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his piece was commissioned by Zomerorkest Nederland on behalf of her 25th anniversary in 2011.
The Legend of Amaterasu gives us a musical picture of the ancient Japanese legend about the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu
Amaterasu is a sun goddess of the Shinto religion. It is believed that Amaterasu sent her grandson Jimmu to Earth 3,000 years ago to be the first ruler of Japan, beginning the divine family of Japanese emperors.
Amaterasu was given rule over the sky by Izangi when he handed to her his holy necklace.
Later, in a competition with her brother Susano, Amaterasu gave birth to three goddesses, who with Susano's offspring, are collectively the ancestors of Jimmu.
During this competition, Amaterasu was unwilling to admit defeat. This caused Susano to furiously wreak havoc throughout the heavens and the Earth. Amaterasu fled into a cave, and her absence caused darkness throughout Japan.
Amaterasu's absence caused much dismay on Earth. As the crops died off and the people suffered, the gods decided they needed to return Amaterasu to her position in the heavens. They sought the help of several dieties, and performed ritualis and sacrifieces outside of Amaterasu's cave. They also hung a mirror from a tree outside of the cave.
Hearing all the commotion, Amaterasu came forth and asked why the gods seemed to be rejoicing. They replied that they had found a new mistress who would be the sun goddess' replacement. Amaterasu came forth in curiosity, and peeked out of her cave. She immediately saw the mirror and was drawn to it. Having never seen her own reflection, Amaterasu thought she was looking at her majestic replacement. As she stepped forward to examine it, she was caught by one god and the cave was blocked by another. Amaterasu's presence illuminated the fields and life returned to Japan's land.