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Amaterasu (pronounced AH-mah-tay-RAH-soo) is the Japanese Shinto sun Goddess, whose name means “she who shines in the heavens”. She is the most important Goddess in the Shinto pantheon, having invented the cultivation of rice, the use of silkworms, and the art of weaving.

Amaterasu (pronounced AH-mah-tay-RAH-soo) is the Japanese Shinto sun Goddess, whose name means “she who shines in the heavens”. She is the most important Goddess in the Shinto pantheon, having invented the cultivation of rice, the use of silkworms, and the art of weaving.

A seventeenth-century painted silk deer mandala; a white stag rides on a cloud symbolising his messenger role (deers are considered the sacred messengers of Shinto deities); he carries a branch of the sacred sakaki tree and a mirror, a sacred symbol of Shinto. (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

A seventeenth-century painted silk deer mandala; a white stag rides on a cloud symbolising his messenger role (deers are considered the sacred messengers of Shinto deities); he carries a branch of the sacred sakaki tree and a mirror, a sacred symbol of Shinto. (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

The purification trough at the temple’s entrance,Onomichi,Japan    #fortheloverainie   #Japan

The purification trough at the temple’s entrance,Onomichi,Japan #fortheloverainie #Japan

Miko are women in the service of Shinto shrines   (at the biennial Sanno Festival in Tokyo).The translation of Miko is “Woman of God” (chosen by, or totally devoted to, the gods), but the closest meaning is “shrine maiden”

Miko are women in the service of Shinto shrines (at the biennial Sanno Festival in Tokyo).The translation of Miko is “Woman of God” (chosen by, or totally devoted to, the gods), but the closest meaning is “shrine maiden”