The Moon God’s Quarrel – Eternity’s Empire Chapter 12

The Moon God’s Quarrel – Eternity’s Empire Chapter 12

When I released Chapter 11 of Eternity’s Empire, I gave my readers and newsletter subscribers a hint as to whose past they could expect to pop up next. As promised, it’s Amaterasu!

I will admit, in terms of mythology, I don’t know a lot more about Japanese myths than I do about Hindu myths. But I have read a lot more stories that involve Japanese folklore, which gave me a much better foundation to work with. One Japanese myth I’m quite familiar with is that of Amaterasu hiding in a cave due to displeasure with one of her siblings. This posed a bit of a problem, since Amaterasu is the goddess of the sun. While she remained in hiding, the world suffered endless night. The gods tried many things to lure her from her cave, but success came only after they hung a mirror near the cave and acted as though someone wonderful waited outside. Amaterasu was so taken by the bright countenance she glimpsed in the distance, she emerged from her cave to examine it – only to discover her reflection.

Sun Goddesses Are Rare

Amaterasu is the Shinto goddess of the sun. And she is fairly unique in this regard; most sun deities are male. And while most moon deities end up being female, the Shinto tradition reverses this as well. Amaterasu’s brother, Tsukuyomi, serves the role of moon god. They shared the heavens until Tsukuyomi incurred Amaterasu’s wrath and she banished him, forever separating day and night. In fact Amaterasu is so highly regarded, that her ill will seems enough to get any of the gods banished from heaven, including her other brother Susanoo (god of storms and the sea). The first Japanese emperors trace their heritage to Amaterasu. It is said she bequeathed the first a mirror, a jewel and a sword which eventually became the imperial regalia of Japan. The mirror – Yata no Kagami (The Eight Hand Mirror) is still housed in the Ise Shrine in Honshū, Japan today.

Amaterasu was the first goddess I chose to include in Eternity’s Empire. Mostly because I was looking for elemental goddesses and who better to suit the element of fire than a sun goddess? But I will admit I took a few liberties with my version. For one, I haven’t read anywhere that Amaterasu was an archer. And you might wonder why I didn’t choose to use one of the three royal regalia as her special item. The truth is, by the time I decided to incorporate the special items, I had already chosen a mirror for Aphrodite and a sword for Thora. A gem seemed too generic – and ended up belonging to Aeternitas anyway. But making Amaterasu an archer seemed logical, since fire and archery have paired so well throughout history.

Inspiration for Amaterasu’s Human Form

I will admit a second source of inspiration for my incarnation of Amaterasu: Sailor Mars. I grew up with a deep love of Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars was always my favorite. It could have been that fire was her element, and fire is the element with which I identify. But I think it also had a lot to do with her grace, wisdom, and mysterious spiritual powers. Sound familiar? I incorporated several of the same into Amaterasu’s human form. But it works; the Yata no Kagami is said to represent wisdom. It was given to Amaterasu’s grandson Ninigi when he departed to pacify the Earth. So making Amateratsu the group’s mystical guru seemed a logical extension of her character.

For Amaterasu’s human counterpart, I chose the name Seika Hattori (or Hattori Seika) which means “pure summer.” Seika grew up in Osaka. Her mother passed away when she was young and she found solace in the local shrine, where she dedicated her time. I made certain Seika’s spiritual abilities were strong, even in her human form, because I wanted to underline that some forms of power run deeper than others. And strength isn’t always the most important aspect of an ability. In Seika’s final incarnation, her abilities manifested as strange premonitions that allowed her to locate missing objects and people. But it also made her shy away from intimate relationships. In the end, Seika chose a local university so she could stay close to the familiar, which is why she’s so shy at the start of the story.

Learn more about Amaterasu in the latest installment of Eternity’s Empire – The Moon God’s Quarrel, available now!

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Since the incident with the poison river, Amaterasu has been locked deep in meditation. She’s searching for answers to the questions that plague her friends. Who destroyed the gate during the mob’s march on the Earth queen’s palace? And could the same person have poisoned the river?

But rather than insight into the matter at hand, Amaterasu’s meditations lead her down an even more dangerous rabbit hole; a reminder that she recently made a deal with dark and powerful beings that inhabit the hidden spaces of the universe. And even though that timeline no longer exists, those creatures still expect to be paid.

Could the answer to both the mystery and the fulfillment of this dark contract lay in Amaterasu’s recent past?

You can catch up on the Eternity’s Empire series here!

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