.japantoday.com/smartphone/view/politics/independence-of-japans-nuclear-regulator-questioned-after-shakeup
“When the Democratic Party of Japan established the NRA, then–prime minister Naoto Kan implemented a rule to prevent conflicts of interest. It stopped anyone from becoming an NRA commissioner who had been employed by a nuclear organization in the three preceding years, which was defined as someone receiving $5,000 per year from the nuclear industry during that time period. It appears that the Liberal Democratic Party has ignored that rule.” http://nuclear-news.net/2014/06/16/conflict-of-interest-as-new-commissioners-joing-japans-nuclear-regulator/