people say they were brother and sister, Susano-O and Amaterasu. Other
people say they were meant to be husband and wife. One thing, however,
was clear. They rarely agreed on even the smallest thing, and so could
never tolerate the presence of the other for very long.
Now the elders tell us that one
day, Susano-O (also known as Susa) went up to the heavenly
realm to visit his sister. He was about to make the long journey to
the underworld to be reunited with their long-dead mother, and he was
a little afraid of making the trip. He had heard terrible tales of the
horrors he would find there and wondered if he would be changed forever,
or even if he would return at all.
To strengthen himself for this journey, Susa decided to spend a season basking in his sisters light and wisdom. He knew, better than anyone, that her light could be a soul-warming comfort.
In his haste to see Ama (that is, Amaterasu, of course), Susa moved through the sky with a crackling thunder, shaking mountains and rivers and sending all living beings into hiding. The night seemed to fill with dancing furies as an inky velvet spread across the sky.
Ama became frightened so she decided to take a few precautions when
meeting him. She placed a quiver at her side and a bow in her hand
as she stepped forward to greet him.
His answer pleased her, but
Ama knew her brother well and decided to ask for more proof of his
good intentions. Susa then proposed that they should create children
who would rule the blessed land wisely. He hoped Ama would then realize
that he had all of their best interests at heart. Perhaps she would
allow him to stay for awhile, until he could pluck up enough courage
to descend to the dark place below.