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Amatsu-Kami

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History

The Amatsu-Kami (also known as the Shinto gods) are a race of superhumanly powerful humanoid beings who have been worshiped by Japan's inhabitants as early as 10,000 BC into modern times, although Shinto ceased to be Japan's state religion in 1945 AD. Most of the Amatsu-Kami dwell in Ama, a small "pocket" dimension adjacent to Earth; an interdimensional nexus between Ama and Earth known as Ama-No-Hashidate (the "Bridge of Heaven") once existed near Miyazu Bay (in modern-day northern Kyoto Prefecture, Japan), although the nexus has since been severed. Ama is also inhabited by other kami (divine spirits), including both guardian spirits and gods of the land ("Kunitsu-Kami"). The extradimensional netherworld realm of Yomi is associated with but separate from Ama and inhabited by various shinma demons, Oni (horned ogres), and tengu (avian-like devils). Although Shinto is no longer Japan's state religion, many households still contain shrines associated with the Amatsu-Kami.

The Amatsu-Kami's precise origin, like that of all Earth's pantheons, is shrouded in legend. According to ancient myths, the Amatsu-Kami originated in the otherdimensional realm known as Ama, where they had lived for seven generations. After many of the demonic Elder Gods were purged from Earth by the Demogorge, the interdimensional barriers separating Ama and Earth were weakened and the Amatsu-Kami Izanagi (also known as "Yo") was sent to the Earth realm where he met Izanami (also known as "In"), an aspect of the primordial Earth Mother Gaea. Together, Izanagi and Izanami ventured into a formless world that was dominated by a dark, primordial void where the ancient force of nature known as Amatsu-Mikaboshi existed and reigned alone in the state of eternal nothingness. Izanagi and Izanami stood upon the Bridge of Heaven and dipped Izanagi's Jeweled Spear into the seemingly endless void, forming the islands of Japan. The divine couple then descended to the newly formed land masses and began to populate them with living creatures as well as lesser Amatsu-Kami who later came to be worshipped as gods by the inhabitants of Japan.

The chaos of life nor perpetuated in an endless cycle where there had once been a lifeless void, and this enraged Mikaboshi, whose solitary existence came to an abrupt end at the moment Izanagi and Izanami began their acts of creation. His attempts to topple the fledgling Amatsu-Kami pantheon were foiled, and he was forced to descend to Yomi, the gloomy and desolate realm that Izanagi designated to serve as the Shinto underworld. Later, when Izanami vanished after giving birth to the fire god Kagutsuchi, Izanagi believed she had perished and descended to Yomi, but his attempts to retrieve her from the land of the dead were unsuccessful. Later, when the extraterrestrial Celestials threatened the Earth in approximately 1000 AD, Izanagi attended the Council of Godheads' meeting to discuss this threat.

In modern times, the god of happiness Hotei briefly offered his services to the Chinese government and was assigned to capture the brothers Han, Chang, Lin, Sun, and Ho Tao-Yu (the Collective Man), who had escaped imprisonment; but Hotei relented in his pursuit upon seeing the joy that the brothers' presence brought to their sick mother. Later, the rice god Inari assisted Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett) and the Miko priestess Mana against Mana's corrupt sister Hana and the shinma demon Ryuki by revealing Ryuki's weakness to gold, which Wolverine exploited.

Meanwhile, Mikaboshi remained in Yomi, biding his time as he usurped control of the legions of shinma demons, oni, and other evil spirits inhabiting the underworld. He eventually acquired Kusanagi, the mystical Grasscutter Sword once wielded by the storm god Susanoo, and used it to destroy many of the lesser kami and force the surviving Amatsu-Kami into hiding. Mikaboshi then launched a full-scale invasion into the Olympian realm, abducting Alexander Aaron (demigod son of the Olympian war god Ares) and tricking him into nearly killing his father and becoming the new Olympian war god. Ares ultimately returned his son to his senses, while Inari joined forces with the Olympian god Hermes and tricked the Amatsu-Kami and Olympians into forming an alliance despite their pride. Together, the Amatsu-Kami and Olympians defeated Mikaboshi and his demonic forces, but not before Olympian ruler Zeus was slain and the realm of Olympus was virtually destroyed and rendered uninhabitable.[1]


Powers and Abilities

Powers

Superhuman Strength: All members of the Japanese pantheon possess some degree of superhuman strength. Though not as physically powerful as some other pantheons, such as the Asgardians or Olympians, the average male Aboriginal god is able to lift about 20 tons while the average goddess is able to lift about 10 tons.

Superhuman Speed: Each member of the pantheon is able to run and move at speeds that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human specimen, though the upper limit of the speed varies between members.

Superhuman Stamina: The musculature of the Japanese gods is much more efficient than that of a human being. Their muscles produce considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activities than those of humans. The average god and goddess can exert themselves at peak capacity for roughly 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in their blood begins to impair them.

Superhuman Durability: The skin, bone and muscle tissues of the gods are much tougher and more resistant to physical injury than the bodies of humans. The average Japanese god and goddess is capable of withstanding falls from great heights, exposure to temperature extremes, great impacts and high caliber bullets without sustaining injury.

Superhumanly Dense Tissue: The density of a Japanese god’s bodily tissues is about twice that of a human being, contributing somewhat to their great strength. As a result, they’re actually much heavier than they appear to be.

Regenerative Healing Factor: It is possible for the Japanese gods to sustain injury. If injured, their extremely efficient metabolisms enable them to rapidly heal damaged bodily tissue much more extensively than a human is capable of. The average god or goddess, however, is unable to regenerate missing limbs or organs.

Superhuman Longevity: Though not immortal in the same sense as some other god pantheons, the Japanese gods age at a considerably slower rate than humans. However, they're not completely immune to aging and can potentially die of old age. They are immune to the effects of all known Earthly diseases and infections. However, this doesn't mean that they can’t die. It is possible for them to sustain injuries, such as being incinerated for instance, that can cause their physical deaths. It’s possible, however, for a number of gods working together to resurrect a deceased member if his or her life essence is beyond resurrection.

Superhuman Agility: All members of the Japanese pantheon possess agility, balance and bodily coordination beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human specimen.

Superhuman Reflexes: The reflexes of an Japanese god are also enhanced to superhuman levels. The reflexes of the Aboriginal gods are proportionally superior to those of most other god pantheons as a means of balancing out their typically inferior levels of physical strength.

Shapeshifting: Most Japanese gods are highly skilled metamorphs and can shift all portions of their bodies into the shapes of animals, inanimate objects, other humanoid beings, etc.

Mystical Energies: Many Japanese gods also possess additional superhuman abilities that are magical in nature. A common example of this is to be able to open magical gateways to other realms or dimensions. A few of them, however, are more advanced. Kaminari, the Japanese Goddess of Lightning for example, is capable of summoning and creating storms as well as controlling lightning.

Abilities

None known.

Average Strength level

Unknown.

Weaknesses

None known.

Habitat

Habitat: Earth-like
Gravity: Normal
Atmosphere: Normal

Miscellaneous

Type of Government: Imperial
Level of Technology: Magic
Cultural Traits: Aside from their various superhuman abilities, the Japanese gods typically appear in forms that are identical to, or at least closely resemble, the form of human beings. However, some of them typically have unusual physical characteristics such as Kagutsuchi, the God of Fire, as his hair appears to be composed of mystic flame in his more usual form.
Representatives: * Amaterasu

Notes

  • In the Marvel Universe, Izanami, the goddess of the dead, has been confused with Gaea, as a Mother-Earth deity. In actual Japanese myth, Izanagi and Izanami are the children of In and Yo, the male and female embodiments of the universe.


Trivia

  • In Japanese Mythology, "Amatsu-Kami" translates as "heavenly ones", "Kami" describing divine spirits.


See Also


Links and References

Footnotes


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