By Alex Espinosa
One of the gods in this game is Amaterasu, the highest goddess in Shintoism and the “goddess of the sun.” The game does a great job of making her truly unique because unlike the other gods whose abilities revolve around their titles and characteristics, Amaterasu’s abilities revolve around
her three sacred treasures, all of which play a vital role in her story, both in the game and in her mythology.
The first of Amaterasu’s sacred treasures is her sword, Ame no Murakumo, or “sword of gathering clouds in heaven.” Amaterasu’s brother, Susanoo, found Ame no Murakumo in the tail of Shinto’s most hated demon, “Yamata no Orochi.” He gifted the weapon to Amaterasu to apologize for treacherous deeds he committed against her. This mirrors Japanese mythology.
The next treasure is the jewel Amaterasu wears around her neck, which dates as far back as 14,000 B.C. It is a symbol of fortune to ward off evil. This treasure is what gives her “divine presence” via valor and benevolence. When passed down to the next generation, this jewel gives the owner the power of its original spirit.
Amaterasu’s jewel was a gift from her father, Izanagi (the god responsible for creating Japan), granting her the power to rule. In “Smite,” the jewel gives Amaterasu the two powers of herself and her father.
The final treasure that Amaterasu uses is her sacred mirror, Yata no Kagami, which grants her “heavenly reflection.” It was used to bait Amaterasu into leaving her cave where she sealed herself and her light away after being wronged by her brother.
In the game and in the mythology, the people who loved Amaterasu held a huge festival outside her cave. The roar of celebration coming from outside drew the Amaterasu out, and she saw a radiant goddess inside a jewel- encrusted mirror. Amaterasu smiled, and light returned to the world.
Just as the Yata no Kagami reflected Amaterasu’s power in the mythology, the mirror reflects the power of enemy gods in the game. Using the sacred treasures as the focus of Amaterasu’s power in the game, the creators captured the true power and story of Shinto’s Amaterasu perfectly.