國學院大學
國學院大學デジタルミュージアム

Encyclopedia of Shinto

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  • 2. Kami (Deities)
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  • Concepts of Kami

Title Text
1 Amatsukami, Kunitsukami "Kami of heaven," "kami of earth." In general, Amatsukami refers to kami residing in the Plain of High Heaven (Takamanohara), together with those that were born in Takamanohara but later descended
2 Banshin A term referring to the ancestral kami (sojin) of peoples who came to Japan from foreign countries, or other deities forming the objects of their worship. Other terms which have been used to describe
3 Boshijin "Mother-child kami," a term used to refer to the joint enshrinement of a mother deity (boshin) and its child deity (mikogami). Also read hahakogami. The practice of such joint enshrinement is itself f
4 Gairaishin In general terms, a kami which has arrived "from outside." The expression itself, however, is very ambiguous, and is used in a variety of ways, with the result that it has not been fully accepted as a
5 Gunshin Other names: Ikusa no kami, Ikusa gami Originally, a tutelary kami of battle, similar to the Greco-Roman gods Ares and Mars. Numerous kami have been venerated in Japan as tutelaries of warfare, based
6 Haishi The practice of enshrining kami as joint tutelaries alongside a shrine's primary object of worship (shushin or shusaijin); also, the kami so enshrined. Also called haisai or haikyō when referring to t
7 Haraedo The tutelary kami of a place (do) for the performance of purification (harae). The expression haraedo (alt. haraedono) is found in ancient works such as the Engishiki and the section on the Great Puri
8 Himegami A female kami ("goddess"). An extant fragment of the Tsukushi no kuni fudoki describes the three separate peaks of the mountain Kishimayama in the following way: "The peak to the southwest is called t
9 Hitorigami A kami which came into being alone. This title is used to discriminate such kami from those that are described as coming into being as male-female pairs. According to Kojiki, Amenominakanushi, Takamim
10 Kamurogi, Kamuromi Terms referring generically to male and female ancestral kami (sojin). Examples can be found in the ShokuNihongi, Engishiki, norito, Nakatominoyogoto, Hitachinokuni fudoki, Izumonokuni fudoki, ShokuNi
11 Kotoamatsukami "Separate heavenly kami," a name referring to the first five kami appearing in the Kojiki. The five include the "three kami of creation" (zōka sanshin), namely Amenominakanushi no kami, Takamimusuhi,
12 Mikogami "Honorable-child-kami," a term used in the context of cults of parent-child deities to refer to the offspring kami (also called byōeishin). For example, the fragmentary Tsukushinokuni fudoki describes
13 Mikoto An honorific title affixed to the name of a kami or venerated person. While two Sino-Japanese characters 命 and 尊 have been used to express mikoto, the Nihongi states that "the character 尊 is used to e
14 Myōjin “Eminent deity.” In ancient times, famed shrines of particularly impressive power and virtue were referred to as myōja shinmei (lit. "eminent shrines with divine luminaries"), as seen in the Sandai jitsuroku
15 Saijin A collective term referring to all the kami worshiped at a specific shrine or locale. Since it is generally believed that the objects of worship (shintai) in early Shinto were features of, or objects
16 Shingō A "divine title" affixed to the name of a kami. A wide variety of titles have come into use in accordance with the unique characteristics of kami, and as a result of historical changes in the way kami
17 Shinshi "Divine servant," usually an animal identified as the servant or familiar of a kami. Also called kami no tsukai or tsukawashime. Tales of special animals acting on behalf of kami to transmit the divin
18 Shushin The principal or central kami among all those dedicated at a shrine (see saijin). Also called shusaijin, the term shushin is used to discriminate the main enshrined kami from other kami that may also
19 Sumegami "Noble kami." Since the prefix sume means "revered," the term sumegami can be considered a general title of respect for kami. At the same time, since the same character sume 皇 is also used in terms su
20 Tenjinchigi A collective term for the kami of heaven (tenjin) and kami of earth (chigi). The expression was strongly influenced by Chinese thought; in China, "heavenly deities" referred to the "Emperor Above in H