I’ve always been a fan of good stories. There are multiple morals and life lessons I’ve learned from these stories, but by far the best one comes from the story of Okami. Okami is a story based off of Japanese mythology and lore, and the main character is Amaterasu, the mythical Japanese goddess of the sun. The story has many arcs and turning points that show off how diverse Japanese culture is, but the most important part is right at the end, when Amaterasu faces the being that has been the source of her misfortune, Yami. The story goes that Amaterasu slowly beat down Yami, until eventually he fell down in defeat. Before she could rejoice, though, he got back up and attacked her one final time, leaving her close to death.

At this point in time, Amaterasu heard a voice. It was the voice of her closest friend and companion, Issun (also based off of a Japanese myth). Issun, throughout the story, constantly ran from what he knew he was created to be: a missionary for the gods of the land. Now, however, he realized it was literally what he was made for and what he enjoyed to do. He began to tell the people of the land who Amaterasu really was. He asked the people to pray to her and give her power, and that people shouldn’t just pray when they wanted something. People should also take into account what Amaterasu felt like sometimes. At that, Amaterasu regained her energy ten-fold, and defeated Yami for the final time.

Obviously, I don’t agree with worshipping this deity, but I find this to be incredibly symbolic. Amaterasu represents God, Issun represents Christians, and those who have never heard of who God really is are everyone else. We aren’t just meant to pray when we want to, but, rather, to go out and tell the world who God is and pray to Him often. This is, by far, one of the most simple, yet powerful lessons I have ever learned.

-Tyler Clemons, Senior Student