River of Stars

The River of Stars, or the Necklace of Amaterasu, separated Ningen-do from Yomi. It was crossed by the Bridge of Lights, which allowed the spirits of the deceased to reach the spiritual realm through a journey of thirty five days. On either side of this road lie two bright stars, the Weaver Star and the Cowherd Star. These two stars were said to be lovers who could meet only once a year on the ninth night of the ninth month. [1]

Necklace of Amaterasu[edit | edit source]

Amaterasu once wished to be gifted with a necklace by her husband, Onnotangu. She invited him to a feast, giving great quantities of wine and bread, which allowed Amaterasu to feed to him with a stone. The next morning when Onnotangu followed his wife in the sky the weight of the stone made him slow, the Goddess sailed across the sky away from him, and the night came, and he was alone in the sky. Amaterasu promised to return if he gifted a necklace, which he did taking the stars. In return for the gift she took her wakizashi, slitting him across the gullet, and the stone fell free. In his pain, the God let go the necklace of jewels and they scattered across the sky, forming the River of Stars. The God never recovered from his wound and he chased her across the sky, he slowly and at night and she swift as the day. [2]


  1. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, pp. 61, 67
  2. Way of the Naga, p. 18

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