The Japanese Shinto goddess of joy, laughter, and humor. Her name means "whirling," probably given because she is constantly dancing. Sometimes known as the Shaman goddess, some of her dances were said to be able to bring back the dead. She is the Japanese version of the Trickster, one of the few on the planet who is female.

She was most famous for her part in an Amaterasu legend. When Amaterasu (the sun goddess) was scared away into a cave by her brother, the world began to die from lack of light. Uzume did a humorous erotic dance outside the cave to make the other gods laugh. Amaterasu came out of the cave to see what all the fuss was about and instead ended up looking at her dazzling reflection in a thousand mirrors the other gods had set up. She was so struck by this that they were able to bring her away from the cave and back into the heavens.

Also known as Ame-no-Uzume.

back to Japanese Mythology

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