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The principle diety of Shinto mythology, identified with the sun and regarded as the progenitrix of the imperial line. According to the Nihon shoki (720), she was born of Izanagi and Izanami. Offended by the misdeeds of her younger brother, Susanō no mikoto, Amaterasu hid herself in a cave, leaving the universe in darkness and chaos. Lured out of the cave by the merrymaking of other divinities, she shone forth again and order was restored. She is worshipped at the Inner Shrine of Ise Shrine, the central shrine of Shinto. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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