Skip to main content

Amaterasu-ō-Mikami

Amaterasu-ō-Mikami (Jap., ‘heavenly-shining-deity’). The central deity (kami) of the classical Shinto tradition. This female deity, usually associated with the sun, plays a central part in the most important myth cycles of Shinto, and subsequently in the ritual traditions of Shinto—especially as connected to the imperial household and the sense of a national religion. The mythologies tell us that she was born of the original parent deities, Izanagi and Izanami, and became the ruling deity in the ‘high heavenly plain’ (takama-no-hara) where the myriad heavenly deities dwell. Subsequently, she sent her grandson, Ninigi, to subjugate and rule the land of Japan. Out of this process the earthly kami were subjugated to the heavenly kami, and the imperial line came into being.

As the ancestral deity of the imperial family, Amaterasu was enshrined in the central shrines of Shinto at Ise. There, through the centuries, emperors and peasants alike have worshipped her, sought her help in times of trouble, and appealed to her life-giving power of renewal—especially on behalf of the whole nation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Amaterasu-ō-Mikami." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Amaterasu-ō-Mikami." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 14, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/amaterasu-o-mikami

"Amaterasu-ō-Mikami." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/amaterasu-o-mikami

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.