The Japanese Shinto sun goddess, ruler of the Plain of Heaven.
Her full name “Amaterasu-Ō-Mi-Kami”, means “Great Goddess” or “Great Spirit Who Shines in the Heavens”.
She was so bright and radiant that her parents sent her up the Celestial Ladder to heaven, where she has ruled ever since.
When her brother, the storm-god Susanowa, ravaged the earth she retreated to a cave because he was so noisy. She closed the cave with a large boulder. Her disappearance deprived the world of light and life. Demons ruled the earth. The other gods used everything in their power to lure her out, but to no avail. Finally it was Uzume who succeeded. The laughter of the gods when they watched her comical and obscene dances aroused Amaterasu’s curiosity. When she emerged from her cave a streak of light escaped (a streak nowadays people call dawn). The goddess then saw her own brilliant reflection in a mirror which Uzume had hung in a nearby tree. When she drew closer for a better look, the gods grabbed her and pulled her out of the cave. She returned to the sky, and brought light back into the world.