2 November 2021
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
In the origin story of Japan, it is written that the sun goddess Amaterasu was once found hiding in a cave, refusing to come out. Avoiding the potential disaster of having no sunlight, no sun rise, and no sun set, the deity Ishikoridome placed a mirror at the cave’s entrance to distract her. Upon seeing this new shiny object, Amaterasu was intrigued and slowly emerged from the darkness following the shiny reflections in the mirror. When Amaterasu was ultimately sent by her family to rule over Japan (literally the land of the rising sun), she was given three objects to serve as a sign of her power and authority: the mirror symbolizing truth, a jewel symbolizing benevolence, and a sword symbolizing virtue. These three objects, collectively referred to as the Imperial regalia of Japan [LINK], are considered the most sacred objects to the Japanese people and a sign of the both the legitimacy and continuity of the Chrysanthemum throne: the oldest, continually running monarchy on earth. These objects are so important to the Japanese people that they have never been seen, not even by the emperor himself! They are always presented at imperial coronations [LINK] in boxes covered with beautiful Japanese silk as a sign of authority and Imperial rule. They are also kept in three different locations throughout the country to provide maximum protection. As long as these three objects exist and remain safe, so too is Japan her people.