Japanese mythology is made up of a collection of stories and beliefs that originated in the Japanese islands. Compiled from oral traditions, these stories offer explanations about the gods, practices, customs, traditions, and history of the Japanese people and their country.
Most Japanese myths were gathered in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, records which outline the origins of the monarch and the ruling class. Naturally, the idea was to strengthen their authority over the people and to justify their rights to rule.
The Japanese pantheon is full of dynamic, complex and unique characters such as Amaterasu, Susanoo, Inari, Izanagi and Izanami. Their stories are a mix of tragedy, triumph, horror, life, and death, and perfectly showcases the morally ambiguous nature of the deities in Shintoism.
Explore our comprehensive guides that cover the stories of the gods, goddesses, yokai and creatures that make up this fascinating mythology.