Sibling Rivalry

imagesIt appears the Pacific ocean’s Neoguri typhoon dropped in wind speed from 155 mph to 125 mph…something to do with passing over warm water. Parts of the county still had 6 inches of rain. Japan isn’t in the clear just yet.

I’m stepping away from the Greek weather gods until inspiration tells me to go back. Today I’ll take a peek at weather mythology of Japan.

The Japanese pantheon is enormous. The Greek gods are just a handful by comparison. In the Shinto view there are millions of different spirits and deities and all possess Kami, the sacred power that imbues everything. In Japanese mythology, it is one of these that’s hammering the islands right now — Susanoo-ô — the sea and storms god.

I can’t find much about him other than he had a terrible temper and was the brother to Kojiki-Craft-Susanoo-1Amaterasu the sun and Tsukuyomi the moon. According to myth, a long-standing rivalry existed between Susano-ô and his sister Amaterasu and it concerned his being unhappy with his share of the world. It was his own doing. Prone to rages, he destroyed the precious rice fields and caused destruction wherever he went. Susano-ô and Amaterasu had some sort of contest to prove who had the most power. The deal was… if Susano-ô won, he could stay in heaven forever. If he lost, he would have to leave. 

So the story has Amaterasu chewing up the metal of Susano-ô’s sword and spitting out the pieces. Three of the bits then turned into goddesses. Not to be outdone,  Susano-ô took her necklace, chewed it up, and spat out five gods. Determining the math was on his side, she conceded and allowed him to stay in heaven. From here, he tumblr_lait85YNbc1qckq2co1_400resumed his fits of rage, at one point flaying her favorite sacred pony to death and hurling the carcass at her loom. So upset she was, she hid in a cave and plunged the world into darkness (remember she was the sun).

Desperate for Amaterasu’s return, 800 gods gathered to discuss how to coax her out of the cave. They eventually tricked her with a mirror dangling before the cave entrance. When she emerged to investigate, they roped off the cave behind her so she couldn’t withdraw again. Out in the open, her light shone and life returned to normal. Having had enough of Susano-ô and his rages, the 800 gods banished him from heaven.

He’s still throwing fits over that. typhoon


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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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1 Response to Sibling Rivalry

  1. Ray G says:

    Interesting story, but I don’t know if I could keep up with the names. It makes Who’s on First a kindergarten story. I used to get emails from the Hurricane Center, but the government decided to make interested people look it up so I haven’t kept up with the typhoon as I should.

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