Why do the sun and the moon see so little of each other?
Their quarrel, explains the eighth-century chronicle “Nihon Shoki,” was one between siblings. Amaterasu, the sun goddess, was born of their father’s left eye; Tsukiyomi, the moon god, of his right eye. The birth of Ukemochi, the food goddess, is not recorded, but the sun goddess one day sent the moon god to visit her. Ukemochi, overjoyed, promptly vomited forth a banquet — fish, game, rice; delectable, and yet the manner of its delivery revolted Tsukiyomi, who cried, “How filthy, how vile! That you should offer up the things you vomit from your mouth to me!” He drew his sword and slew the goddess. Amaterasu was appalled: “You are an evil god. I may not look upon you.” And so it is to this day: The sun shines by day, the moon by night.