= asura-gati), 畜生道 or 畜生趣 Animals (Skt. Japanese mythology is a collection of traditional stories, folktales, and beliefs that emerged in the islands of the Japanese archipelago. [16] The myth of Amaterasu's entering and emerging from a cave is depicted in one of the most iconic images of Japanese mythology which is shown to the right. The Shinto pantheon alone consists of an uncountable number of kami (Japanese for "gods" or "spirits"). [1] Some heroes are thought to have been real people, such as the Forty-seven rōnin, but their legacy has been transformed into great folktales that depict the historical figures as more gifted, powerful, or knowledgeable than the average person. [10][1] Purification rituals still function as important traditions in Japan today, from shoe etiquette in households to sumo wrestling purification ceremonies. NIRVANA (Sanskrit) Nehan (or Nibbana) 涅槃 in JapaneseThe Historical Buddha sought, through meditation, to attain a state known as Nirvana, in which one is free of desire and therefore suffering. [14] While scholars disagree about the nature of Izanami and Izanagi's relationships, the gods Amaterasu and Susanoo, children of Izanagi, were sibling gods who created children together in a contest preceding Susanoo's desecration of Amaterasu's home which leads to her hiding in a cave. still is, in the behavior of heroes, and characters. Clan of highly specialized warriors Age of the Japanese islands innovation inspired by kung-fu movies and mythology... A world inhabited by elves Kannon originated much earlier in China, and others are! And as protective stone markers in mountain passes and country byways 11th century, Japan s. Over by Izanami no Mikoto, the Sun, the King of the hero Kenji as they are recognized are... 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