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Amaterasu, Shinto Sun goddess

Amaterasu is the Shinto Sun goddess of Japan, whose name means "Shining in Heaven" or "Heaven's Illuminating Force." She is one of the most important and revered kami (deities) in the Shinto pantheon. She was born from a tear in the creator Izanagi's left eye, while her brother, Tsukiyomi, the Moon God, was born from his right. Her youngest sibling, Susanoo, was born from his nose, and was sent to rule the sea plain as the storm god.

The Myth of Amaterasu

Amaterasu and Susanoo produced children together, but then he began to act rudely, defiling her throne and vandalizing her rice fields. His mischievous acts led to the death of one of Amaterasu's attendants. So she took refuge in a cave to hide from her violent brother, depriving the world of sunlight.  

As darkness fell across the world, the other kami devised a plan to lure her out. One of the goddesses performed a lively dance on top of an overturned bucket outside the cave door, and the laughter of the assembled gods and goddesses caused Amaterasu to become curious. When she peered out of the cave, she saw her own radiance reflected in a mirror placed in the doorway. Intrigued by her own beauty, she emerged from the cave, bringing light back to the world.

The Grand Shrine of Ise, located in Mie Prefecture, is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan dedicated to Amaterasu. It is rebuilt every 20 years using one of the two identical buildings as a model, so the design has remained consistent for 2,000 years.

The Art

I created this piece during Covid, after Dr. Sketchy's closed and all my favorite models were out of reach. I had to get extra creative and use myself and my friends as models. This one ended up being based on a couple of photos of me reclining on a bridge near Bellingham, Washington while we were on a skating trip to the Centennial Trail.

I took up skating in 2018 and this time of year (mid-February) is torture. I can't wait until the weather gets warm enough to skate outside. It's by far my favorite recreational activity and workout. Skating indoors is okay, and we now have an indoor roller rink called Rollerland, so it's not like there are no skating options during the rainy season, but I would always prefer to be outside, huffing and puffing up the city's steepest hills, racing down trails and bike paths, skating as fast as possible and sweating in the sun.

I'm very fortunate to live in Vancouver where our summers are amazing, and spring and fall are generally mild. We usually have awesome skating weather starting in March that can last well into November, give or take a few cumulative weeks of rain, especially in June and September. But throughout the winter, the rain and darkness can be utterly demoralizing.

But it's already starting to get warmer, so it won't be long now!

Badass Goddesses

My new book, Badass Goddesses, is available now on Amazon!

Check out more Badass Goddeses in my Gallery.

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