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Encyclopedia > Kami
Amaterasu, one of the central kami in the Shinto faith
Amaterasu, one of the central kami in the Shinto faith

Kami (?) is the Japanese word for the spirits within objects in the Shinto faith. Although the word is sometimes translated as "god" or "deity," Shinto scholars point out that such a translation can cause a serious misunderstanding of the term (Ono, 1962). In some instances, such as Izanagi and Izanami, kami are personified deities, similar to the gods of ancient Greece or Rome. In other cases, such as those concerning the phenomenon of growth and natural objects, the spirits dwelling in trees, or forces of nature, translating "kami" exclusively as "god" or "deity" would be a gross mischaracterization. In this respect it is more similar to the Roman concept of the numen. Megami is the feminine form of Kami. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Amaterasu_cave_crop. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Amaterasu_cave_crop. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... 天瓊を以て滄海を探るの図. Painting by Eitaku Kobayashi (Meiji period). ... In Japanese mythology, Izanami (Katakana: イザナミ; Kanji: 伊弉冉尊 or 伊邪那美命, meaning She who invites) is a goddess of both creation and death, as well as the former wife of the god Izanagi. ... The Temple of Athena, the Parthenon Ancient Greece is a period in Greek history that lasted for around nine hundred years. ... Nickname: Motto: SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus Location of the city of Rome (yellow) within the Province of Rome (red) and region of Lazio (grey) Coordinates: Region Lazio Province Province of Rome Founded 21 April 753 BC Government  - Mayor Walter Veltroni Area  - City 1,285 km²  (580 sq mi)  - Urban 5... The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus (breath). // The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning breath (compare spiritus asper), but also soul, courage, vigor, ultimately from a PIE root *(s)peis- (to blow). In the Vulgate, the Latin word translates Greek (πνευμα), pneuma (Hebrew (רוח) ruah), as... Numina (presence, singular numen) conveys the sense of immanence, of the sacred spirit that informs places and objects in Roman religion. ...


Kami may, at its root, simply mean 'spirit', or an aspect of spirituality. It is written with the kanji "", Sino-Japanese reading shin or jin; in Chinese, the character is used to refer to various nature spirits of traditional Chinese religion, but not to the Taoist deities or the Supreme Being. An apparently cognate form, perhaps a loanword, occurs in the Ainu language as kamui and refers to an animistic concept very similar to Japanese kami. Chinese traditional religion is the blend of religious practices most Han Chinese practiced for thousands of years. ... Xian (Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: hsien) is a Chinese word for an enlightened person, translatable in English as: spiritually immortal; transcendent; super-human; celestial being (in Daoist/Taoist philosophy and cosmology) physically immortal; immortal person; immortalist; saint (in Daoist religion and pantheon) alchemist; one who seeks the elixir of life... A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one language from another with little or no translation. ... The Ainu language (Ainu: , aynu itak; Japanese: ainu-go) is spoken by the Ainu ethnic group on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō. It was once spoken in the Kurile Islands, the northern part of Honshū, and the southern half of Sakhalin. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


Because Japanese does not normally distinguish singular and plural in nouns, it is sometimes unclear whether kami refers to a single or multiple entities. When a plural concept is absolutely necessary, the term "kami-gami" (神々?) or "kami-tachi" (神達?) is used. The female form "megami" (女神?) is very rare in Shinto, and is most commonly used in stories including miko gaining divine powers. It is often said that there are "yaoyorozu-no-kami (八百万の神 eight-million Kami?)—in Japanese the number "eight-million" is often used to imply infinity. In English, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... Miko at Aso shrine in Aso, Japan Miko ) are women in the service of Shinto shrines. ...

Contents

Shinto belief and kami

Shinto Portal

"Kami" are the central objects of worship for the Shinto faith. Shinto began as the various ancient animistic folk religions of Japan, and only became a unified religion in response to the influences of other religions brought into Japan from abroad. Thus, the concept of kami was developed first in various regional folk religions before being unified into the single religion of Shinto. As a result, the nature of what can be called "kami" is very broad and encompasses many different concepts and phenomena. Image File history File links Portal. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... This article is in need of attention. ...


Some of the objects or phenomena designated as kami are qualities of growth, fertility, and production; natural phenomena like wind and thunder; natural objects like the sun, mountains, rivers, trees, and rocks; some animals; and ancestral spirits. Included within the designation of ancestral spirits are spirits of the ancestors of the Imperial House of Japan, but also ancestors of noble families as well as the spirits of the ancestors of common people. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Thunder is the sound made by lightning. ... The Sun (Latin: Sol) is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... Lyskamm, 4 527 m, Pennine Alps A mountain is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain in a limited area. ... This bridge across the Danube River links Hungary with Slovakia. ... The coniferous Coast Redwood, the tallest tree species on earth. ... This balancing rock, Steamboat Rock stands in Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs, CO The rocky side of a mountain creek near Orosí, Costa Rica. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan. ...


There are other spirits designated as kami as well. For example, the guardian spirits of the land, occupations, and skills; spirits of Japanese heroes, men of outstanding deeds or virtues, and those who have contributed to civilization, culture and human welfare; those who have died for the state or the community (See: Yasukuni Shrine); and the pitiable dead. Not only spirits superior to man can be considered kami, but also spirits that are considered pitiable or weak have been considered kami in Shinto. Torii Gate at Yasukuni Shrine The main building of Yasukuni Shrine Yasukuni Shrine 75th anniversary Stamp (1944) Yasukuni Shrine ) is a Shinto shrine located in Tokyo, Japan, dedicated to the spirits of soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan. ...


The concept of kami has been changed and refined since ancient times, although anything that was considered to be kami by ancient people will still be considered kami in "modern" Shinto. ("Modern" meaning since it was formalized into a unified religion under the influence of foreign religions like Buddhism.) Even within modern Shinto, there are no clearly defined criteria for what should or should not be worshipped as kami. The difference between modern Shinto and the ancient animistic religions is mainly a refinement of the kami-concept, rather than a difference in definitions. Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ...


In the ancient animistic religions, kami were understood as simply the divine forces of nature. Worshippers in ancient Japan revered creations of nature which exhibited a particular beauty and power such as waterfalls, mountains, boulders, animals, trees, grasses and even rice paddies. They strongly believed the spirits or resident kami deserved respect. Tower Fall in Yellowstone National Park A waterfall is usually a geological formation resulting from water, often in the form of a stream, flowing over an erosion-resistant rock formation that forms a sudden break in elevation. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Although the ancient designations are still adhered to, in modern Shinto many priests also consider kami to be anthropomorphic spirits, with nobility and authority. These include such mythological figures as Amaterasu, the sun goddess of the Shinto pantheon. Although these kami can be considered deities, they are not considered omnipotent or omniscient. In the myths of Amaterasu, for example, she could not see the events of the human world. She also had to use divination rituals to see the future. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Sun goddess emerging out of a cave, bringing sunlight back to the universe. ... Omnipotence (literally, all power) is the power to do absolutely anything. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything, or at least everything that can be known. ...


The kami traditionally possessed two souls, one gentle (nigi-mitama) and the other aggressive (ara-mitama). This human but powerful form of kami was also divided into amatsu-kami ("the heavenly deities") and kunitsu-kami ("the gods of the earthly realm"). A deity would behave differently according to which soul was in control at a given time. In many ways, this was representative of nature's sudden changes and would explain why there were kami for every meteorological event: snowfall, rain, typhoons, floods, lightning and volcanoes.


The ancestors of a particular family can also be worshipped as kami. In this sense, these kami were worshipped not because of their godly powers, but because of a distinct quality or value. These kami were regional and many shrines (hokora) were built in honour of these kami. In many cases, people who once lived can thus be deified as gods; an example of this is Tenjin, who was Sugawara no Michizane (845-903) in life. Tenjin (天神) is the Shinto kami of scholarship, the deified Sugawara no Michizane. ... Sugawara no Michizane by Kikuchi Yosai Kanke (also known as Sugawara no Michizane, from Ogura Hyakunin Isshu) Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道真 845 - March 26, 903), also known as Kan Shōjō (菅丞相), was a scholar, poet, and politician of the Heian Period of Japan. ... Events March 28 - Paris is sacked by Viking raiders, probably under Ragnar Lodbrok, who collect a huge ransom in exchange for leaving. ... Events Vikings invade England. ...


In his 1946 Ningen-sengen radio broadcast, the emperor Hirohito declared that he is not an akitsumikami (manifest kami). However, after this declaration, Hirohito asked for permission from the occupying forces to worship his ancestors, and, upon receiving permission, he worshipped Amaterasu, thus implying that he was of divine descent. Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Shin-Nippon kensetsu ni kan suru shōsho (新日本建設に関する詔書, lit. ... Emperor Shōwa ) (April 29, 1901 – January 7, 1989) was the 124th emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from December 25, 1926 until his death in 1989. ... The Sun goddess emerging out of a cave, bringing sunlight back to the universe. ...


Kami in popular culture

References to specific kami or the general Shinto idea of kami appear in various areas of popular culture, including anime and manga, role-playing games, and literature. In the Dragon Ball anime and manga series, the alien being who watches and protects the earth bears the name Kami. The 2004 expansion to the role-playing game Magic: The Gathering entitled Champions of Kamigawa features kami and Shinto as the basis for the ongoing storyline of the series. Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series shows the Conté royal family marrying into an Imperial line based on the Emperors of Japan. They preserve their claim to divine lineage by adding the "-kami" suffix to their names (e.g., Princess Shinkokami).[1] The main cast of the anime Cowboy Bebop (1998) (L to R: Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Ed Tivrusky, Faye Valentine, and Ein the dog) For the oleo-resin, see Animé (oleo-resin). ... This article is about the comics published in East Asian countries. ... This article is about games in which one plays the role of a character. ... Dragon Ball is the first part of the anime adaptation of the Dragon Ball manga written by Akira Toriyama and published in Japan in the Weekly Shonen Jump manga anthology comic. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In popular fiction and conspiracy theories, life forms, especially intelligent life forms, that are of extraterrestrial origin, i. ... Kami-sama (Japanese for God) is the name given to the individual fictional protectors of planets in the Dragon Ball universe although they are more like overseers. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Magic: The Gathering (colloq. ... Champions of Kamigawa (or Champions, or Kamigawa, or ChK) is the name of the Magic: The Gathering expansion set which came out in October of 2004. ... Tamora Pierce (born December 13, 1954) is a fantasy author who writes books for young adults. ... The Protector of the Small quartet is a series of books written by Tamora Pierce that tells the story of Keladry of Mindelan, a heroine in the fantasy land Tortall. ... The Conté royal family are the royal family of the kingdom of Tortall in Tamora Pierces Tortall series. ... For the CPR ocean liner, see Empress of Japan. ... For other uses, see Divinity (disambiguation) and Divine (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Ending (linguistics) be merged into this article or section. ...


Some notable kami

The Sun goddess emerging out of a cave, bringing sunlight back to the universe. ... The Sun (Latin: Sol) is the star at the center of the Solar System. ... Statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture For the 1934 film, see, see The Goddess (1934 film). ... Inari and her fox spirits help the blacksmith Munechika forge the blade ko-kitsune-maru (Little Fox) in the late 10th century. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... In Japanese Shintoism, Kotoamatsukami (別天神, literally means distinguishing heavenly kami) is the collective name for the first powers which came into existence at the time of the creation of the universe. ... 天瓊を以て滄海を探るの図. Painting by Eitaku Kobayashi (Meiji period). ... In Japanese mythology, Izanami (Katakana: イザナミ; Kanji: 伊弉冉尊 or 伊邪那美命, meaning She who invites) is a goddess of both creation and death, as well as the former wife of the god Izanagi. ... Susanoo, (Japanese: 須佐之男命, Susa-no-O-no-Mikoto; also romanized as Susanoo, Susa-no-O, and Susanowo) in Shinto is the god of the sea and storms. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... A shelf cloud associated with a heavy or severe thunderstorm over Enschede, Netherlands A storm is any disturbed state of an astronomical bodys atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather. ... Sarutahiko-no-Oh-Kami (サルタヒコ), is a kami, a deity of the Japanese religion of Shinto. ...

References

  1. ^ Pierce, Tamora (28). Lianokami. SheroesCentral. Retrieved on 2007-01-31. “-kami to denote the inheritance from the Yamani imperial (divine) line.”
  • Ono, Sokyo (1962). Shinto: The Kami Way. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3557-8. 

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

This is a list of divinities native to Japanese beliefs and religious traditions. ... Most Japanese people profess to not believe in any one particular religion. ...

External links

Look up Kami in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • Kami at Onmark database

Japanese Mythology & Folklore Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Amaterasu_cave_crop. ... Japanese mythology is a very complex system of beliefs that embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculture-based folk religion. ... Japanese folklore is the folklore of Japan. ...

Mythic Texts and Folktales:
Kojiki | Nihon Shoki | Otogizōshi | Yotsuya Kaidan
Urashima Tarō | Kintarō | Momotarō | Tamamo-no-Mae
Divinities:
Izanami | Izanagi | Amaterasu
Susanoo | Ama-no-Uzume | Inari
List of divinities | Kami | Seven Lucky Gods
Legendary Creatures:
Oni | Kappa | Tengu | Tanuki | Fox | Yōkai | Dragon
Mythical and Sacred Locations:
Mt. Hiei | Mt. Fuji | Izumo | Ryūgū-jō | Takamagahara | Yomi Kojiki or Furukotofumi (古事記), also known in English as the Records of Ancient Matters, is the oldest surviving historical book recounting events of ancient earth in the Japanese language. ... Nihonshoki (日本書紀) is the second oldest history book about the ancient history of Japan. ... Illustration from otogizōshi tale, published c. ... Yotsuya Kaidan (四つ谷怪談) is a Japanese ghost story. ... Urashima Tarō ) is a Japanese fairy tale about a fisherman who rescues a turtle and is rewarded with a visit to the RyÅ«gÅ«-jō, the Dragon Palace. ... This article is about the Japanese folklore hero; for the Mortal Kombat character, see Kintaro (Mortal Kombat character). ... Bisque doll of Momotarō Momotarō (桃太郎) is a hero from Japanese folklore. ... Tamamo-no-Mae (玉藻前) is a legendary figure in Japanese mythology. ... In Japanese mythology, Izanami (Katakana: イザナミ; Kanji: 伊弉冉尊 or 伊邪那美命, meaning She who invites) is a goddess of both creation and death, as well as the former wife of the god Izanagi. ... 天瓊を以て滄海を探るの図. Painting by Eitaku Kobayashi (Meiji period). ... The Sun goddess emerging out of a cave, bringing sunlight back to the universe. ... Susanoo, (Japanese: 須佐之男命, Susa-no-O-no-Mikoto; also romanized as Susanoo, Susa-no-O, and Susanowo) in Shinto is the god of the sea and storms. ... Categories: Stub | Japanese goddesses ... Inari and her fox spirits help the blacksmith Munechika forge the blade ko-kitsune-maru (Little Fox) in the late 10th century. ... This is a list of divinities native to Japanese beliefs and religious traditions. ... The seven fortune gods (七福神, shichi fukujin) in Japan refer to the seven gods of good fortune in Japanese folklore: ; . They are often the subject of netsuke carvings and other representations. ... A statue of a red oni wielding a tetsubo. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Tengu and a Buddhist monk, by Kawanabe Kyōsai. ... Pottery statue of tanuki Wild Tanuki Mt. ... Prince Hanzoku terrorized by a nine-tailed fox. ... ukiyo-e print of yōkai, by Aotoshi Matsui Yōkai apparitions, spirits, or demons, also romanized youkai, yokai, or yookai) are a class of obake, creatures in Japanese folklore (many with Chinese origins) ranging from the evil oni to the mischievous kitsune or snow woman Yuki-onna. ... Japanese Dragon water fountain in Fujiyoshida. ... Mount Hiei (Jp. ... Mount Fuji Mount Fuji , IPA: )   is the highest mountain in Japan. ... Izumo (Japanese: 出雲国; Izumo no kuni) was an old province of Japan which today consists of the eastern part of Shimane prefecture in the Chugoku region. ... In Japanese mythology, RyÅ«gÅ«-jō (竜宮城) is the undersea palace of RyÅ«jin, the dragon god of the sea. ... Takama-ga-hara (Japanese: 高天原), or The High Plain of Heaven, is a place in Japanese mythology. ... This article is about the location in japanese mythology. ...

Religions | Sacred Objects | Creatures and Spirits

  Results from FactBites:
 
BBC - Religion & Ethics - Kami: What are kami? (766 words)
Kami are close to human beings and respond to human prayers.
The idea that kami are the same as God stems in part from the use of the word kami to translate the word 'God' in some 19th century translations of the Bible into Japanese.
The term kami is sometimes applied to spirits that live in things, but it is also applied directly to the things themselves - so the kami of a mountain or a waterfall may be the actual mountain or waterfall, rather than the spirit of the mountain or waterfall.
Kami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1476 words)
"Kami" are the central objects of worship for the Shinto faith.
The concept of kami has been changed and refined since ancient times, although anything that was considered to be kami by ancient people will still be considered kami in "modern" Shinto.
A Contemplation on Atsuta-no-Ookami - The Kami of the Sword
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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