Aratemasu- Gouache on Bristol Paper
The Yata no Kagami mirror represents "wisdom" or "honesty," depending on the source. Its name literally means "The Eight Hand Mirror," likely a reference to its width. Mirrors in ancient Japan represented truth because they merely reflected what was shown, and were a source of much mystique and reverence (being uncommon items). Japanese folklore is rich in stories of life before mirrors were commonplace.
In the Japanese mythology this mirror and the Yasakani no magatama were hung from a tree to lure out Amaterasu (sun goddess) from a cave.
Amaterasu Omikami (‘the great divinity illuminating heaven’) is the sun goddess, the most important deity of the Shinto religion and ruler of Takama no Hara (the High Celestial Plain), the domain of the kami or spirits.
Perhaps the most celebrated myth concerning Amaterasu is when she blocked herself in a cave following an argument with Susanoo (her brother) when he surprised the goddess with a monstrous flayed horse when she was quietly weaving in her palace with her younger sister Waka-hiru-me. As a consequence of Amaterasu’s disappearance the world was cast in total darkness and evil spirits ran riot over the earth. This is fabled as how the winters first started, and how they continue, as she retreats yearly, and for eclipses. The gods tried all manner of ways to persuade the peeved goddess to leave the cave- roosters were set outside the cave in the hope their crows would make the goddess think that dawn had come- they placed a sakaki treeoutside the cave and decorated it with sparkling jewels, andfine white clothes and a mirror at its centre. Also, the goddess Amenouzume danced so wildly in a goofy strip-tease routine that the other gods’ uproarious laughter finally excited the curiosity of Amaterasu. Opening the blocked cave just enough to see what was going on and whilst distracted by seeing her stunning reflection in the mirror, the strong god Ame-no-tajikara-wo yanked the goddess out of the cave. Mirrors were so rare at that time, that the goddess was shocked by her own sight and illuminated the world again.
8" x 10"
Gouache on Acid Free Bristol Paper
There is one and only one of this original piece of artwork.
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