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Amaterasu is seen as the highest manifestation of Kunitokotachi, the unseen, transcendent yet immanent, spirit of the universe. Amaterasu was born from the left eye of Izanagi, as he purified himself in a river, and went on to become the ruler of the Higher Celestial Plane (Takamagahara), the abode of all the kami (gods). Her triumph over the storm god, Susano-O, secured her place as ruler of the world. The Kojiki, compiled in the fifth century as a means of legitimizing the rule of the Imperial family of Japan, gave an account of their ancestral descent from a great-grandson of Amaterasu. Worship of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, has survived for thousands of years in Japan as part of the Shinto faith. Amaterasu is credited with inventing the cultivation of rice and wheat, the use of silkworms, and weaving with a loom. Her most important shrine, the Grand Shrine of Ise, is in Ise, Mie, in western Honshū.
Technically, Ararat is a stratovolcano, formed of lava flows and pyroclastic ejecta. A smaller (3,896m) cone, Mount "Sis," also known as "Little Ararat," rises from the same base, southeast of the main peak (Armenians sometimes call the higher peak "Masis"). The lava plateau stretches out between the two pinnacles. Its northern and eastern slopes rise from the broad alluvial plain of the Aras River. The last activity on the mountain was a major earthquake in July 1840 centered around the Ahora Gorge, a northeast trending chasm that drops 1,825 meters (6,000 ft) from the top of the mountain.
The Book of Genesis identifies the "mountains of Ararat" as the resting place of Noah's Ark after the Great Flood described in its text. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2000 B.C.E.) also describes a great flood, as does the later record of Berossus (3rd century B.C.E.) and the Koran.