Amaterasu's brother, the storm god Susano'o, had vandalized her sacred buildings and brutally killed one of her maidens because she refused to trust him. In turn, Amaterasu became terrified of his wrath and retreated into a cave, Ame-no-Iwato. The world, without the illumination of the sun, became dark and the gods could not lure Amaterasu out of her hiding place.
The clever Uzume overturned a tub near the cave entrance and began a dance on it, tearing off her clothing in front of the other deities. They considered this so comical that they laughed heartily at the sight.
Amaterasu heard them, and peered out to see what all the fuss was about. When she opened the cave, she saw her glorious reflection in a mirror which Uzume had placed on a tree, and slowly emerged from her hiding spot.
At that moment, the god Ame-no-Tajikarawo-no-mikoto dashed forth and closed the cave behind her, refusing to budge so that she could no longer retreat. Another god tied a magic shirukume rope across the entrance. The deities Ame-no-Koyane-no-mikoto and Ame-no-Futodama-no-mikoto then asked Amaterasu to rejoin the divine. She agreed, and light was restored to the earth.
Uzume is still worshiped today as a Shinto kami, deities indigenous to Japan. She is also known as Ame-no-Uzume, The Great Persuader, and The Heavenly Alarming Female. She is depicted in kyogen farce as Okame, a woman who revels in her sensuality.