Today I went to one of the most famous and ancient shrines in all of Japan and found they had the story dead WRONG.
Japan Guide Extract
Takachiho Shrine (高千穂神社, Takachiho Jinja)
The town of Takachiho is the site of one of the most important and well known legends of Japanese mythology. In the story, Amaterasu, the Shinto sun goddess, became so outraged by her brother’s cruel pranks that she hid herself in a cave, refusing to come out and depriving the world of her life-giving light.
All of the other gods and goddesses gathered to lure her out. They tried everything they could think of to no avail until one goddess performed an outrageously ribald dance that caused the other gods to roar with laughter. Amaterasu left the cave to see what all the fun was about, and in doing so she returned her light to the world.
I think it’s time to give the true story…
The stone tablet (石碑, sekihi) is a stone monument detailing the history, ways and secrets of the Uchiha clan (うちは一族).
In ancient times, Amaterasu (aka The Sun God) was the most powerful god in all of existence until one fateful day she befell a curse from the demons of hell and split herself apart to control the balance of good and bad within herself.
Written on the stone, “Seeking stability, one god was divided into yin and yang, these opposing two acting together obtain all things in creation” (“一つの神が安定を求め陰と陽に分極した 相反する二つは作用し合い森羅万象を得る”)
The Sun part remained known as Amaterasu and the evil side became known as Tsukiyomi (aka The God of the Moon).
Many thousands of years later, a young boy genius Itachi Uchiha (うちはイタチ) deciphered the sacred stone writing and went in search of these gods. He eventually found Amaterasu at Takachiho gorge and lured her into the cave where he had set a trap.
Using the Yata no Kagami (八咫鏡, literally “the Mirror of Eight Ta he lured Amaterasu into a cave then used the sword of totsuka (Totsuka-no-Tsurugi – 十拳剣, lit. “Sword of Length of Ten Fists”) to seal Amaterasu’s power into his right eye. The Sungod had granted Itachi the power of Izanami: This genjutsu is casted on the opponent, which traps him in a continuous loop of events which has been memorised by the caster of Izanami (aka a continuous cycle pain and suffering: Samsara) and Izanagi: applies an illusion to reality itself, giving the user control over what is and is not real for as long as Izanagi is active.
Itachi had read further into the stone tablet and deciphered:
“When someone who possesses the power of Saṃsāra approaches the moon, an eye will open that is reflected on the moon to grant the eternal dream.” (「輪廻の力を持つ者が月に近づきし時、無限の夢を叶えるための月に映せし眼が開く」, “Rinne no chikara o motsu mono ga tsuki ni chikazukishi toki, mugen no yume o kanaeru tame no tsuki ni utsuseshi me ga hiraku.”).
Already granted the power of Izanami, Tsukiyomi was pulled down to Earth where Itachi used Izanagi to control the moon and create the Infinite Tsukiyomi (無限月読) whereby he trapped the entire world inside his own reality. It is said that Itachi grew bored of this fake reality so sealed the moon god Tsukiyomi in his left eye and released the world from the grip of the Infinite Tsukiyomi.
Having both gods (sun and moon) under his control, Itachi gained a new power, the Susanoo (須佐之男 (スサノオ), a powerful spirit shield that envelops and protects the user. Further realising the extent of his power Itachi did not want anyone else from his clan being able to attain a power to equal his so he slew everyone in his clan. However he was not able to bring himself to slay his younger brother, Sasuke Uchiha (うちはサスケ) and exiled himself from the world.
It is said that during his exile many sought Itachi out to take his strength and power. One notable encounter was between Itachi and his younger brother Sasuke who despised Itachi for killing his clan and family. Itachi had (with effort) overcome his younger brother but had grown bored of the cycle of Samara, so with a tap to the forhead transferred all powers and Sasuke and has now joined the other Gods beyond. The battle took place at a valley near the Amaterasu cave and is now known as The Valley of the End (終末の谷) a bridge was constructed between the valley to represent the passing of powers from older to younger brother.
Sasuke had tested his newly found powers by collapsing half the cave and with one swift flurry of attacks set all stones set in piles. Now people from far and wide place stones upon the piles in attempts to keep Itachi at peace.