Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集
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|A goddess endowed with the virtue of the sun, also known by the name ôhirume no muchi. The ancestral deity of the imperial house. The most beloved offspring of Izanagi no mikoto (see Izanagi no mikoto and Izanami no mikoto), Amaterasu embodies the unity of Takama no hara, the Plain of High Heaven. According to early myth, Amaterasu showed human beings the way to make food, clothing, and dwellings, and was the source of all peace. Amaterasu ômikami dispatched her grandson Ninigi no mikoto to the land called Toyoashihara no nakatsukuni to unify that land and to have his descendants establish the imperial house. Ise no Jingû is dedicated to this goddess, and the yata mirror (see sanshu no shinki) which she bestowed is enshrined there. There are many shrines throughout the country dedicated to Amaterasu ômikami.