Glossary of Shinto

This is the glossary of Shinto, including major terms the casual (or brand-new) reader might find useful in understanding articles on the subject. Words followed by an asterisk (*) are illustrated by an image in one of the photo galleries. Within definitions, words set in boldface are defined elsewhere in the glossary.


AEdit

  • Akabeko (赤べこ, lit. "Red Cow") – A red papier-mâché bobblehead cow toy; a kind of Engimono and an Omiyage (a regional souvenir in Japan), regarded as symbolic of the Aizu region of Japan, specifically meant to represent strength and devotion.
  • Akomeôgi (衵扇, lit. "Chemise Fan") – A kind of fan held by aristocratic women of the Heian period when formally dressed; it is brightly painted with tassels and streamers on the ends. Held today in Shinto by a Miko in formal costume for festivals. See also Hiôgi (below).
  • Aku (, lit. "Evil") – Evil. The term's meaning is however not limited to moral evil, but includes misfortune, inferiority and unhappiness.[1]
  • Akuma (悪魔, lit. "Evil, Devil") - A malevolent fire spirit, demon or devil.
  • Akuru (悪樓, lit. "Evil Tower") - Also known as the Akujin, the Kibi-no-Ananowatari-no-Kami and as the Anato-no-Kami, Akuru is a malevolent Kami or spirit, mentioned in the Keikoki (records regarding the time of the Emperor Keiko), in the Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan), and in the Kojiki (The Records of Ancient Matters).
  • Akuryō (悪霊, lit. "Evil Spirit") – A malevolent spirit, demon or devil.
  • Akuryō Taisan (悪霊退散, lit. "Evil Spirit Be Gone") – A spell, a command for dispelling a malevolent spirit, demon or devil. One of the earliest uses of this phrase can be seen in the Noh theatre play, Dōjōji.
  • Ama (, lit. "Heaven(ly)") – The Divine/Deva realm of incarnation, the highest realm on the Wheel of Re-Incarnation. See also Sora (below), Ten (below), Tenjō (below), and Rinne (below).
  • Amagatsu (天児, lit. "Heaven(ly) Newborn") – See Hōko (below).
  • Amakudari (天降 & 天下り, lit. "Heaven(ly) Descent") – A (living) being who is an incarnation of a divine being; an avatar.
  • Amano-Iwato (天岩戸, lit. "Heavenly Rock Cave") – In Japanese mythology/Shintoism, Amano-Iwato is the name of the cave where the Kami, Amaterasu, fled after the violent actions of her youngest brother Susanoo caused the death of one of her weavers. Thus, the land was deprived of light, and mononoke from hell were free to roam the lands and wreak havoc. It took the other Kami to lure her out again, restoring the sun to the world.
  • Ama-no-Jaku (天の邪鬼, lit. "Malevolent Spirits from Heaven") – An Oni-like creatures in Japanese folklore; the Ama-no-Jaku is thought to be able to provoke a person's darkest desires, and, thus, an Ama-no-Jaku instigates them into perpetrating wicked deeds. Similar to Ama-no-Zako (below). See also Jaki (below) and Jama (below).
  • Ama-no-uki-hashi (天之浮橋, lit. "Floating Bridge of Heaven") – In Shinto, Takamagahara (or Takama no Hara) is the dwelling place of the heavenly gods (the Amatsukami). It is believed to be connected to the Earth by the bridge, Ama-no-uki-hashi. Similar to the Bifröst of Norse mythology.
  • Ama-no-Zako (天逆毎, lit. "[Malevolent Spirit] Opposing Heaven") – A monstrous Megami mentioned in the Kujiki, which states that she originated when Susanoo let his own ferocious spirit (Aramitama) build up inside him until he vomited her out. Similar to Ama-no-Jaku (above).
  • Amaterasu Ōmikami (天照大神, 天照大御神 or 天照皇大神, lit. "Heaven(ly) Illumination Great Honourable Imperial Divinity") – The Shinto Sun Goddess, tutelary kami and ancestor of the Emperor, enshrined at Ise Shrine.[1]
  • Amatsukami (天津神, lit. "Heavenly Deities") – Kami from Takamagahara.
  • Amatsu Tsumi (天津罪 / 天つ罪, lit. "Crimes in Heaven") – A term for Tsumi (below) specifically committed against heaven. For example, the crimes committed by Susanoo-no-Mikoto against his sister, Amaterasu Ōmikami, are considered as Amatsu Tsumi. The corresponding concept to Amatsu Tsumi is Kunitsu Tsumi (below).
  • Ame-no-Nuhoko (天沼矛, 天之瓊矛 or 天瓊戈, lit. "Jewel(ed) Spear of Heaven") – The name given to the spear in Shinto mythology used by Izanagi and Izanami to raise the primordial land-mass, Onogoro-shima, from the sea; it is often depicted as a naginata.
  • Ame-no-Uzume (天宇受売命 or 天鈿女命, lit. "Shining Heavenly Sky Goddess") – The Shinto goddess of the dawn, mirth, meditation, revelry and the arts, and the wife of fellow-Kami, Sarutahiko Ōkami. See also Otafuku (below).
  • An* (, lit. "table", "platform") – A small portable table or platform used during Shinto ceremonies to bear offerings. It may have four, eight or upwards of sixteen legs.
  • Ano-Yo (あの世, lit. "That World") – See Seishinkai (below).
  • Anzen (安全, lit. "Safety", "Security") – A kind of omamori, specifically for safety, particularly safety at work, frequently requested from a kami, and in fact corporations often have a tutelary shrine specifically to ensure their business prospers.[1]
  • Aoi Matsuri (葵祭, lit. the "Hollyhock Festival") – One of the three main annual festivals held in Kyoto, Japan (the other two being the Festival of the Ages (Jidai Matsuri) and the Gion Festival). It is a festival of the two Kamo shrines in the north of the city, Shimogamo Shrine and Kamigamo Shrine. The festival may also be referred to as the Kamo Festival. It is held on 15 May of each year.
  • Ara-Mitama (荒魂, lit. "Wild Soul") – The rough and violent side of a whole, complete spirit (Mitama).[2] The Ara-Mitama is associated with the colours black and purple, and with the Cardinal direction of North. Ama-no-Zako, a monstrous Megami, is actually the incarnated-Ara-Mitama of the storm Kami, Susanoo-no-Mikoto.
  • Aruki Miko (歩き巫女, lit. a "Wandering Miko") – An itinerant Miko, who is not in service to anyone Shrine in-particular, but who, rather, wanders around the country, from village to village, nomadically, performing services (i.e. exorcisms, mediumship, etc.) where needed, and living off-of charity.
  • Ashihara no Nakatsukuni (葦原の中つ国, lit. The "Middle Country of Reed beds") – In Japanese mythology/Shintoism, this term is applied to the plane of existence that exists between Takamagahara (Heaven) and Yomi (Hell); in other words, the Realm of the Living. In time, the term became another word for the country or the location of Japan itself. The term can be used interchangeably with Toyoashihara no Nakatsukuni. See also, Upper World (Greek mythology).
  • A-Un (阿吽, lit. "Om") – In Shinto-Buddhism, A-Un is the transliteration in Japanese of the two syllables "a" and "hūṃ", written in Devanagari as अहूँ (the syllable, Om). See also NiŌ and Gozu and Mezu.
  • Ayakashi (妖怪, lit. "Strange, Unusual, Supernatural, Paranormal, Extraordinary") – An umbrella term that can cover ghosts, phantoms, phantasms, apparitions and illusions, goblins, monsters, demons, devils and any kind of supernatural beasts and beings; the corporeal and the incorporeal; real or fantasy; specifically, Ayakashi is a term more specific for Yōkai that appear above the surface of some body of water. See also Hitobosu, Hitomoshi, Kitsunebi (below), Rinka, Shiranui, Yōkai (below), and Will-o'-the-wisp & St. Elmo's fire.
  • Azusa Yumi (梓弓, lit. the "Cherry Birch Yumi-Bow") – a sacred bow (Yumi) used in certain Shinto rituals in Japan, as well as a Japanese musical bow; made from the wood of the Japanese Azusa (梓) or Japanese cherry birch tree (Betula grossa). Playing an Azusa Yumi forms part of some Shinto rituals; in Japan, it is universally believed that merely the twanging of the bowstring will frighten ghosts and evil spirits away from a house (see Kigan (below)).

BEdit

  • Bakemono (化け物, lit. "Formless Thing") – A monsterous apparition; a monster.
  • Banbutsu (万物, lit. "Ten Thousand Things") – A term used to refer to the whole world.
  • Banshō (万象, lit. "Ten Thousand Likenesses") – A term, meaning "All Things", "All the Universe", and "Every manifestation of nature".
  • Bekkū or Betsugū (別宮, lit. "Separate temple/shrine") – A subsidiary shrine next to the honden, which may however enshrine an equally important kami.[1]
  • Benzaiten (弁才天, 弁財天, lit. "Heavenly-Happy Talents") – Originally a Vedic goddess, Sarasvati, she is now a syncretic goddess, and a member of the Seven Lucky Gods. She is also syncretized with the Shinto Kami, Ichikishima-hime-no-mikoto (市杵島姫命, lit. "Female [goddess] of the Island of Worship").[1]
  • Bettō (別当, lit. "Acting-Division Head") – before the shinbutsu bunri, when the Meiji period law forbade the mixing of Shinto and Buddhism, a bettō was a monk who performed Buddhist rites at a Shinto shrine.
  • Bishamonten – Syncretic deity of Buddhist origin part of the Seven Lucky Gods.[1] A symbol of authority, he protects warriors.
  • Bon Matsuri (, lit. "Votive offering Festival") – A festival celebrated around July 15 in order to console the spirits of the dead. In theory a Buddhist festival, but in practice an ancestor and family festival part of Shinto.[1]
  • Bonshō (梵鐘, lit. "Buddhist Bell") – large bells found in Buddhist temples throughout Japan, used to summon the monks to prayer and to demarcate periods of time. Rather than containing a clapper, bonshō are struck from the outside, using either a handheld mallet or a beam suspended on ropes. See also Suzu (below), Kagura suzu (below), Rin (below) and Dōtaku (below).
  • Bosatsu (菩薩, lit. "Bodhisattva") – A Bodhisattva. Term of Buddhist origin which however was and is often used for deities of mixed Buddhist/Shinto ancestry such-as Benzaiten and Jizō, Kami such-as Hachiman, and even deified human beings like Tokugawa Ieyasu.[1]
  • Bōrei (亡霊, lit. "Deceased/Vague Spirit") – A term for a ghost, a kind of yūrei, but one whose identity (and grudge) is unknown.
  • Bokusen (卜占, lit. "Divination, Scrying, Fortune-Telling") – The act of divining; foreseeing or a foretelling of future events. See also Futomani (below) and Ukehi (below).
  • Buden (舞殿, lit. "Dancing Hall") – Another word for a Kaguraden, a platform/pavilion or stage dedicated to the performing of the kagura (sacred dance).
  • Bunrei (分霊, lit. a "Division (of a) Spirit/Soul") – A process of division of a kami producing two complete copies of the original (similar to cell division/mitosis), one of which is then transferred to a new shrine by a process called Kanjō (see also Kanjō, below).
  • Bunsha (分社, lit. a "Division (of a) shrine") – A shrine that is a part of a network headed by a more famous shrine, from whence its kami was transferred by an operation called kanjō.[1]
  • Butsudan (仏壇, lit. a "Buddhist image platform") – A Buddhist altar found in Japanese homes, enshrining a family's ancestors.[1]
  • Busshitsukai (物質界, lit. the "Material World") – The Material World, the Physical World, the Corporeal World, the world of the Living, as-opposed-to the spiritual, non-corporeal world that co-exists all around-&-through the material world (Seishinkai (below)), that spirit beings inhabit, but in a different dimension. The realm of the living, great-&-small.
  • Busshitsusekai (物質世界, lit. the "Material World") – See Busshitsukai (above) and Ko-Yo (below).

CEdit

  • Chi (, lit. "Wisdom, Knowledge, Intelligence") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • Chigi* (千木, lit. "Thousand Wood(en beams)") – Forked decorations common at the ends of the roof of shrines.
  • Chihara (, lit. "Finishing-Touch Robe") – a kind of ceremonial overcoat with a long white hem worn by a Miko in certain Shinto ceremonies; similar to a Kannushi's Jōe over-robes.
  • Chinju (鎮社, lit. "Garrison Shrine") – The tutelary kami or tutelary shrine of a certain area or Buddhist temple (see also, Chinjusha).
  • Chinjusha* (鎮守社, lit. a local "Garrison Protector Shrine") – a small shrine dedicated to the tutelary kami of an area or building[1] (see also Chinju).
  • Chitose-Ame (千歳飴, lit. "Thousand-Year Candy") – Long, thin sticks of red-&-white candy—which symbolizes healthy growth and longevity—sold at festivals for children, specifically for Shichi-Go-San (below). Chitose-Ame is given in a bag decorated with a crane and a turtle—which represent long life in Japan. Chitose-Ame is wrapped in thin, clear-&-edible rice paper film that resembles plastic.
  • Chōchin (提灯, lit. "Portable Lantern(s)") – Paper lanterns always present at Shinto festivals (matsuri).
  • Chōchō (, lit. "Butterfly") – Butterflies, native to Japan and to Japanese culture. The Chōchō is also featured among Engimono (above), its multiple colours is seen as amongst the 5 lucky colours in Chinese culture (that came-over to Japan). The Chōchō is seen as lucky, especially if seen in pairs, if a symbol contains two butterflies dancing around each other, it is a symbol of marital happiness.
  • Chikushō (畜生, lit. "Animal/Lifestock Lifetime") – The Mortal/Animal realm of incarnation, the third-lowest realm on the Wheel of Re-incarnation. See also Rinne (below).
  • Chōnōryoku (超能力, lit. "Transcending Ability/Abilities") – Psychic ability, such as ESP or PSI.
  • Chōzubachi (手水鉢, lit. "Hand-Washing earthenware-basin") – Usually made of stone, a Chōzubachi is a water bowl, is a vessel used to rinse the hands in Japanese temples, shrines and gardens; see also Chōzuya and Temizuya.
  • Chōzuya (手水舎, lit. "Hand-Washing Pavilion") – A Shinto water ablution pavilion for a ceremonial purification rite known as Temizu or Chōzu (手水, lit. "Hand-Water/Washing"). The pavilion contains a large water-filled basin called a chōzu-bachi; see also Temizuya.
  • Chinkon (鎮魂, lit. "the calming of the spirits", "Requiem") – A Shinto Gishiki (a ritual) performed for converting ara-mitama into nigi-mitama, quelling maleficent spirits, prevent misfortune and alleviate fear from events and circumstances that could not otherwise be explained; i.e. Ara-mitama that failed to achieve deification due to lack of sufficient veneration, or who lost their divinity following attrition of worshipers, became yōkai.
  • Chinkonsei (鎮魂祭, lit. "Calming-of-the Spirits Service", "Requiem") – A Shinto Matsuri (a festival) performed for converting ara-mitama into nigi-mitama, quelling maleficent spirits, prevent misfortune and alleviate fear from events and circumstances that could not otherwise be explained; i.e. Ara-mitama that failed to achieve deification due to lack of sufficient veneration, or who lost their divinity following attrition of worshipers, became yōkai.
  • Chūgi (忠義, lit. "Duty and Loyalty") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.

DEdit

  • Daijōsai (大嘗祭, lit. "Great Tastes Festival") – A Ceremony marking the beginning of an Emperor's reign in which he offers first fruits to ancestors, including Amaterasu.[1] The Emperor then shares a meal with the goddess.
  • Dai-gongen (大権現, lit. "Great Incarnation") – Also see gongen (below).
  • Daikokuten (大黒天, lit. "Great Black Heavens") – A syncretic god, part of the Seven lucky gods fusing Buddhist god Mahakala and kami Ōkuninushi.[1]
  • Daikyōkan Jigoku (大叫喚地獄, lit. "Hell of Great Screaming") – The 5th level of Jigoku, location for sinners who have committed murder (even the murder of small creatures such as insects), theft, degeneration, drunkenness and lying.
  • Daishonetsu Jigoku (大焦熱地獄, lit. "Hell of Great Burning") – The 7th level of Jigoku, location for sinners who have committed murder (even the murder of small creatures such as insects), theft, degeneration, drunkenness, lying, blasphemy and rape.
  • Dōsojin (道祖神, lit. "Travelling Guardian Divinities") – A group of kami and Buddhist gods, protectors of roads, borders and other places of transition.[1] Comparable to the Greco-Roman Hermes / Mercury and to Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travellers.
  • Dojin (土神, lit. "Earth God") – Another name for any Shinto earth deity.
  • Dōongo / Dōon Igigo (同音語 / 同音異義語, lit. "Like-Sound Utterance" / "Like-Sound Different-Meaning Utterance") – Homophones, while not a-part of Shinto-in-&-of-themselves, occur in many things that are considered lucky are considered-so because they are homophones of things that are lucky (i.e. Jū Nana meaning, both 'great wealth'/'prosperity' and the number #17), and, likewise, many things that are considered unlucky are considered-so because they are homophones of things that are unlucky (i.e. Shizan meaning, both, 'stillborn' and the number #43). See also Kotodama (below), Imikotoba (below), Tetraphobia, Japanese superstitions and Onomatopoeia.
  • Dōtaku (銅鐸, lit. "Copper Bell") – Large Japanese bronze bells smelted from relatively thin bronze and richly decorated. See also Bonshō (above), Rin and Suzu (below).

EEdit

  • Ebisu (恵比須, 恵比寿, , , lit. "Blessed Long-Life Measurement") – The Shinto Kami of prosperity found at both temples and shrines. One of the Seven Lucky Gods.
  • Eboshi (烏帽子, lit. "Riding Hatwear") – A kind of pointed hat originally worn by Heian-era aristocrats and Samurai, it is now worn by Kannushi as formal-wear for occasions such as Matsuri (festivals), weddings, etc. See also Kanmuri (below) and Kazaori Eboshi (below).
  • Edo (穢土, lit. the "Impure World") – In Buddhism, the term 'Impure Land', refers to the earthly realm, the Land of the Living.
  • Eirei (英霊, lit. "[Poppy] Flower Spirit") – The spirit or ghost of a warrior/soldier who fell in battle.
  • Ema* (絵馬, lit. "Picture Horse") – Small wooden plaques on which worshippers at shrines, as well as Buddhist temples, write their prayers or wishes.
  • Engimono (縁起物, lit. "[Good] Omen Thing") – An 'umbrella term' for talismans and Good luck charms such as Omamori and Ofuda, along with Hama Yumi-&-Hamaya, Inu-hariko, Daruma dolls, Ema, Akabeko, Maneki-neko, Okiagari-koboshi, etc. Not all Engimono are sold all-year-round; while some may be sold all-year-round, others are seasonal (i.e. floral and ever-green Engimono will be sold during their seasons or festivals, i.e. peaches and peach-blossoms in March for the Hina-Matsuri festival).

FEdit

  • Fox – See Kitsune (, lit. "Fox"), an animal believed to have magical powers and to be a messenger to kami, Inari.
  • Fuji (Mount) (富士山, lit. "Abundant Earth Mountain") – The most famous among Japan's three sacred mountains, the Sanreizan (三霊山, lit. "Three Spiritual Mountains"), Mt. Fuji is inhabited by a kami called Konohanasakuya-hime.[1]
  • Fūjin / Fūjin-Sama (風神 / 風神様, lit. "Wind God/Divinity" / "Lord/Master Wind God/Divinity") – The Shinto kami of the winds, resembles an Oni and is the brother of the thunder kami, Raijin; together, they are both said to be two of the many sons and other children of Izanagi and Izanami.
  • Fukkō Shintō (復興神道, lit. "Restoration Shinto") – A term synonymous with kokugaku.
  • Futomani (太占, lit. "Great Fortune-Telling") – A traditional Shinto system of divination, similar to the Chinese Oracle bone technique, but using stag bones instead of bulls scapula bones &/or turtle plastrons. See also Scapulimancy and Pyromancy.

GEdit

  • Gagaku (雅楽, lit. "Refined Entertainment") – Traditional Court music which was introduced into Japan with Buddhism from Korea and China; now played for Shinto rituals and ceremonies.
  • Gaki (餓鬼, lit. "Hungry Ghost") – The "Hungry ghost" realm of incarnation, the second-lowest realm on the Wheel of Re-incarnation. See Rinne (below).
  • Gehōbako (外法箱, lit. "Outer Path Box") – A 'supernatural' box that is used to hold Shinto sharmanic paraphernalia, particular to a given Jinja (Shinto shrine); such contents include (but are not limited-to) such things as dolls, animal and human skulls, and Shinto rosaries/prayer beads. See also Sacred bundles/Medicine bags (Native American) and Gris-gris bags/Mojo bags (Voodoo).
  • Gi (, lit. "Righteousness") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • Gogyo (五元, lit. Five Phases, Five Elements)
  • Gion Matsuri (祇園祭, lit. the "Earth Spirit Park Festival") – One of the three main annual festivals held in Kyoto, Japan (the other two being the Aoi Matsuri and the Jidai Festival). Gion Matsuri is one of the largest festivals in Japan for purification and pacification of disease-causing-entities. It takes place in the month of July on the 17th and 24th.
  • Giri (義理, lit. "Duty, Responsibility, Obligation, Burden") – One of the seven-plus virtues of Bushido.
  • Go-hei* (御幣, lit. "Great Wand") – A wooden wand decorated with two shide (zigzag paper streamers) and used in Shinto rituals as a yorishiro. Also called Heisoku (幣束, lit. "Wealth Bunch") or Onbe (御幣, lit. "Great Wand").
  • Gokuraku (極楽, lit. "Paradise", "Heaven") – See also Gokuraku Jōdo (below) and Jōdo (below).
  • Gokuraku Jōdo (極楽浄土, lit. "Paradise", "Heaven", the "Pure Land") – See also Gokuraku (above) and Jōdo (below).
  • Gongen (権現, lit. "Current Authority; Incarnation"):
    • A Buddhist god that chooses to appear as a Japanese kami to take the Japanese to spiritual salvation.
    • Name sometimes used for shrines (e.g. "Tokusō Gongen") before the shinbutsu bunri.
  • Gongen-zukuri (権現造, lit. "Current Authority Architecture") – A shrine structure in which the haiden, the heiden and the honden are interconnected under the same roof in the shape of an H.* See also Ishi-no-ma-zukuri.
  • Goryō (御霊, lit. "Great Soul, Honourable Soul") – A soul, angry for having died violently or unhappy, which needs to be pacified through Buddhist rites or enshrinement, like Sugawara no Michizane;[1] vengeful Japanese ghosts from the aristocratic classes, especially those who have been martyred.
  • Gosekku (五節句, lit. the "Five Seasonal Festivals") – The 5 Annual Cultural Ceremonies/Festivals that were traditionally held at the Japanese imperial court. The Gosekku were originally adapted from Chinese practices and first celebrated in Japan in the Nara period in the 8th–10th centuries CE. The festivals were held until the beginning of the Meiji era. Some of them are still celebrated by the public today.
  • Go-Shinboku (御神木, lit. "Great Shinboku") – See Shinboku.
  • Go-Shintai (御神体, lit. "Great Shintai") – See Shintai.
  • Gozu-tennō (牛頭天王, lit. "Powerful Previous Heavenly Emperor") – Buddhist name of the kami Susanoo, considered an avatar of Yakushi Nyorai.[1]
  • Gozu and Mezu (牛頭, lit. "Ox-Head", and 馬頭, lit. "Horse-Head") – In Shinto-Buddhism, Gozu and Mezu are the Japanese names for Niútóu and Mǎmiàn, two guardians (or types of guardians) of the underworld in Chinese and Shinto-Buddist mythology. As indicated by their names, both have the bodies of men, but Gozu/Ox-Head has the head of an ox while Mezu/Horse-Face has the face of a horse. They are the first beings a dead soul encounters upon entering the underworld (Jigoku (below)); in many stories they directly escort the newly dead to the underworld, as-well-as at the entrance of many Buddhist temples. See also NiŌ (below), and A-Un (above).
  • -Gū (, lit. "Shrine, Temple") – A suffix of certain shrine names indicating it enshrines a member of the imperial family.[1] hachiman-gū shrines, for instance, enshrine Emperor Ojin.
  • Gunbai (軍配, lit. "Army Positioning") – Short for Gunbai-Uchiwa (below)
  • Gunbai-Uchiwa (軍配団扇, lit. "Army Positioning Uchiwa") – An item associated with leadership and ceremonial significance, back in Ancient Japan; wielded by Royalty, Aristocracy, Daimyō, military leaders and Kannushi; nowadays used by umpires in Sumo.

HEdit

  • Hachiman (八幡神, lit. "Eight Banners Divinity") – A Popular syncretic kami tutelary god of the warrior class. First enshrined at Usa Hachiman-gū, it consists of three separate figures, Emperor Ōjin, his mother and his wife, Himegami.[1]
  • Hachiman-zukuri (八幡造, lit. "Hachiman-Architecture") – Shinto architectural style in which two parallel structures with gabled roofs are interconnected on the non-gabled side forming a single building which, when seen from the side, gives the impression of two.[3]
  • Hagoromo[disambiguation needed] (羽衣, lit. a "Feather[ed] Raiment/Robe[s]") – The stole-like, feathered, Heavenly Kimono or Mantle of Tennin (see below), spiritual beings found in Japanese Shinto-Buddhism; Hagoromo allowed the Tennin wearing them to fly, earning Tennin the moniker of Hiten (飛天, lit. "Flying Heaven"). A Hagoromo is mentioned in The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, when one such Raiment is placed-upon Kaguya-hime's shoulders, and makes her (apparently) forget all of the Shu[disambiguation needed] (, lit. "Upādāna"; "Material World Attachment(s)") that Kaguya-hime had formed with her mortal foster-parents, friends and the Emperor of Japan (during the time that The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is set in), and all of the sadness and compassion that came with those attachments, during the years she'd spent in the mortal world. See also Tenne (below) and Halos.
  • Haibutsu kishaku (廃仏毀釈, lit. "Destroy Buddha, kill Shakyamuni") – Literally "Destroy Buddha, kill Shakyamuni", it was the slogan of a Meiji period anti-Buddhist movement responsible for the destruction of thousands of Buddhist temples.
  • Haiden (拝殿, lit. "Hall of Prayer") – A shrine building dedicated to prayer, and the only one of a shrine open to laity.
  • Hakama (, lit. "Lower-body Robes") – A type of traditional Japanese clothing; originally inspired from (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ), trousers used by the Chinese imperial court in the Sui and Tang dynasties, this style was adopted by the Japanese in the form of the Hakama, beginning in the 6th century. Hakama are tied at the waist and fall approximately to the ankles, and are worn over a kimono (hakamashita). There are two main types of Hakama; the Umanori (馬乗り, lit. "Horseback-Riding Hakama") or 'divided' Hakama, like a pair of baggy trousers, and the Andon Bakama (行灯袴, lit. "Lantern Hakama") or 'undivided' Hakama, like a skirt; originally worn by male and female courtiers and ladies-in-waiting of the Heian court; now worn by Kannushi-&-Miko-alike, in both formal-&-non-formal functions of a Shinto Shrine.
  • Haku (, lit. "Soul, Life force, Vitalism") – Stemming from Daoism, haku is that ethereal part of the soul (as opposed to its counterpart, kon (魂)) which is indissolubly attached to the body, and returns down to the earth after death; the supraluminal soul.
  • Hakurei (魄霊, lit. "Vitalism, Spirit, Anima") – The soul or spirit of a person, usually someone who has just died.
  • Hakusan – collective name given to three mountains worshiped as kami and sacred to the Shugendō.[4] Hakusan shrines are common all over Japan.
  • Hamaya (破魔矢, lit. "evil-banishing arrow") – Decorative arrows bought for good luck (as an Engimono) at Shinto shrines at New Year's and kept at home all year.[1]
  • Hama Yumi (破魔弓, lit. "evil-banishing bow") – is a sacred bow first said to have been used in 1103 A.D. in Japan. This yumi-bow is said to be one of the oldest and most sacred of Japanese weapons; the first Emperor Jimmu is always depicted carrying a bow, identified as being an Azusa-wood Yumi.
  • Han-Honji suijaku (本地垂迹, lit. "Native Suspended Tracks") – A theory initiated by Yoshida Kanetomo which reversed the standard honji suijaku theory, asserting Buddhist gods were just avatars of Japanese kami.[1]
  • Hanagasa (花笠, lit. "Flower Hat") – A flowered-hat worn by Miko during festivals (Matsuri).
  • Hanami (花見, lit. "Flower Viewing") – The Japanese traditional festival and custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers; flowers ("hana") are in this case almost always referring to those of the cherry ("sakura") or, less frequently, plum ("Ume") and peach ("Momo") trees. From the end of March to early May, cherry trees bloom all over Japan, and around the first of February on the island of Okinawa. The blossom forecast (桜前線, sakura-zensen) "cherry blossom front" is announced each year by the weather bureau, and is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week or two.
  • Hannya (般若, lit. "Prajñā") – A female yōkai found in Japanese folklore (and in Kagura and Noh Theater), and is most often described as a monstrous Oni of a female; an Hannya is a yōkai who was originally once a normal mortal human woman, but one who has become so overcome with her jealousy that it has metaphorically consumed her, followed by literally transforming her into a Hannya Oni.
  • Harae (, lit. "Purification") – general term for rituals of purification in Shinto.[1] Methods of purification include Misogi.
  • Haraedo (祓戸, lit. "Place of Purification") – a place where ritual purification is performed.
  • Haraedo-no-Kami (祓戸の神, lit. "Kami of Purification") – Kami of Purification.
  • Haraedo-no-Ōkami (祓戸の大神, lit. "Kami of Purification") – Kami of Purification; amongst the many Kami born when Izanagi performed the Misogi ritual in order to cleanse the netherworld filth on him after he had returned from his futile attempt to retrieve his late consort, Izanami.
  • Haraegushi (祓串, lit. "Purification Wand") – an ōnusa having a hexagonal or octagonal wand.
  • Hassoku-an (八足案, lit. an "8-Legged Table") – See An (above).
  • Hatsumōde (初詣, lit. "First Accomplishment") – The first shrine visit of the New Year. Some shrines, for example Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo, see millions of visitors in just a few days.
  • Hatsuhinode (初日の出, lit. "First Rising of the Sun") – The first Sunrise of the New Year. One of a number of "Firsts" activities of the New Year, as it is thought that paying careful attention to all of these firsts, and appreciating them for what they are, will bring one a year of good fortune.
  • Hatsuyume (初夢, lit. "First Dream") – The first dream that a person has on the New Year. In Shinto, it is believed that the subjects of the first dreams of the year are representative of what one's upcoming year will be like. (See also Oneiromancy).
  • Heiden (火産霊, lit. "Fire-Born Spirit") – A section of a shrine where offerings are presented to the gods.
  • Heihaku (幣帛, lit. "Wealth Material") – See also go-hei.
  • Heishi (瓶子, lit. "Small Bottle/Vase/Jar/Flasks") – Small bottles used for holding offerings, such as Nihonshū (日本酒, lit. "Japanese Sake"); numbered amongst the Shingu (tools used in shrine altars and home altars) for holding offerings. This only really needs to be offered on special occasions, like New Year's Day. Be warned though—the size and shape of the heishi make them rather hard to clean, and this, coupled by the fact that they are usually white in colour, means that one should avoid putting in drinks that might stain, like red wine.
  • Hi-Bakama (緋袴, lit. "Red Hakama") – A bright, red-coloured Hakama, specifically a kind of Andon Bakama (行灯袴, lit. "Lantern Hakama") or 'undivided' Hakama, like a skirt; originally worn by female courtiers and ladies-in-waiting of the Heian court; now worn by Miko in both formal-&-non-formal functions of a Shinto Shrine.
  • Himorogi (神籬, lit. "Divine Fence") – Temporary sacred spaces or altars used to worship. Usually, himorogi are simply areas demarcated with green bamboo or sakaki at the four corners supporting sacred border ropes called shimenawa.
  • Hina-Matsuri (雛祭り, lit. "Girls Festival") – A ceremony held on 3 March, celebrating the women of Japan, as well as expressing wishes for their continued good health. Originally celebrated as the "Peach Festival", it became known as Hina-Matsuri during the reign of Empress Meishō.
  • Hi-no-tama (火の玉, lit. "Balls of Fire") – Weird fireballs whose presence indicate supernatural activity (similar to the Will-o'-the-wisp of European culture), and are easily mistaken for hitodama (below), as well as Kitsunebi, Onibi and Shiranui.
  • Hiōgi (檜扇, lit. "[Japanese] Cypress Fan") – A fan used originally by Heian aristocrats. Now by Shinto priests in formal settings.[1] See also akomeôgi (above)
  • Hirairi / Hirairi-zukuri (平入 or 平入造, lit. "Pacify Entry Architecture") – A style of construction in which the building has its main entrance on the side which runs parallel to the roof's ridge (non gabled-side). The shinmei-zukuri, nagare-zukuri, hachiman-zukuri, and hie-zukuri styles belong to this type.
  • Hirazara (平皿, lit. "Flat Dish/Plate") – Numbered amongst the Shingu (tools used in shrine altars and home altars) for holding offerings, specifically one for holding rice and one for holding salt; these offerings should be replaced, ideally, once a day, but as little as once a week.
  • Hitobashira (人柱, lit. a "Human Pillar") – A practice now long-since outlawed in Japan, is a human sacrifice, buried alive under or near large-scale buildings like dams, bridges and castles (similar to how Oni heads are used as a type of roof ornamentation found in traditional Japanese architecture, like a Gargoyle, to ward-off negative influences), as a prayer to the gods so that the building is not destroyed by natural disasters such as floods or by enemy attacks. Hitobashira can also refer to workers who were buried alive under inhumane conditions.
  • Hitodama (人魂, lit. a "Human Soul") – The wayward soul of a human-being, but who has already passed-away, observed near graveyards-and-such, and are easily mistaken for Hi-no-tama (above).
  • Hitorigami (独神, lit. a "Monad Kami") – Shinto Kami who came into being alone, as opposed to those who came into being as male-female pairs.
  • Hōhei/Hōbei (奉幣, lit. "Money Offering") – Offerings made to a Kami, usually consisting in heihaku, but sometimes of jewels, money, weapons or other objects.[1]
  • Hōko (這子, lit. "Crawling Child") – A soft-bodied doll given to young women of age and especially to pregnant women in Japan as an amulet to protect both the new mother and the unborn child.
  • Hokora / Hokuraman ( or 神庫, lit. "Kami Warehouse-Shrine"):
    • an extremely small shrine
    • One of the earliest words for shrine
  • Ho-Musubi (火産霊, lit. "Fire-Born Spirit") – Another name for Kagutsuchi (迦具土, lit. "Shimmering Power/Force"), the Shinto Fire God.
  • Honden (本殿, lit. "Main Hall") – Literally a "main hall". Also called shinden (神殿) ("divine hall"), the honden is the most sacred building of a shrine, intended for the exclusive use of the enshrined kami.
  • Honji suijaku (本地垂迹, lit. "Main Ground Suspended Trace") – A theory dominant for centuries in Japan according to which Japanese kami are simply local manifestations of Indian gods.
  • Hongū (本宮, lit. "Main Shrine") – Located only within a jingū, the main shrine enshrining the principal kami, as opposed to betsugū, sessha or massha. The term includes haiden, heiden and honden.[1] See also honsha.
  • Honsha (本社, lit. "Main Shinto Shrine") – The main shrine of a shrine complex. It is followed hierarchically by Sessha and Massha.
  • Hōsōshi (方相氏, lit. "Direction [of] Scrutinization Person") – A term, now obsolete, for the role driving away devils at a certain religious ceremony, or the driver of the hearse carrying the coffin of a deceased emperor, back in ancient Japan; a ritual exorcist fulfilling a role in a funeral, called Tsuina (see below). Originally a Tang dynasty (618–907) Chinese custom, later adopted by the Japanese during the Heian period (794–1185), along with others.
  • Hotoke (, lit. "Buddha") – A term meaning either Buddha or "dead soul". While Buddhist in origin, the term is used in the second sense by all Japanese religions.[1]
  • Hyakudoishi (百度石, lit. "Hundred-Times Stone") – Sometimes present as a point of reference for the hyakudomairi near the entrance of a shrine or Buddhist temple.
  • Hyakudomairi (百度参り, lit. "Hundred-Times Visits") – Literally "a hundred visits". A worshiper with a special prayer will visit the shrine a hundred times. After praying, he or she must go at least back to the entrance or around a hyakudo-ishi for the next visit to count as a separate visit.
  • Hyōi (憑依, lit. "Possession") – Possession, specifically possession by a spirit or a Kami.

Gallery: A to HEdit

IEdit

  • Ichijama (生邪魔, lit. "Living Evil Spirit") – A specific kind-of curse from Okinawa; it is a type of Ikiryō—-a spirit of a still-living person which leaves the body to haunt its victim; not only people, but cows, pigs, horses and other livestock, as well as crops can be cursed by an Ichijama. An Ichijama is enacted using a special doll known as an Ichijama Butokii. See also Ikiryō (below) and Ushi no Koku Mairi (below).
  • Ichijama Butokii (生邪魔仏, lit. "Living Evil Spirit Image") – A specific kind-of doll—like a Poppet and a Voodoo doll—used to enact an Ichijama curse, native to Okinawa, used to plague the curser's intended victim, their families, their livestock, etc. See also Ushi no Koku Mairi (below).
  • Ichikishima-hime-no-mikoto (市杵島姫命, lit. "Female [goddess] of the Island of Worship") – See Benzaiten.
  • Ichirei Shikon (一霊四魂, lit. "One Spirit, Four Souls") – A philosophy within Shintoism in which one's mind/heart/spirit/soul consists of a whole spirit called Naohi (直霊, lit. "One Whole Aligned/Harmonius Spirit(s)") that is connected with the heaven and the Shikon (four individual sub-souls, called Aramitama (荒魂), Kushimitama (奇魂), Nigi-Mitama (和魂) and Sakimitama (幸魂)); naohi is the shikon in their positive aspects. However, when naohi does not properly function, the Shikon can turn into Magatsuhi (禍津日, lit. "Spirit of Disaster"), short for Magatsuhijin (禍津日神, lit. "God-Spirit of Disaster"), also-known-as magahi spirits; the shikon in their negative aspects.
  • Ikan (衣冠, lit. "Royal Robes") – A set of official robes/uniform, worn by aristocrats and court officials of the Heian-era court-onwards. Worn today in Shinto by a Kannushi in formal costume for festivals.
  • Ikiryō (生霊, lit. a "Living Spirit", an "Eidolon") – In Japanese popular belief, folklore and fiction, refers to a disembodied spirit that leaves the body of a person who is still living and subsequently haunts other people or places, sometimes across great distances. The term(s) are used in contrast to a Shiryō (死霊, lit. a "Dead Spirit"), which refers to the spirit of those who are already deceased (below).
  • Imi (忌み, lit. "Abhorrent, Detestable") – Something to be avoided or polluting, particularly to a ceremony.[1] See also Kegare (below) and Tsumi (below).
  • Imikotoba (忌み言葉, lit. "Abhorrent/Detestable Words") – Certain, specific words to be avoided in certain occasions. For example, one should not use words such as "cut", "end" and the like at weddings because of bad omen or Buddhist terms at certain Shinto shrines or rites.[1]
  • Inari Ōkami* (稲荷大神, lit. "Fruiting-Rice Great-Divinity") – The Shinto kami of fertility, rice, agriculture, foxes, industry, and worldly success. Inari's shrines can be easily identified by the stone foxes which protect it, like Komainu.
  • In'yō (陰陽, lit. "Yin-Yang") – A concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. In Asian cosmology, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy, organized into the cycles of Yin and Yang and formed into objects and lives. Yin is the receptive and Yang the active principle, seen in all forms of change and difference such as the annual cycle (winter and summer), the landscape (north-facing shade and south-facing brightness), sexual coupling (female and male), the formation of both women and men as characters and socio-political history (disorder and order).
  • Inu-Hariko (犬張子, lit. "Papier-mâché Dog") – A red papier-mâché dog toy; a kind of Engimono (above) and an Omiyage (a regional souvenir in Japan), a popular talisman for easy childbirth and for healthy children. It is also believed that decorating the house with representations of the animal corresponding to the year's Chinese zodiac will bring good luck and prosperity for the entire year.
  • Ireisai (慰霊祭, lit. "Consoling Spirits Festival") – A festival to remember and pacify the spirits of war dead which take place at Yasukuni Jinja and other shrines built to the purpose.[1]
  • Ise Shrine (伊勢神宮, lit. "The Great Forces Divine Palace") – A shrine in Mie prefecture considered one of the holiest Shinto sites.
  • Ise Shinto (伊勢神道, lit. "The Great Forces Kami Way") – See Watarai Shinto.
  • Itako/Ichiko (神巫, 巫子 & 市子, lit. "Divine Shamaness", "Shameness Child" and "Community Child") – The blind female shamans from North-West Honshu which act as a link between human beings and kami, echoing what was probably the former role of miko in Shinto.[1]
  • Iwakura* (磐座, lit. "Boulder Stand") – A rock where a kami has been invited to descend for worship, and which is therefore sacred. See the article Yorishiro.
  • Iwasaka (岩境, lit. "Rockcliff Border/Boundary/Frontier") – A stone altar or mound erected in the distant past to call a kami for worship. See the article Yorishiro.
  • Izanagi (イザナギ, lit. "Great Deeds Male") – The brother-husband of Izanami (below), Izanagi is one of the Japanese creator Kami, according to the Nihongi and Kojiki, gave birth to Japan,[1] and the father of Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi and Susanoo.
  • Izanami (イザナミ, lit. "Great Deeds Female") – The sister-wife of Izanagi (above), Izanami is one of the Japanese creator Kami, according to the Nihongi and Kojiki, gave birth to Japan,[1] later dying in childbirth with her last child, Kagutsuchi, the fire Kami, burning her alive, sending her to the Underworld, Izanami becomes a Kami of death.

JEdit

  • Jaki (邪鬼, lit. "Malevolent Demons/Spirits") – An Oni-like creatures in Japanese folklore, thought to be able to provoke a person's darkest desires, and, thus, an Ama-no-Jaku instigates them into perpetrating wicked deeds. Similar to the Ama-no-Jaku (above).
  • Jama (邪魔, lit. "Malevolent Demons/Spirits") – A demon or devil of perversity, a hindrance to the practice of Purity in Shinto and the practice of Enlightenment in Buddhism. Similar to the Jaki (above).
  • Jichinsai (地鎮祭, lit. "Ground-Pacifing Ceremony") – A ceremony held by a Shinto priest on a site before the start of construction on behalf of owners and workers to pacify and propitiate local spirits.[1]
  • Jidai Matsuri (時代祭, lit. the "Festival of the Ages") – One of the three main annual festivals held in Kyoto, Japan (the other two being the Aoi Matsuri and the Gion Festival. It is a festival enjoyed by people of all ages, participating in its historical reenactment parade dressed in authentic costumes representing various periods, and characters in Japanese feudal history. It is held on October 22 of each year.
  • Jigoku (地獄, lit. "Earth(ly) Prison") – The Shinto-Buddhist version of Hell (the Japanese name for Diyu, from Chinese mythology), not unlike the Buddhist equivalent of Hell, Naraku. Similar to the "Nine Rings of Hell" exhibited in Dante's Inferno, Jigoku has 8 levels:
  1. Tokatsu Jigoku
  2. Kokujo Jigoku
  3. Shugo Jigoku
  4. Kyokan Jigoku
  5. Daikyokan Jigoku
  6. Shonetsu Jigoku
  7. Daishonetsu Jigoku
  8. Mugen Jigoku
  • Jikininki (食人鬼, lit. "Human-Eating Ghost") – In Japanese Buddhism, Jikininki ("human-eating ghosts"; pronounced Shokujinki in modern Japanese), are the spirits of those greedy, selfish or impious individuals who are cursed after death to seek out and eat human corpses. See also Gaki (above).
  • Jin (, lit. "Benevolence, Compassion") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • Jingi (神祇, lit. "Divine Earth Spirit") – See Kami (below).
  • Jingikan (神祇官, lit. "Divine Land Spirits Governmental Office") – In the ritsuryō system, the part of government responsible for matsuri.[1]
  • Jingū (神宮, lit. "Divine Palace/Shrine") – A shrine enshrining a member of the Imperial family, as for example Meiji Jingū which enshrines the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken.
  • Jingū-ji (神宮寺, lit. "Divine Palace/[Shinto] Shrine/[Buddhist] Temple") – A temple whose existence is supposed to help the soul of the Kami the shrine next to it enshrines. This kind of association was common up-until the Meiji period.[1]
  • Jinja* (神社, lit. "Divine [Shrine] Ground") – the most general name for a shrine, as in Yasukuni Jinja.
  • Jinja-Bukkaku (神社, lit. "Divine [Shrine] Ground & [Temple] Pavilion") – Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples, especially a combined shrine/temple complex.
  • Jinja Fukkyū (神社復旧, lit. "Jinja Restoration") – A reversal of the Meiji period's Jinja Gappei (lit. "jinja merger". Not to be confused with jinja fukushi.[1]
  • Jinja Fukushi (神社福祉, lit. "Jinja Welfare") – A form of unofficial, and therefore illegal, restoration of a merged shrine. See Jinja Gappei.[1]
  • Jinja Gappei (神社合併, lit. "Jinja Merger") – A policy begun in the early '900, when as many as 83 000 shrines (half the total) were merged with the remainder and disappeared.[1]
  • Jinja Honchō (神社本庁, lit. "Jinja Agency-Association") – In English "Association of Shinto Shrines", an association that includes most (but not all) of the Shinto shrines in Japan.[1]
  • Jinja Kaikan (神社会館, lit. "Jinja Hotel-Hall") – A hotel-like building within large shrines used for weddings.
  • Jinja Shinto (神社神道, lit. "Jingja Shinto") – Originally a synonym of State Shinto (Kokka Shinto below), it is now a term criticized by specialists as problematic.[1] When applied to post-war Shinto, it means the beliefs and practices associated to shrines, particularly those associated with the Jinja Honchō.[1]
  • Jisei (自制, lit. "Temperance; Self-control and Self-restraint") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • Jisha (寺社, lit. "Temple-Shrine") – A temple's tutelary shrine. See also chinjusha (above) and Jinja-Bukkaku (above).
  • Jōdo (浄土, lit. the "Pure World") – In Buddhism, the term 'Pure Land', refers to the celestial realm or pure abode of a buddha or bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism; Nirvana.
  • Jōdo Bukkyō (浄土仏教, lit. "Pure World Buddhism") – Also referred to as Amidism in English, is a broad branch of Mahayana Buddhism and one of the most widely practiced traditions of Buddhism in East Asia. Pure Land is a tradition of Buddhist teachings that are focused on the Buddha, Amitābha.
  • Jōdo-shū (浄土宗, lit. the "Pure World School") – Also known as Jōdo Buddhism, is a branch of Pure Land Buddhism derived from the teachings of the Japanese ex-Tendai monk Hōnen. It was established in 1175 and is the most widely practiced branch of Buddhism in Japan, along with Jōdo Shinshū.
  • Jōe (浄衣, lit. "Pure Robes") – A formal over-garment worn by kannushi during religious ceremonies; a silk Kariginu (below).
  • Junpai (巡拝, lit. "Patrol Route") – The custom of visiting a fixed series of 33 or 88 shrines or temples, or shrines-&-temples.[1] A particularly famous Junpai is the 88 temple "Shikoku Pilgrimage" circuit.

KEdit

  • Kabuto ( or , lit. "Helmet") – A helmet—complete with a suit of armour—sometimes dedicated to shrines, and indicative of a Kami's power to ward-off and protect from negative influences.
  • Kadomatsu (門松, lit. "Pine Gateposts") – New Year decorations placed in pairs in front of homes to welcome the kami of the harvest.
  • Kaeru (かえる, lit. "the Croaking of a Frog") – Because the word kaeru means both "frog" and "return home", many shrines sell small frog figurines as lucky charms (Engimono (above)).[1]
  • Kagami (, lit. "Mirror") – Often used in Shinto worship; originally bronze mirrors were used (see also Shinkyō, below), having been introduced to Japan from China; the most famous example of mirrors in Shinto is the Yata no Kagami (see below).
  • Kagami (火神, lit. "Fire Deity") – Another name for Kagutsuchi (迦具土, lit. "Shimmering Power/Force"), the Shinto Fire God.
  • Kagome crest (籠目紋, lit. "Lattice Eye Crest") – An Apotropaic symbol featured in Shinto shrines, including the Ise Grand Shrine, to ward-off negative and malevolent influences, evil spirits, etc.
  • Kagura (神楽, lit. "Divine Entertainment"):
    • A type of Shinto dance with deep ties to the Emperor and his family, accompanied by instruments. Also called mikagura (御神楽).
    • A type of Shinto dance performed at shrines during religious rites, with many local variants. Also called satokagura (里神楽).
  • Kagura-den (神楽殿, lit. "Divine Entertainment Platform") – a pavilion or stage dedicated to the performing of the kagura (sacred dance). Also called Maidono or Buden (舞殿).
  • Kagura suzu (神楽鈴, lit. "Divine Entertainment Bells") – a set of twelve bells used in kagura dance. The set consists of three tiers of bells suspended by coiled brass wires from a central handle: two bells on the top tier, four bells on the middle tier, and six bells for the bottom tier. The shape of the bells are thought to have been inspired from the fruits of the ogatama tree (Michelia compressa). See also Bonshō (above), Dōtaku (above), Rin (below) and Suzu (above).
  • Kagari-Bi (篝火, lit. "Hearth Fire Holders")Candle holders, also called Rōsoku-Tate (ローソク立, lit. "Candle Holders"). They are designed for burning tiny white candles (Rōsoku) which are lit whenever one visits the kamidana for prayers (Votive candles). Some people use little electric lanterns, Tōmyō (燈明, lit. "Light Lantern"), instead of candles, due to the lack of fire risks.
  • Kagutsuchi (迦具土, lit. "Shimmering Power/Force") – the Shinto Fire God and patron deity of blacksmiths and ceramic workers; also-known-as Kajin (火神, lit. "Fire God"), Kagami (火神, lit. "Fire Deity") and Ho-Musubi (火産霊, lit. "Fire-Born Spirit").
  • Kajin (火神, lit. "Fire Deity") – Another name for Kagutsuchi (迦具土, lit. "Shimmering Power/Force"), the Shinto Fire God.
  • Kaijin (海神, lit. "Sea Deity") – A sea/ocean divinity. Another name for Ryūjin/Ryōjin (see below).
  • Kakue (格衣, lit. "Status Robes") – A traditional overcoat-robe worn by Shinto monks.
  • Kakuremi (隠身, lit. "Concealed Form") – A term for a hidden form, invisible form; metaphysical form (of a deity). See also Kakurimi (below).
  • Kakurimi (隠身, lit. "Concealed Form") – A term for a hidden form, invisible form; metaphysical form (of a deity). See also Kakuremi (above).
  • Kakuriyo (隠り世, lit. "Hidden World") – meaning the worlds of kami (Takamagahara) and spirits, or the worlds of the dead (Yomi, Ne-no-kuni, Tokoyo-no-kuni, Meido, etc.).[1]
  • Kamado-gami (竃神, lit. "Kitchen Deity") a kami which lives in people's ovens; a Household deity—the Shinto equivalent to the Chinese Kitchen God, Hestia/Vesta and the Roman's Lares.
  • Kami (, lit. "Spirit, God, Deity, Divinity") – A term broadly meaning "spirit" or else "deity", but having with several separate meanings.
    • deities mentioned in Japanese mythologies and local deities protecting areas, villages and families.[5]
    • unnamed and non-anthropomorphic spirits found in natural phenomena.[5]
    • a general sense of sacred power.[5]
    • According to a famous definition by Motoori Norinaga, a kami is "any thing or phenomenon that produces the emotions of fear and awe, with no distinction between good and evil".
  • Kamiarizuki (神有月, lit. "Month with Kami") – A lunar calendar month corresponding roughly to October. Because it is believed that in that month all kami go to Izumo Taisha, it is called "month with gods" at Izumo.[1] See also Kannazuki (below).
  • Kamidana* (神棚, lit. "Kami Shelf") – A miniature shrine placed or hung high on a wall in some Japanese homes.
  • Kamikakushi/Kami-Kakushi (神隠し, lit. "Kami-hidden" or "Spirited-Away") – A term used to refer to the mysterious disappearance or death of a person that happens when an angered god takes a person away. Japanese folklore contains numerous tales of humans abducted to the spirit world by kami. See also Tengu-Kakushi (below).
  • Kamikaze (神風, lit. "Divine Wind(s)") – The 2 major typhoons that dispersed Mongol-Koryo fleets who invaded Japan under Kublai Khan in 1274.
  • Kamimukae (神迎え, lit. "Summoning the Deity/Divinity") – The first part of a typical festival (matsuri).[1] The spirit is usually invited to a himorogi (altar).
  • Kame (, lit. "Turtle", "Tortoise", "Terrapin") – A reptile native to Japan (and the world-over) and to Japanese culture. The Kame is also featured among Engimono (above), as it is seen as a symbol for wisdom, luck, protection, and longevity; longevity due to their long lifespan and slow movements. The turtle is said to be magical, uniting the heavens and the earth, with its shell representing heaven and its square underside representing earth. Its green colour is seen as synonymous with health, prosperity, and harmony.
  • Kanai Anzen (家内安全, lit. "Please keep my family safe from harm") – A specific kind of omamori meant to safeguard the safety (well-being) of one's family, peace and prosperity in the household.
  • Kanjō (勧請, lit. "Induced Granted Request") – A process through which a kami (usually obtained dividing in two another Kami through a process called Bunrei (similar to cell division)), and is transferred to a new shrine. See also Bunrei (above).
  • Kanju (干珠, lit. "(Tide-)Ebbing Jewel") – One-of-two magical gems that the Sea Kami (Watatsumi or Ryūjin) used to control the tides; its counterpart is the Manju (満珠, literally "(Tide-)Flowing Jewel"). Classical Japanese history texts record an ancient myth that the Sea Kami presented the Kanju and Manju to his demigod son-in-law, Hoori, and a later legend that Empress Jingū used the tide jewels to conquer Korea.
  • Kansan (汗衫, lit. "Sweat Upper-robes") – A thin jacket for girls of the aristocracy of the Heian period. Now worn by Miko in formal attire for ceremonies and festivals.
  • Kanmuri (, lit. "Crowning Trim") – A kind of formal, traditional headdress worn by the Japanese emperor and by aristocratic men of the Heian period when formally dressed. Today, it in worn in Shinto by a Kannushi in formal costume for formal ceremonies and festivals. See also Eboshi (above) and Kazaori Eboshi (below).
  • Kannagara (惟神, lit. "Path of Kami") – Another word for Shinto, specifically an old form of Shinto.
  • Kannagara (惟神人, lit. "A Kami of Kami") – Another word for a Kami.
  • Kannagara no Michi (惟神の道, lit. the "Way of the Kami") – Another name for Shinto in use before World War II.[1]
  • Kannazuki (神無月, lit. the "Month without Kami") – See also Kamiarizuki (above).
  • Kannushi* (神主, lit. "Kami Master of Ceremonies") – A Shinto priest; a master of Shinto shrine ceremonies, rituals and festivals.
  • Kariginu (狩衣, lit. "Hunting Robes") – A style of cloak, originally the costume that Heian-era nobles wore when they went out hunting, which gradually became the nobles’ daily casual clothes. Worn today in Shinto by a Kannushi in formal costume for rituals, ceremonies and festivals. See also Jōe (above).
  • Kasoegi (斗木, lit. "Measured Wood") – See also katsuogi (below).
  • Kasuga (春日, lit. "Springtime Sun") – The tutelary kami (Ujigami) first just of the Fujiwara clan, then of the entire Yamato province.[1]
  • Kasuga-zukuri (春日造, lit. "Kasuga Architecture") – The architectural style of Kasuga taisha.
  • Katana (, lit. "Blade") – A sword weapon, sometimes dedicated to shrines (along with other weapons, such as Naginata and Yari), and indicative of a Kami's power to ward-off negative influences.
  • Katashiro (形代, lit. "model substitute") – A traditional Japanese doll, made of materials like paper or straw, used in certain purification rituals, used as a substitute for a person, as the target for a prayer or curse cast against them.
  • Katsu (, lit. "to shout; to call out") – A loud shout, exclamation (or scolding, to scold a student), to help one focus.
  • Katsuogi* (鰹木, 勝男木, 葛緒木, lit. "Reliable Wood") – A style of short decorative poles on a shrine's roof set at a right angle to the roof's ridgepole. See also Kasoegi (above).
  • Kawaya-no-Kami (厠の神, lit. "latrine deity") – The Kami of latrines, toilets, waterclosets and their products.
  • Kazaori Eboshi (風折烏帽子, lit. "Wind-Folding Riding Hatwear") – A kind of pointed hat originally worn by Heian-era aristocrats and Samurai, it is now worn by Kannushi as formal-wear for occasions such as Matsuri (festivals), weddings, etc. See also Eboshi (above) and Kanmuri (above).
  • Kenkai (見界, lit. "Visible World") – The world that one can see without any kind of supernatural gift; the World of the Living.
  • Kenkon (乾坤, lit. "Heaven and Earth") – A term used to refer to the union of opposites; Heaven and Earth, Yin and Yang, Positive and Negative; also representing the |||||| (Qian) and ¦¦¦¦¦¦ (Kun) hexagrams from the I Ching. See also Tenchi (below).
  • Kenzokushin (眷属神, lit. "Household Ancillary/Retainer Spirit(s)") – A kind of lesser Kami or Yōkai who serves a higher-ranked Kami or Yōkai, such as the Kenzokushin who serve an entity whose status as either a Kami or a Yōkai (or both) is still undecided, Osakabe-hime.
  • Ki ( or , lit. "Spirit, Lifeforce, Vitality, Energy-Flow") – A vital force forming part of any living entity. See also Haku (above).
  • Kijo (鬼女, lit. "Oni Woman; Ogress") – An oni woman from Japanese legends; any Kijo can, either, have started out always as a Kijo, or-else she was an ordinary, mortal woman before being transformed into a Kijo, either can curse or by her-own jealousy. See also Onibabā (below) and Yama-uba (below).
  • Kimon (鬼門, lit. "Oni Gate") – Based on the assignment of the twelve zodiac animals to the cardinal directions, the direction of Northeast, known as the direction of Ushi-Tora (丑寅, lit. "Ox-Tiger"), is also-known-as the direction of Kimon (Oni Gate); one theory is that the Oni's bovine-esq horns and tiger-skin loincloth as-seen-in modern depictions, developed as a visual depiction of this term. According to Chinese Daoism/Taoism and esoteric Onmyōdō (the way(s) of yin & yang), the north-easterly direction is considered an unlucky direction through which evil spirits passed, and, as-such, is termed as Kimon; having to travel in this direction was seen as a bad omen for the journey-in-question.
  • Kegare (穢れ, lit. "Impurity", "Pollution", "Defilement") – defilement due to natural phenomena, for example the contact with dead bodies. The opposite of Kegare is Kiyomi. See also Imi (above) and Tsumi (below).
  • Kibitsu-zukuri (吉備津造, lit. "Auspicious Provision Haven Architecture") – The architectural style of Kibitsu Jinja in Okayama prefecture, characterized by a huge Honden divided in three parts with an interior painted in vermilion, black and gold.[1]
  • Kigen (寄絃, lit. "Drawing-upon [the] Bowstring") – A ritual (i.e. during Shihobarai) of banishing evil spirits and other negative influences, which can be achieved by the strimming of Yumi bows, such as a Hama Yumi and an Azusa Yumi.
  • Kirin (麒麟, lit. a "Legendary Auspicious Deer-like Animal") – A mythical creature in Japanese and Asian mythology; in Shinto, the Kirin are considered as messengers of the Kami (along with Shika (see below)).
  • Kisshōten (吉祥天, lit. "Auspicious Heavens") – A Japanese goddess of good fortune, wealth and prosperity. Adapted, via Buddhism, from the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi. Kisshouten is sometimes named as one of the Seven Gods of Fortune (the Fukujin), replacing either Jurōjin or Fukurokuju.
  • Kitsune* (, lit. "Fox") – Statue or image of a fox, animal believed to have magical powers and to be a messenger to kami Inari. Inari shrines are always protected by statues of foxes, sometimes wearing red votive bibs.
  • Kitsunebi (狐火, lit. "Fox Fire") – The atmospheric ghost lights told about in legends all across Japan outside Okinawa Prefecture.
  • Kitsune no yomeiri (狐の嫁入り, lit. "Fox Wedding") – similar to a "monkey's wedding" in English, is a strange event told about in Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. The "kitsune-no-yomeiri" can refer to several things: atmospheric ghost lights, a phenomenon during which it appears as if paper lanterns from a wedding procession are floating through the dark; what is commonly referred to as a sunshower; and various strange wedding processions that can be seen in classical Japanese Kaidan, essays, and legends. The "kitsune-no-yomeiri" is always closely related to foxes, or kitsune (who often play tricks on humans in Japanese legend) and various Shinto rituals and festive rights relating to the "kitsune no yomeiri" have been developed in various parts of Japan.
  • Kiyome (, lit. "Purity") – The concept of 'Purity' within Shintoism, the state in which all beings start-out as at birth, and can return to again by undergoing acts of Harae (purification), such as Misogi. The opposite of Kiyomi is Kegare.
  • (, lit. "Filial piety") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • (, lit. "Lecture, Debate") – A lay worship group focusing on a particular Kami or sacred location which may perform pilgrimages and other rites.
  • Koban (小判, lit. "Small Ingot") – Originally currency in the Edo period, in modern times, they are sold as Engimono from Shinto Shrines, or, at-least, symbolically, gold-foil cardboard versions are given in the place of the solid-gold ingots, particularly as decorations for a Kumade, both attained from Shinto Shrines for good fortune in business. There is a Japanese proverb: Neko-Ni-Koban (猫に小判, lit. "Gold Ingot/Coins to a Cat"), meaning giving a gift to someone who cannot appreciate it; a useless gesture (similar to "Pearls before swine").
  • Kōdō (皇道, lit. the "Imperial Way") – Literally "the Imperial Way", or Shinto as defined by post-Meiji nationalist.[1]
  • Kōgakkan University (皇学館大学, lit. "Imperial Education Mansion University") – A University located near Ise Shrine, together with Tokyo's Kokugakuin University the only one authorized to train Shinto priests.
  • Koi (, lit. the "Village Fish", "Carp") – A fish native to Japan (and the rest of Asia) and to Japanese culture. The Koi is also featured among Engimono (above), as a symbol of perseverance due to the fish's tendency to swim upstream, resisting against the flow of water. The Koi Carp also symbolise faithfulness and marriage in Japan. A design of a Koi carp swimming against rapids symbolises the Children's Day Festival on May 5; this is to inspire children to work hard in order to succeed.
  • Kojiki (古事記, lit. "Records of Ancient Matters" or "An Account of Ancient Matters") – An early Japanese written chronicle of myths, legends, songs, genealogies, oral traditions, and semi-historical accounts down to 711–712 AD. Similar to the Nihon Shoki.
  • Kokka Shinto (国家神道, lit. "State Shinto") – Japanese translation of the English term State Shinto created in 1945 by the US occupation forces to define the post-Meiji religious system in Japan.
  • Kokoro (, lit. "Heart" & "soul") – The mind, heart, spirit, soul, essence of a thing or being.
  • Kongōsho (金剛杵, lit. "Adamant Pestle") – A ritual weapon, resembling a Yawara and a Vajra-mushti, and symbolizing, both, the properties of a diamond (indestructibility) and of a thunderbolt (an irresistible force) and is the Sanskrit word having both meanings.
  • Kokugakuin Daigaku (國學院大學, lit. "Sinology Court University") – Tokyo university which is, together with Ise's Kōgakkan University, the only one authorized to train Shinto priests.
  • Kokujō Jigoku (黒縄地獄, lit. "Hell of Black Rope") – The 2nd level of Jigoku, location for sinners, who have committed murder (even the murder of small lives such as insects), and theft.
  • Komainu* (狛犬, lit. "Lion Dog") – Stone warden maned-dogs usually present at the entrance of a shrine.
  • Kon (, lit. "Soul/Spirit, Life force, Vitalism") – Stemming from Daoism, kon is that part of the soul (as opposed to its counterpart, haku (魄)) which goes to heaven and is able to leave the body, carrying with it an appearance of physical form; the subliminal self. See also Tamashii (also written as 魂, but when said as Tamashii, it refers to a soul within its proper body, encompassing one's "mind", "heart" and "soul", where-as Mitama (written either as 御魂, 御霊, 神霊) refers to a soul that has parted from its body (i.e. the person has died, be-it from natural or un-natural causes).
  • Konaoshi (小直衣, lit. "Small Vertical Robes") – Attire of the Heian court, now worn by Kannushi in formal functions.
  • Konjin (金神, lit. "Gold/Metals Deity") – An itinerant Kami (spirit) from Onmyōdō (a traditional Japanese cosmology and system of divination based on the Chinese philosophies of Wu Xing (Five Elements) and Yin and yang). Konjin is associated with compass directions, and said to change position with the year, lunar month, and season.
  • Kono-Yo (この世, lit. "This World") – See Busshitsukai (above).
  • Konpaku (魂魄, lit. "Yin-Yang Soul/Spirit, Life force, Vitalism") – Stemming from Daoism, konpaku are together the Duality of souls. Within this ancient soul dualism tradition, every living human has both a Kon spiritual, ethereal, yang soul, which leaves the body after death, and also a Haku corporeal, substantive, yin soul which remains, with the corpse of the deceased, dissipating down into the earth.
  • Kome (, lit. "Rice") – Offerings of white rice made at Shinto shrines and a household's Kamidana. See also Ō-kome.
  • Kotoamatsukami (別天神, lit. "Distinguishing Heavenly Deities") – The collective name for the first Kami which came into existence at the time of the creation of the universe, according to the Kokiji. They were came into being up in Takamagahara, the divine world of the Heavens, at the time of the creation. Unlike the later gods, these deities were born without any procreation. See also Amatsukami (above).
  • Kotodama/Kototama (言霊, lit. "Word Spirit" or "Spirit Word") – A supernatural power possessed by words, spoken & written, have power and, therefore, are capable of influencing matter. See also Dōongo / Dōon Igigo (above), Imikotoba (above), Magical thinking, Law of contagion, True Names, Sympathetic magic, Magic words, and Mantras.
  • Kōrei (交霊 & 降霊, lit. "Bringing-together Spirit(s)") – Spiritualism; invocation and evocation.
  • Kuchiyose (口寄せ, lit. "[to] Draw-in something Through the Mouth")Spiritualism, Spiritism: Invocation, Evocation; Channelling, summoning spirits and giving them a voice (a Séance).
  • Kuchiyose Miko (口寄巫女, lit. "Channelling Miko") – A Miko acting in the function as a spirit medium.
  • Kuebiko (久延毘古, lit. "Long-Stretch Help-Old", "Old Long-Extending Border" or "Long Old Helping-Hand") – A Shinto Kami of local knowledge and agriculture, represented in Japanese mythology as a scarecrow, who cannot walk but has comprehensive self-awareness and omniscience.
  • Kuji-in (九字印, lit. "Nine Hand Seals") – A system of mudras and associated mantras that consist of nine syllables.
  • Kuji-kiri (九字切り, lit. "Nine Symbolic Cuts") – A system of mudras and associated mantras that consist of nine syllables, based on Kuji-in.
  • Kumade (熊手, lit. "Bear Hand" or "Rake") – A rake (a garden-tool, usually made from bamboo); a smaller, handheld, decorated version is sold as an Engimono (above), a good luck charm, believed to be able to, literally, rake-in good fortune for the user, gathering it-in-together in one location, concentrating it for a purpose, like with business.
  • Kumo (, lit. "Cloud(s)") – Synonymous with heaven; in the event that a household Kamidana cannot be installed in the highest point of the house, the Kanji for 'Cloud' is written on a piece of paper and affixed above the Kamidana; doing this lets the kami know that, while they should be enshrined at the highest point, circumstances prevent this from being-so.
  • Kumo ( / / 蜘蛛, lit. "Spider") – In Japanese folklore and culture, the spider (Kumo) is a symbol synonymous with industry, thus Engimono of spiders are sold to promote good luck with business.
  • Kunitokotachi-no-mikoto (国之常立神, lit. "Land of Endless Growing Deity") – A kami considered to be the most important by Yoshida Kanetomo and considered important also by Watarai Shinto.[1]
  • Kunitsu Tsumi (国津罪 / 国つ罪, lit. "Crimes on Earth") – A term for Tsumi (below) specifically committed on the Earth (the world of the Living). For example, the crimes committed by mortal humans are considered as Kunitsu Tsumi. The corresponding concept to Kunitsu Tsumi is Amatsu Tsumi (above).
  • Kushi-Mitama (奇魂, lit. "Wise Soul") – The wise and experienced side of a whole, complete spirit (mitama). The Kushi-Mitama is associated with the colours blue and green, and with the Cardinal direction of East.
  • Kusudama (薬玉, lit. "Medicine Ball") – Originating from ancient Japanese culture, Kusudama were used for incense and potpourri; possibly originally being actual bunches of flowers or herbs. The word-itself is a combination of two Japanese words kusuri (lit. "Medicine") and tama (lit. "Ball", "Sphere", "Orb"). They are now typically used as decorations or as gifts.
  • Kuwabara kuwabara (桑原桑原, lit. "Mulberry Field") – A phrase used in the Japanese language to ward off lightning. It is analogous to the English phrase "knock on wood" to prevent bad luck. According to one explanation, there is a Chinese legend that mulberry trees are not struck by lightning.
  • Kyōha Shinto (教派神道, lit. "Sect Shinto") – A label applied to certain sects by the Meiji government to give them an official status.[1]
  • Kyōkan Jigoku (叫喚地獄, lit. "Hell of Screaming") – The 4th level of Jigoku, location for sinners, who have committed murder (even the murder of small lives such as insects), theft, degeneration and drunkenness.

Gallery: I to KEdit

MEdit

  • Madai (真鯛, lit. "Genuine Seabream") – A fish native to Japan and to Japanese culture and cuisine. The Madai is also featured among Engimono (above), as its red colour is seen as auspicious. The Madai is often seen in concert with Ebisu, as he is the Patron Kami of fisherman and one of the Shichifukujin.
  • Magatama* (勾玉 or 曲玉, lit. "Curved Jewel") – A comma-shaped jewel, often used as a yorishiro. See also Yasakani no Magatama (below).
  • Maidono (舞殿, lit. "Dancing Hall") – see Kaguraden.
  • Maikai (冥界, lit. "Dark World") – Another word for Yomi, the Underworld.
  • Maki (魔鬼, lit. "Evil Demon") – A demon ghost; a monster; a devil; an embodiment of evil.
  • Makai (魔界, lit. "Malevolant World") – A World of demons; also another word for Yomi, the Underworld.
  • Makoto (, lit. "Honesty, Sincerity") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • Manju (満珠, lit. "(Tide-)Flowing Jewel") – One-of-two magical gems that the Sea Kami (Watatsumi or Ryūjin) used to control the tides; its counterpart is the Kanju (干珠, literally "(Tide-)Ebbing Jewel"). Classical Japanese history texts record an ancient myth that the Sea Kami presented the Manju and Kanju to his demigod son-in-law, Hoori, and a later legend that Empress Jingū used the tide jewels to conquer Korea.
  • Maneki-Neko (招き猫, lit. "Beckoning Cat") – Japanese in origin, the "Beckoning Cat" or "Maneki-Neko", is a protective and good luck talisman, an Engimono (above). This cat figurine with its raised paw brings success, prosperity, good health, and happiness. Beckoning cats come in different colours; each colour offers a different focus in as to what it invites into one's life. A gold cat beckons prosperity, black cats beckon safety by warding-off evil spirits (due to their ability to see in the dark and, ergo 'see' evil, in-order-to ward them off), red cats beckon good health (the colour red is believed to repel smallpox and measles), white cats beckon happiness. A Beckoning Cat with its left raised paw is commonly placed in the entry way of a business or near the cash register inviting sales and successes. In the home, a right-pawed Beckoning Cat will typically be placed near the entrance of the home or sits on a window sill to attract happiness and good luck. Smaller likenesses of the Beckoning Cat are worn on the body to ward off illness and protect the wearer from pain and suffering.
  • Massha* (末社, lit. "Descendant Shrine") – A synonym of Sessha.
  • Mayoke (魔除け, lit. "Excluding Evil") – A term for a ward against evil; Apotropaic magic.
  • Meido (冥土, lit. "Dark Land"; "Underworld/"Netherworld") – Another name for Yomi, sometimes considered similar to Ne-no-kuni (below), the Sanzu-no-kawa (below), and the Asphodel Meadows (Greco-Roman mythology), Barzakh, Bardo, Limbo and Purgatory; an 'intermediate state'.
  • Meiyo (名誉, lit. "Honour") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • Miko* (巫女, 神子, or , lit. "Shamaness")
    • A woman who helps kannushi in their work.
    • A woman possessing magic powers and capable of giving oracles (shamanness).
  • Mikoshi (神輿, lit. "Divine Palanquin") – A divine palanquin (often improperly translated as portable Shinto shrine).
  • Misogi* (, lit. "Ritual Purification Ablution") – An ascetic practice of ritual ablution purification.
  • Mitama (御魂, 御霊 or 神霊, lit. "Honourable Soul") – The spirit of a kami or the soul of a dead person.[6] The opposite of Mitama (a soul of a dead person) is Tamashii (the soul of a living person, a soul within its proper body (see below)). See also; Ara-Mitama (above), Kushi-Mitama (above), Nigi-Mitama (below) and Saki-Mitama/Sachi-Mitama (below).
  • Miya (, lit. "Shrine, Palace") – A term that often defines a shrine enshrining a special kami or a member of the Imperial household, for example an Empress, but can also simply mean shrine. See also Ō-miya (below)
  • Miyamairi (宮参り, lit. "Shrine Visit") – A traditional rite of passage for newborns held at a shrine.
  • Mizutama (水玉, lit. "Water Orb") – A small, droplet-shaped vessel, used for holding offerings of fresh water on a kamidama, and is to be changed daily; numbered amongst the Shingu (tools used in shrine altars and home altars) for holding offerings.
  • Momijigari (紅葉狩, lit. "Red-Leaves Hunting") – The Japanese traditional festival and custom of enjoying the transient beauty of leaves changing colour in the Autumn; the Japanese tradition of going to visit scenic areas where leaves have turned red in the autumn; particularly Maple tree leaves.
  • Mononoke (物の怪, lit. "Formless Supernatural") – A monsterous apparition; a monster.
  • Mori ( or , lit. "Trees, Forest") – A wood, a forest, a grove, specifically a grove or forest on shrine grounds. It reflects close relationship between trees and shrines. Tree worship is common in Shinto.
  • Muenbotoke (無縁仏, lit. "Connectionless Departed Soul/Spirit") – The soul/spirit of a departed mortal human with no living connections amongst the living; the dead who have no living relatives); similarly to Gaki (Hungry Ghosts) and Jikininki (Flesh-eating Ghosts/Oni), a Muenbotoke can be appeased by a Sagaki (below).
  • Mugen Jigoku (無間地獄, lit. "Hell of Unending-Suffering") – The 8th and deepest level of Jigoku, location of the guiltiest of guilty sinners, who have committed the crimes such as murder, theft, degeneration, drunkenness, lying, blasphemy and rape, plus parricide and assassination of holy men.
  • Musubi-no-Kami (結びの神, lit. "Deity of Binding [the Red Thread of Fate]") – One of the Japanese Shinto Kami of creation; also known as the Japanese Shinto Kami of matchmaking, love and marriages.
  • Musuhi (産霊, lit. "Motive Force/Spirit", "Life Force/Spirit") – A term in Shinto for the spiritual influences that produces all the things in the universe and helps them develop and complete their cycle. Some-what similar to the Greco-Roman concept of Eros.
  • Myōjin (明神, lit. "Shining/Illuminating/Apparent Deity") – A term, like a Honorific, that refers to a title, historically applied to Japanese (Shinto) deities (Kami) and, by metonymy, their shrines. See also Sannō (below).

NEdit

  • Nagashi-bina (流し雛, lit. "Doll Floating") – Ritual purification ceremonies are held around Japan, where participants make dolls out of materials such as paper, straw, etc., and send them on a boat down a river, carrying one's impurities and sin with them.
  • Naginata (薙刀, lit. "Weeding Blade") – A polearm weapon, sometimes dedicated to shrines (along with other weapons, such as Katana and Yari), and indicative of a Kami's power to ward-off negative influences.
  • Namahage (生剥, lit. "Raw Peel") – In traditional Japanese folklore is a demon-like being, portrayed by men wearing hefty Oni (ogre) masks and traditional straw capes (Mino) during a New Year's ritual.
  • Nanakusa-Gayu (七草粥, lit. "7-Herbs Rice-Congee") – A traditional meal of Rice-Congee and herbs, served on Nanakusa-no-Sekku (below). The 7-Herbs are Seri (Japanese Parslry), Nazuna/Penpengusa (Shepherd's purse), Hahakogusa (Cudweed), Kohakobe (Chickweed), Koonitabirako (Nipplewort), Kabu (Turnip) and Daikon (Japanese Winter Radish).
  • Nanakusa-no-Sekku (七草の節句, lit. "7-Herbs Festival") – Also known as Jinjitsu (above), one of the Gosekku (five annual traditional festivals, held throughout the year); Nanakusa-no-Sekku is held-upon the 7th January, and is observed by eating servings of Nanakusa-Gayu (7-Herbs Rice-Congee).
  • Nanareizan (七霊山, lit. the "Seven Spiritual Mountains") – Seven mountains revered as sacred in Shinto and Buddhism; these 7 mountains are Mount Fuji (富士山, lit. "Abundant Earth Mountain"), Mount Haku (白山, lit. "White Mountain"), Mount Tate (立山, lit. "Upright Mountain") (the mountains Fuji, Haku and Tate are also known as the Sanreizan, mentioned below), Mount Ōmine (大峰山, lit. "Great Peak Mountain"), Mount Shakka (釈迦ヶ岳, lit. "Sakyamuni's Great Mountain"), Mount Daisen (大山, lit. "Great Mountain"), and Mount Ishizuchi (石鎚山, lit. "Stone Hammer Mountain")
  • Naraku (奈落, lit. "Fall [from] Grace") – The Hell realm of incarnation, the lowest and worst realm on the Wheel of Re-incarnation. See Rinne (below).
  • Nenju / Nenzu / Juzu / Zuzu (念珠 / 数珠, lit. "Thought Beads"; "Garland") – Shinto-Buddhist Rosary; a string or necklace of beads used for prayers.
  • Ne-no-kuni (根の国, lit. "Land of Roots" or "Land of Origin") – A term referring to a Netherworld or Limbo in Japanese mythology, like the Sanzu-no-kawa and Meido. It is sometimes considered to be identical to Yomi, another netherworld in the myths, but more dark, as well as with Tokoyo-no-kuni, also another netherworld in the myths, but more light, being considered an immortal utopia (similar to Avalon in Arthurian legend, and the Asphodel Meadows & Elysium in Greco-Roman mythology). However, there is no clear consensus on the relationship between these three realms.
  • Nigi-Mitama (和魂, lit. "Tranquil Soul") – The friendly and co-operative side of a whole, complete spirit (mitama). The Nigi-Mitama is associated with the colours white (and clear/transparent), and with the Cardinal direction of West.
  • Nihon Shoki (日本書紀, lit. "Sun Origin Written-Account") – An early Japanese written chronicle of myths, legends, songs, genealogies, oral traditions, and semi-historical accounts down to 720 AD. Similar to the Kojiki.
  • Ningen (人間, lit. "Human Society") – The Mortal/Human realm of incarnation, the third-highest realm on the Wheel of Re-incarnation. See Rinne (below).
  • NiŌ (仁王, lit. the "Two Kings") – In Shinto-Buddhism, NiŌ is the Japanese name for the Kongōrikishi, the two wrathful and muscular guardians of the Buddha standing today at the entrance of many Buddhist temples. See also A-Un (above), and Gozu and Mezu (above).
  • Norito (祝詞, lit. "invocation scripts")liturgical texts or ritual incantations in Shinto, usually addressed to a given kami.
  • Norito (, lit. "Spell, Blessing") – Written spells for blessings.
  • Noroi (, & , lit. "Spell, Curse") – Written spells for curses.
  • Noshi (熨斗, lit. "Iron[ed-out] Unit of Measure") – Ceremonial Origata, piece of paper wrapped in a sheet of coloured paper folded in a long hexagonal shape, attached to gifts and presents offered on festive occasions in Japan. Noshi will include Mizuhiki and a strip of flattened-Abalone, because of the Homophone for the word Noshi (伸し) which means 'flattening' and 'expanding', as a nod to longevity; abalone was believed to be an auspicious food that prolonged life, and has been used as sacred food offered to Shinto gods since ancient times in Japan.
  • Nusa (, lit. "streamered wand") – See ōnusa; a wooden wand used in Shinto rituals. It is decorated with many Shide (zig-zagging paper streamers).
  • Nyoihōju (如意宝珠, lit. "As-One-Wishes Jewel") – A wish-fulfilling gemstone-jewel within both Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and the Eastern equivalent of the philosopher's stone in Western alchemy. It is one of several Mani Jewel images found in Buddhist scripture. The Nyoihōju is commonly-depicted within the hands of the Megami, Kisshōten (the Shinto name for the Hindu Devá, Lakshmi), as-well-as in the hands of Bodhisattva in art.

OEdit

  • Obake (御化け or お化け, lit. "Formless-Thing") – An apparition, a spectre.
  • Ō-Fuda (御札 or お札, lit. "Great Note") – written paper spells, amulets and talismans. See also, Omamori.
  • Okame (阿亀, lit. "Great Tortoise") – A mask used as an Engimono. See also Otafuku (below).
  • Ō-Kome (御米, lit. "Rice") – Offerings of white rice made at Shinto shrines and a household's Kamidana. See also Kome.
  • Ō-Kuizome (お食い初め, lit. "First Food") – When a baby is 100 days old, Japanese families celebrate a weaning ceremony called Ō-Kuizome ("First Food"). This ceremony traditionally involves a large shared meal prepared by the mother-in-law. The menu varies by region. During the meal a symbolic stone is placed on plates. This ritual is meant to wish the baby a life of abundant food without hunger as well as good strong teeth. While a people may pretend to feed the baby solid food during these festivities, the baby is usually still drinking exclusive milk.
  • Ō-Kuninushi (大国主神, lit. "Master of the Great Land" or "Great Master of the Land") – see Daikokuten.
  • Ō-Magatoki (逢魔時 and 大禍時, lit. "Time [of] Rendezvous [with] Evil Spirits/Demons" and "Time [of] Great Calamity") – A Japanese term referring to the moment at Tasogare (, lit. "Dusk", "Sunset", "Twilight"), when the sky grows dark. The opposite of Tasogare is Akatsuki (, lit. "Dawn", "Sunrise", "Daybreak"), Ō-Magatoki has specific meanings for the two ways of writing it: first, "the time of meeting Yōkai, Yūrei, and other-such dark creatures"; and second, "the Time of Great Calamity"; Ōmagatoki is the time when Chimimōryō, the evil spirits of the mountains and rivers, attempt to materialize in the World of the Living.
  • Ō-Mamori (お守り, lit. "Great Protection")amulets and talismans available at shrines and temples for particular purposes, for example health or success in business. Understand they are not 'sold' but traded for money.
  • Omigoro (小忌衣, lit. "Small Mourning Robes") – An overcoat robe used for Shinto services.
  • Ō-Miki (御神酒 or 神酒, lit. "Sacramental Sake/Wine") – Offerings of Ō-Miki/white rice-wine made at Shinto shrines and a household's Kamidana. Ō-miki is often consumed as part of Shinto purification rituals. See also Sake (below).
  • Ō-Mikuji* (御御籤 or 御神籤, lit. "Sacred Lots") – oracles written on strips of paper often found at shrines wrapped around tree branches.
  • Ō-Miya (御宮 & お宮, lit. "Great/Grand Shrine/Palace") – See Miya (above).
  • Ō-Miyamairi (御宮参り & お宮参り, lit. "Shrine Visit") – See Miyamairi (above).
  • Oni (, lit. "Ogre", "Troll", "Demon", "Monster") – In one interpretation of an Oni, they are a kind of Yōkai, where-as another interpretation of an Oni is as something completely separate from a Yōkai (although both are supernatural monsters), as an Oni often puts-across the image of a lumbering monster, like an Ogre and a Troll, with horns, tusks, either a red, green or blue-skin-tone, a tiger-fur/pelt loincloth, and armed with a Kanabō club. In the World of the Living, the nearest western parallels to the Japanese Oni is the Demon, Ogre, Troll; a big, towering, corporeal monster; where-as in Jigoku/Naraku, Oni serve as the wardens and torturers of Hell. Some of the worst Oni did not start out as Oni but as humans, even as monks who had turned their backs on their temple's teachings, rejecting them; a particularly prominent example of such is Shuten-dōji, the "King of the Oni". See also Jikininki (above) and Gaki (above).
  • Onibabā (鬼婆, lit. "Oni Crone; Ogress") – An Oni woman from Japanese legends; any Onibabā (or Kijo) can, either, have started out always as a Kijo, or-else she was an ordinary, mortal woman before being transformed into a Kijo, either can curse, by having committed terrible deeds, or by her-own jealousy. See also Kijo (above) and Yama-uba (below).
  • Onibi (鬼火, lit. "Oni Fire") – A type of atmospheric ghost light in legends of Japan; according to folklore, they can be anything from fires caused-by Oni, to the spirits born from the corpses of humans and animals. They are also said to be resentful people that have become fire and appeared. Also, sometimes the words "will-o'-wisp" or "jack-o'-lantern" are translated into Japanese as "Onibi". See also Kitsunebi (above).
  • Onigawara (鬼瓦, lit. "Oni Tile(s)") – a type of roof ornamentation found in Japanese architecture. They are generally roof tiles or statues depicting a Japanese ogre (Oni) or a similarly fearsome beast. Prior to the Heian period, similar ornaments with floral and plant designs (Hanagawara) preceded the Onigawara. The present-day design is thought to have come from a previous architectural element, the Oni-ita, which is a board painted with the face of an Oni and was meant to stop roof leaks. During the Nara period, the tile was decorated with other motifs, but later it acquired distinct ogre-like features and even becoming strongly tri-dimensional. Onigawara are most often-than-not found on Buddhist Temples than on Shinto Shrines, but not exclusively. The tile's name notwithstanding, the ogre's face may be missing-altogether, but still be called an Onigawara.
  • Oni Hitokuchi (鬼一口, lit. "One Bite [from an] Oni") – A term, similar to Kamikakushi/Kami-Kakushi (above) and Tengu-Kakushi (below), referring-to the mysterious disappearance or death of a person without warning or without a trace, in a case of Oni Hitokuchi, when the victim has crossed an Oni (or just crossed paths with one) and is, literally, consumed on the spot by said-Oni, leaving little-to-no evidence behind. Japanese folklore contains numerous tales of humans consumed by Oni, never to be seen again. See also Kamikakushi/Kami-Kakushi (above) and Tengu-Kakushi (below).
  • Oni-wa-Soto! Fuku-wa-Uchi! (鬼は外! 福は内!, lit. "Demons Out! Luck In!") – A Mantra shouted-out, repeatedly; a command for driving-off malevolent spirits, demons or devils that cause ill-fortune, so-as to allow good fortune to work un-impeded.
  • On'yō (陰陽, lit. "Yin-Yang") – See In'yō (above).
  • Onmyō (陰陽, lit. "Yin-Yang") – See In'yō (above).
  • Onmyōdō (陰陽道, lit. "YinYang Way") – A traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology a mixture of natural science and occultism, based on Wu Xing (five elements) and yin and yang, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism synthesized with native Japanese Shinto and folk religion. see also Feng shui
  • Onmyōji (陰陽師, lit. "YinYang Practitioner") – A Practitioner of Onmyōdō, a traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology, a mixture of natural science and occultism, based on Wu Xing (five elements) and yin and yang.
  • Onmyōryō (陰陽寮, lit. "YinYang Bureau") – A Governmental Office of Onmyōdō; as a Governmental Office, they were responsible for time-keeping and calendar-making, as-well-as esoteric rituals, Astronomy, Astrology, divination and Fortune-telling, achieving this by using Onmyōdō (above), a traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology, a mixture of natural science and occultism, based on Wu Xing (five elements) and yin and yang. They also documented and analysed omens and fortune-tellings.
  • Onryō (怨霊, lit. "Vengeful Spirit") – A kind of vengeful spirit; a poltergeist.
  • Ō-Nenju (念珠 or 数珠, lit. "Great Garland") – A rosary; a string of prayer beads commonly used in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Shintō for the spiritual practice known in Sanskrit as japa.
  • Ō-Nusa (大幣, lit. "Sacramental Sceptre") – wooden wands used in rituals. Decorated with many shide, they are waved left and right during ceremonies. See also Haraegushi (祓串, above).
  • Osechi (御節, lit. "Season") – Also known as Osechi-ryōri (御節料理 or お節料理), an Sechi/Osechi (often with the honorific "O-" included, as O-sechi) is a traditional spread of Japanese New Year foods. The tradition started in the Heian period (794–1185). Osechi are easily recognizable by their special boxes called Jūbako (重箱), which resemble Bentō boxes. Osechi will also include dishes like Ozōni (below).
  • Ō-Shichiya (お七夜, lit. "Seventh Night") – When a baby turns 7 days old, Japanese families celebrate Ō-Shichiya (お七夜). In this ceremony, the baby is officially named. The mother, the father, and the grandparents are often involved in this process.
  • Ō-Shio (, lit. "Sacramental Salt") – In Shinto, salt is used for offerings at Shinto shrines and a household's Kamidana, ritual purification of locations and people (a form of harae, specifically shubatsu), and small piles of salt are placed in dishes by the entrance of establishments for the two-fold purposes of warding off evil and attracting patrons.
  • Otafuku (阿多福, lit. "Much Good Fortune") – A mask used as an Engimono, represented as a lovely, always-smiling Japanese woman, with large, rosy cheeks, who brings happiness, prosperity and good fortune to any man she marries. Otafuku is also known as the Goddess of Mirth, Ame-no-Uzume (above).
  • Ō-Toso (御屠蘇, lit. "Great Revival Sacrifice") – A spiced medicinal sake, traditionally drunk during New Year celebrations in Japan. See also Toso.
  • Ō-Yashiro (大社, lit. "Great Shrine") – See also Taisha (below).
  • Ozen (お膳, lit. "Great Tray") – A traditional Japanese four-legged tray, used to bear food offerings (see sanbō, below).
  • Ozōni (雑煮, lit. "Miscellaneous Stew")Zōni (often with the honorific "O-" as O-zōni) is a Japanese soup containing mochi rice cakes; associated with the Japanese New Year and its tradition of Osechi ceremonial foods (see above). Zōni is considered the most auspicious of the dishes eaten on New Year's Day; the preparation of Zōni varies both by household and region.

Gallery: L to OEdit

REdit

  • Raijin / Raijin-Sama (雷神 / 雷神様, lit. "Thunder God/Divinity" / "Lord/Master Thunder God/Divinity") – The Shinto Kami of thunder and lightning, resembles an Oni and is the brother of the wind Kami, Fūjin; together, they are both said to be two of the many sons and other children of Izanagi and Izanami. Raijin is also known as by the titles/epithets of Raiden / Raiden-Sama (雷電 / 雷電様, lit. "Thunder[-&-]Lightning" / "Lord/Master [of] Thunder[-&-]Lightning"), Kaminari / Kaminari-Sama ( / 雷様, lit. "Thunder" / "Lord/Master [of] Thunder"), Inazuma ( / 電様, lit. "Lightning" / "Lord/Master [of] Lightning"), and Narukami / Narukami-Sama (鳴神 / 鳴神様, lit. "[Bird-like] Cry Divinity" / "Lord/Master [Bird-like] Cry Divinity").
  • Rei (, lit. "Respect, Manners, Etiquette") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • Rei or Ryō or Tama (, lit. "Spirit", "Soul" & "Mysterious") – The soul or spirit of someone or something.
  • Reibai (霊媒, lit. "Spirit Mediator") – A person who can sense the presence of spirits and other supernatural/paranormal phenomena; a 'ghost whisperer'; another term for a Reinōsha.
  • Reikai (霊界, lit. "Spirit World") – See Seishinkai (below).
  • Reikan (霊感, lit. "Spirit Sensing") – The ability to sense the presence of spirits and other supernatural/paranormal phenomena; the term for psychics in Japan is Reinōsha (霊能者, lit. "Spiritual Ability Person").
  • Reiki (霊鬼, lit. "Malevolent Spirit") – The soul or spirit of someone or something dead, particularly malevolent.
  • Reikon (霊魂, lit. "Spirit, Soul") – The soul or spirit of a person, usually someone who's just died.
  • Reikon (霊能力, lit. "Spiritual Ability/Prowess") – The soul or spirit of a person, usually someone who's just died.
  • Reinō (霊能, lit. "Spirit Sensing Prowess") – The ability to sense the presence of spirits and other supernatural/paranormal phenomena; the term for psychics in Japan is Reinōsha (霊能者, lit. "Spiritual Ability Person").
  • Reinōryoku (霊能力, lit. "Spirit Sensing Prowess") – The ability to sense the presence of spirits and other supernatural/paranormal phenomena; the term for psychics in Japan is Reinōsha (霊能者, lit. "Spiritual Ability Person").
  • Reizan (霊山, lit. "Spirit Mountain") – A Holy Mountain, such as the Sanreizan and the Nanareizan (see below and above).
  • Rin ( / , lit. "Bell" / "Voice Stone") – A kind of standing bell or resting bell is an inverted bell, supported from below with the rim uppermost.
  • Rinne/ Rinne (輪廻, lit. "Cycling Worlds") – The concept of rebirth and "cyclicality of all life, matter, existence"; the beginning-less cycle of repeated birth from amongst 6 realms of re-incarnation, mundane existence and dying again. See also Tensei (below), Ama (above), Chikushō (above), Gaki (above), Naraku (above), Ningen (above), Shura (below), Sora (below), Ten (below) and Tenjō (below).
  • Ryōbu Shintō (両部神道, lit. "Dual-Aspect Shintō") – Also called Shingon Shintō, in Japanese religion, the syncretic school that combined Shintō with the teachings of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. The school developed during the late Heian (794–1185) and Kamakura (1192–1333) periods. The basis of the school's beliefs was the Japanese concept that Shintō deities (Kami) were manifestations of Buddhist divinities. Most important was the identification of the sun goddess Amaterasu with the Buddha Mahāvairocana (Japanese name Dainichi Nyorai: “Great Sun Buddha”).
  • Ryōjin (龍神, lit. "Dragon God") – Another name for Ryūjin (see below).
  • Ryūjin (龍神, lit. "Dragon God") – The tutelary deity of the seas and oceans in Shinto mythology.

SEdit

  • Saidan (祭壇, lit. "Festival Podium") – An altar, a structure, upon which is for making sacrifices and offerings to Kami and such. The style and size of altars varies, as-well-as the materials they are made of; stone (natural or shaped), soil, wood, etc.
  • Saikigū (祭器具, lit. "Festival Offerings-Vessel Tools") – The utensils used in religious ceremonies, including the following: Sanbō, Oshiki, Hassoku-an, Takatsuki.
  • Sakaki* (, lit. "Prosperity Tree" or "Sacred Tree") – A type of flowering evergreen tree native to Japan, and which is sacred in Shinto; the kanji for sakaki is in fact made up of the characters for tree 木 and kami 神. Cuttings of Sakaki, called Tamagushi (see below), are often offered as offerings to the Kami at shrines and in rituals. Cuttings of Sakaki are also displayed on either side of a Kamidana as offerings (see above).
  • Sakaki Tate (榊立, lit. "Sakaki Stands") – A pair of small, white vases, used for displaying cuttings of Sakaki are displayed on either side of a Kamidana as offerings (see above), and at rituals. In cases where real plants are used, the water in the Sakaki-tate should be changed regularly and the plants should be disposed as soon as they start to wither.
  • Sake (, lit. "Rice Wine") – An alcoholic beverage made by fermenting polished/white rice. Despite the name Japanese rice wine, Sake (and indeed any East Asian rice wine, such as Huangjiu and Cheongju), is produced by a brewing process more akin to that of beer—where starch is converted into sugars which ferment into alcohol—whereas in wine, the alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in fruit, typically grapes. See also Ō-Miki (above).
  • Saki-Mitama (幸魂, lit. "Love Soul") – The happy and loving side of a whole, complete spirit (Mitama). The Saki-Mitama is associated with the colours red and pink, and with the Cardinal direction of South. Also known-as Sachi-Mitama.
  • Sanbō (三方, lit. "Three Sides/Directions") – A stand used to bear food offerings (see Shinsen, below), usually made of unpainted Hinoki (Japanese cypress).
  • Saisen (賽銭, lit. "Shrine/Temple-Visit Money [Offerings]") – Offerings of money made by worshipers. The box collecting the offerings is called a Saisen-Bako (賽銭箱, lit. a "Saisen box"), usually situated near the entrance, or in front of the halls of a shrine, as well as of a Buddhist temple.
  • Sandō* (参道, lit. "Coming Gate") – The approach leading from a torii to a shrine. The term is also used sometimes at Buddhist temples too.
  • Sannō (山王, lit. "Mountain King") – A term that refers to, both; a title for a kind of Kami, a specific divine spirit that protects a divine mountain and, in this case, is Oyamakui-no-Kami, the tutelary deity of Mt. Hiei; and to Sannō Shinto (Sanno Shintoism), a school of Shintoism developed by Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple, the headquarters of Tendai Sect of Buddhism, from the end of the Heian period to the Kamakura period. In a narrow sense, Sanno Shinto is Shintoism before Tenkai in the Edo period. See also Myōjin (above).
  • Sanpai Sahō (参拝作法, lit. "Coming [to] Worship Action Method") – The way in which the Japanese worship at shrines, bowing twice, clapping twice, then bowing one last time.
  • Sanreizan (三霊山, lit. "3 Spiritual Mountains") – Three mountains revered as sacred in Shinto; these 3 mountains are Mount Fuji (富士山, lit. "Abundant Earth Mountain"), Mount Haku (白山, lit. "White Mountain"), and Mount Tate (立山, lit. "Upright Mountain"). The Sanreizan are also included amongst the Nanareizan (see above).
  • Sanzu-no-kawa (三途の川, lit. "River of Three Crossings") – A mythological river, similar to the River Styx in Greco-Roman mythology, said to act as a boundary between the lands of the Living and the Dead, and which must be crossed when a soul passes-on from the 'Land of the Living' after death and when a soul passes-on from the 'Land of the Dead' to be (re)born. Sometimes considered similar to Ne-no-kuni, Meido, Barzakh, Bardo, Limbo and Purgatory.
  • Sarubobo (さるぼぼ, lit. "Monkey Baby") – A kind of Japanese amulet, particularly associated with the town of Takayama in Gifu Prefecture. Sarubobo are red human-shaped dolls, with no facial features, made in a variety of sizes. Traditionally, Sarubobo are made by grandmothers for their grandchildren as dolls, and, likewise, for their daughters as a charm for good marriage, good children and to ensure a well-rounded couple
  • Segaki (施餓鬼, lit. "Feeding/Appeasing the Hungry Ghost") – A ritual of Japanese Buddhism, traditionally performed to stop the suffering of the Gaki (Hungry Ghosts), Jikininki (Flesh-eating Ghost/Oni) and Muenbotoke (the spirit of a departed mortal human with no living connections amongst the living; the dead who have no living relatives); ghosts tormented by insatiable 'hunger'. Alternatively, the ritual may be performed so-as to force them to return to their portion of hell, or-else keeps the spirits of the dead from falling into the realm of the Gaki in the first place. The Segaki may be performed at any time, but it is traditionally performed as part of the yearly Ō-Bon Festival services in July to remember the dead and the Segaki ritual for offering alms to specifically Gaki &/or Muenbotoke, but not for the spirits of one's ancestor.
  • Sei (, lit. "Essence", "Lifeforce", "Vitality") – The vim-&-vigour, vitality, energy, life-force, the energy of living things, the emotions, minds, &/or souls of things and beings, the soul or spirit of a thing, particularly when appearing on its own (such as a fairy or a sprite).
  • Seichi (聖地, lit. "Hallowed ground") – A term for hallowed ground. Also another word for Jōdo.
  • Seijin-no-Hi (成人の日, lit. "Day of Coming of Age") – A Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January. It is held in order to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached or will reach the age of maturity between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current year, and to help them realize that they have become adults. Similar such Coming of age ceremonies, such as Genpuku, have been celebrated in Japan since at least 714 CE. See also Shichi-Go-San.
  • Seimei Kikyō (晴明紋, lit. "Clearest/Brightest Crest", or the "Seal of Abe-no-Seimei"); a 5-pointed star (Pentacle/Pentagram), and the personal seal of Abe-no-Seimei (one of the most famous and most powerful Onmyōji (practitioners of Onmyōdō), if-not the most powerful practitioner in the history of Onmyōdō), and later becoming the symbol for the Onmyōryō (the government ministry department for the practice ofOnmyōdō, or the Bureau of Taoist Geomancy) and for Onmyōdō-itself, given its association with the Five Chinese Elements.
  • Seirei (精霊, lit. "Essence, Spirit, Soul") – A general umbrella term for the essence, spirit or soul of a none-specific thing. In Buddhism, this term is used when referring to the soul of someone who has just died.
  • Seisatsu* (制札, lit. "System Board") – A signboard containing announcements and rules for worshipers.
  • Seishinkai (精神界, lit. the "Spirit[ual] World") – A spiritual, non-corporeal world that co-exists all around-&-through the material world (Busshitsukai (above)), that human beings inhabit, but in a different dimension. The real of the spirits, great-&-small.
  • Seishinsekai (精神世界, lit. the "Spirit[ual] World") – See Seishinkai (above), Ano-Yo (above), and Reikai (below).
  • Sessha* (摂社, lit. "Auxiliary Shrine") – A smaller shrine housing a kami having a strong relationship with that of the honsha (the main shrine). A synonym of Massha.
  • Setsubun (節分, lit. "Seasonal Divide") – A ceremony, held on February 3, celebrating the beginning of spring in Japan.
  • Shaku (, lit. "Negation Baton") – A flat baton often seen in portraits of noblemen and samurai, but also used by kannushi. The Shaku has a purely decorative function.
  • Shakujō (錫杖, lit. "Tin Staff") – Also known as a "Sounding Staff", Shakujō is the Japanese word for a Buddhist Khakkhara, a staff topped with metal rings traditionally carried by Buddhist monks (particularly in the East Asian traditions). Originally used as a noisemaker to announce a monk's presence and frighten away animals, it was adapted for use as a rhythmic instrument during chanting and sutra recitation (similar to a rattle), and for use as a weapon for travelling monks.
  • Shamusho (社務所, lit. "Shrine Business Establishment") – A shrine's administrative office. It often sells omamori and other goods.
  • Shichi-Go-San (七五三, lit. "Seven-Five-Three" / "7-5-3") – A traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for 3-&-7-year-old girls and 5-year-old (and less commonly 3-year-old) boys, held annually on November 15 to celebrate the growth and well-being of young children. As it is not a national holiday, if it falls on a weekday it is generally observed on the nearest weekend. See also Chitose-Ame (above).
  • Shide* (, 紙垂 and 四手, lit. "Hanging", "Paper Hanging" and "Four-Hands") – A zigzag-shaped paper streamer, indicitive of a lightningbolt (as a symbol of divine power), often attached to a Shimenawa and to Tamagushi and used in rituals.
  • Shigai (絲鞋, lit. "Silken Footwear")Moccasin-like footwear, made from silk with leather soles. Originally worn by children and young woman of the aristocratic-class, it is now (or, at-least was) worn by Miko in Shinto rituals.
  • Shika (鹿, lit. "Deer") – An animal, a Deer; in Shinto, the Shika are considered as messengers of the Kami (along with Kirin (see above)).
  • Shikome (黄泉醜女, lit. "Hag(s) of the Underworld") – The 1–8 hags who were sent by the now-dead kami, Izanami, to pursue her brother-husband, the kami, Izanagi, for shaming her by breaking promise not to see her in her decayed form in the Underworld (Yomi-no-kuni). Their numbers differ between the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki.
  • Shinbai (神媒, lit. "Divine Mediator") – A divine spiritualist or medium.
  • Shinbatsu (神罰, lit. "Divine Punishment") – Punishment dealt-out by a Kami against transgressions committed by mortals and immortals-alike. See also Karma.
  • Shinboku (神木, lit. "Divine Tree") – A tree considered divine, as a kind of Shintai, usually surrounded by a shimenawa. A forest with a shinboku amongst its numbers is safe from deforestation. Known trees that can consecrated as shinboku include Sugi trees.
  • Shimekazari (注連飾り, lit. "Enclosing Ornamentation") – A wreath made of braided-Shimenawa rope with auspicious additions inter-woven into it, such as cuttings of evergreens, like the Matsu (, lit. "Pine Tree" (seen as a symbol of strength and endurance, as an evergreen)), Take (, lit. "Bamboo" (a symbol of longevity)), Ume (, lit. "Plum Blossom" (a symbol of hope)), Daidai (/臭橙, lit. "Bitter Orange[s]" (a symbol of generations and posterity)), and combined with various other good luck charms and adornments (such as Kumihimo & Mizuhiki), are hung above doors to invite gods of good fortune and to ward off evil spirits. Shimekazari are put-up as decorations for Japanese New Year, along with Kadomatsu.
  • Shimenawa (標縄 / 注連縄 / 七五三縄, lit. "Enclosing Rope") – In Shinto, Shimenawa are lengths of rope, made from laid/woven/braided rice straw or hemp, used for ritual purification. They are featured prominently at Shinot Shrines, and—as a part of Japanese New-Year celebration, ornaments such as Shimenawa decorate every household; during this time period, local residents usually hang it on the door, as good-luck charms, and as wards in order to drive away evils—more decorative ones at individual households (see also Kumihimo and Mizuhiki).
  • Shinen (神苑, lit. "Divine Garden[s]") – The gardens on Shrine grounds, considered to be as much the Kamis as the Shrine is their home.
  • Shingu (神具, lit. "Divine Tool") – A term for the items displayed upon a Kamidana (see above), specifically the vessels holding offerings.
  • Shinidama (死魂, lit. "Dead Soul") – The soul of a dead person (see also Hitodama and Shirei).
  • Shiniki (神域, lit. "Divine/Divinity['s] Domain") – The term Shiniki refers to the perimeters of a shrine &/or a place where Kami dwell (i.e. a Yorishiro). The term Shiniki is also used to refer to any place of significant importance. See also Himorogi (above) and Iwakura (above).
  • Shinji (神事, lit. "Divine Service") – Rituals and services in Shintoism.
  • Shinkan (神官, lit. "Divine Official") – A person serving a certain God or working as a government official at a facility where God is worshipped. Shinkan is also used as a term designating a Shinto priest (a person involved in religious services and office work in a shrine), and it is still used as common name for Shinto priests in everyday talk, as well as for priests of Shinto shrines outside of Japan. Priests and clergyman of other religions are also referred-to-as Shinkan (see also Jinkan and Kannushi, above).
  • Shinko (神狐, lit. "Divine Fox") – Similar to Komainu, Shinko are twin dual statues of foxes, usually depicted as having white fur, who serve Inari Ōkami as messengers, and as guardian statues of shrines dedicated to Inari Ōkami, along with many hundreds of fox statues and figurines donated by devotees.
  • Shinkyō (神鏡, lit. "Divine Mirror") – A "Sacred mirror" often included in shrine altars and home altars (Kamidana); they are believed to represent the Kami-themselves, as mirrors are often used in Shinto shrines as a Yorishiro—an object into which a kami can be attracted-to. As it reflects back the devotee's reflection, the mirror is also said to play the role of reflecting the devotee's sincerity to the kami.
  • Shinra Banshō (森羅万象, lit. "All-Things/Every-Thing") – A Shinto-Buddhist term, meaning 'all things existing in the universe': According to Shintoism, the Kami exist within Shinra Banshō (all things in nature, the whole creation), with the Amatsu kami (god of heaven) existing up in the high-heavens, the Kunitsu Kami (gods of the land) existing within the corporeal world, and the Sorei (ancestral spirits; the collective of ancestral spirits that have lost their individualities, ancestors deified as Kami, spirit of a Kami (see below)) existing in family shrines where their descendants can make offerings to them.
  • Shinsōsai (神葬祭, lit. "Burial", "Interment") – A Shinto funeral service.
  • Shinza (神座, lit. "Divine Seat") – A place where there is a Kami or a place where housing the sacred object (Shintai) of a shrine, like an Inner Sanctum / Sanctum sanctorum.
  • Shinzen-Kekkonshiki (神前結婚式, lit. "Wedding Ceremony before the Kami") – A Shinto Wedding Ceremony.
  • Shio (, lit. "salt") – In Shinto, salt is used for ritual purification of locations and people (harae, specifically shubatsu (修祓)), and small piles of salt are placed in dishes by the entrance of establishments for the two-fold purposes of warding off evil and attracting patrons.
  • Shimenawa* (標縄, 注連縄, 七五三縄, lit. an "Enclosing Rope") – A length of braided rice straw rope used for ritual purification.
  • Shinbutsu bunri (神仏分離, lit. "Kami-Buddha Separation") – The forbidding, by law, of the syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism, and the effort to create a clear division between Shinto and Buddhism on one side, and Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines on the other.
  • Shiryō/Shirei (死霊, lit. "Dead Spirit") – The spirit of a dead person (see also Hitodama and Shinidama). The term(s) are used in contrast to a Ikiryō (生霊, lit. a "Living Spirit", an "Eidolon"), which refers to a disembodied spirit that leaves the body of a person who is still living and subsequently haunts other people or places, sometimes across great distances (above).
  • Shintai (神体, lit. "Divine Body") – A sacred object, usually a mirror, a jewel, or a sword, but also natural objects such as trees and mountains, which represents the kami for worship.
  • Shrine – The English word which translates several more specialized Japanese words (see article Shinto shrine). Any structure housing ("enshrining") a Kami. See also hokora (extremely small shrine), Jinja, jingū, Massha (subordinate shrine, a synonym of Sessha), Miya, Mori (shrine grove), Taisha, Yashiro.
  • Shinbutsu kakuri (神仏隔離, lit. "Kami-Buddha Isolation") – The tendency in medieval and early modern Japan to keep particular kami separate from any form or manifestation of Buddhism.
  • Shinbutsu shūgō (神仏習合, lit. "Kami-Buddha Syncretism") – The syncretism of Buddhism and local religious beliefs, the normal state of things before the shinbutsu bunri.
  • Shinsen (神饌, lit. "Divine [Food] Offering[s]") – Offerings of foods given up to Shinto Shrines or Kamidana in Japan for the Kami. They are also called Mike (御贄, lit. "Honourable [Food] Gift[s]") or Minie (御饌, lit. "Honourable [Food] Offering[s]"). Food offered up could range from their staple of rice, rice cakes, seafoods, vegetable, food foraged from the mountains, seasonal foods, local specialties, foods connected to the enshrined kami, salt, water are offered-up in thanks. At the end of the ritual, the offered food is eaten together to gain a sense of unity with the kami, and to gain their blessing and protection. The rite of offering Shinsen is known as Naorai (see alsoEucharist).
  • Shōdo (聖土, lit. "Hallowed ground") – A term for hallowed ground. Also another word for Jōdo (see above) and Seichi (see above).
  • Shonetsu Jigoku (焦熱地獄, lit. "Hell of Burning") – The 3rd level of Jigoku, location for sinners, who have committed murder (even the murder of small lives such as insects), theft, and degeneration.
  • Shubatsu (修祓, lit. the "Mend [&] Cleanse") – A ceremony, involving the use of Salt, conducted immediately prior to rituals in order to purify participants, food offerings and Tamagushi, of sins and defilement. See also Misogi (above).
  • Shugenja (修験者, lit. the "Practitioner [of] Trial [&] Practice") – A Shugenja is a practitioner of Shugendō. Shugenja are also known as Sōhei (below) and as Yamabushi (below).
  • Shūgi-bukuro (祝儀袋, lit. the "Celebratory Gift Bag[s]") – A special envelope in which money is given as a gift of celebration in Japan, especially at weddings.
  • Shugo Jigoku (衆合地獄, lit. "Hell of Crushing") – The 6th level of Jigoku, location for sinners, who have committed murder (even the murder of small lives such as insects), theft, degeneration, drunkenness, lying and blasphemy.
  • Shuin (朱印, lit. "Vermillion Seal") – A commemorative seal stamp given to worshippers and visitors to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. The seal stamps are often collected in books called Shuinchō (see below) that are sold at shrines and temples.
  • Shuinchō (朱印帳, lit. "Vermillion Seal Book") – A book used to collect Shuin in (see above).
  • Shūha Shintō (宗派神道, lit. "Sect Shinto") – see Kyōha Shintō, above.
  • State Shinto (Kokka Shintō (国家神道, lit. "State Shinto")) – A term first used after World War II to broadly classify Shinto ideals, rituals and institutions created by the pre-War government to promote the divinity of the emperor and the uniqueness of Japan (kokutai).
  • Shura (修羅, lit. "Cultivated Gauze") – The Semi-Divine/Ashura realm of incarnation, the second-highest realm on the Wheel of Re-incarnation. See also Rinne (above).
  • Sora (, lit. "Heaven(ly)") – The Divine/Deva realm of incarnation, the highest realm on the Wheel of Re-incarnation. See also Ama (above), Ten (below), Tenjō (below), and Rinne (above).
  • Sōhei (僧兵, lit. "[Buddhist] Monk Warrior") – A Sōhei is a practitioner of Shugendō. Sōhei are also known as a Shugenja (above), and a Yamabushi (below); a kind of mountain hermit.
  • Sorei (祖霊, lit. "Ancestral Soul(s)/Spirit(s)") – A term in Shinto-Buddhism that refers to the spirits of one's ancestors; specifically it refers to the spirits of those ancestors that have been the target of special memorial services that have been held for them at certain fixed times after their death. The dates and the frequencies of these services vary widely depending on the region of Japan; suitable occasions may for example be 33 and 50 years after death; after which-point, the afore-mentioned ancestor ascends to become a Sorei. See also Ujigami (below).
  • Sugi (, lit. "Hair Tree")Cryptomeria; the Japanese cedar or Japanese redwood.
  • Suijin (水神, lit. "Water God") – Another name for Ryūjin (see above).
  • Suikan (水干, lit. "Keeping-off the Water") – An informal garment, like a tunic, worn by males of the Japanese nobility in the Heian period, as outerwear; an informal garment, like a tunic, worn by males of the Japanese nobility in the Heian period, as outerwear.
  • Susanoo-no-Mikoto (須佐之男 / 須佐能乎, lit. "Wild Man" / "Wild Ability") – The multifaceted Shinto Kami of Storms, the Sea, open fields, the harvest, marriage, and love, the son of Izanagi (above), and the younger brother of the sun Megami, Amaterasu (above) and the moon Kami, Tsukuyomi (below). Ama-no-Zako, a monstrous Megami, is actually Susanoo-no-Mikoto's Aramitama-incarnated.
  • Suzu (, lit. "Bell") – A round, hollow Japanese Shinto bell that contains pellets that sound when agitated. At large shrines, large Suzu drape over entrances, as it is said that ringing them calls the kami, allowing one to acquire positive power and authority, while repelling evil. Handheld clustered Suzu, Kagura suzu, similar to jingle bells, are used musically at Shinto ceremonies. See also Bonshō (above), Dōtaku (above), Kagura suzu (above) and Rin.

Gallery: P to SEdit

TEdit

  • Taiko (太鼓, lit. "Great Drum") – A term for a broad range of Japanese percussion drums. The Taiko drum has been an intrical part of Japanese Shinto and Buddhist religious practices and folklore for centuries, along with other musical instruments, such as the Kagura suzu (above).
  • Taisha (大社, lit. "Great Shrine") – A term usually used as a part of the official name of a shrine, as for example in Izumo Taisha.
  • Taisha-zukuri (大社造, lit. "Great Shrine Architecture") – The oldest style of shrine architecture used for example at Izumo Taisha and thought to resemble that of ancient habitations.
  • Takamagahara (高天原, lit. "Plains of the High Heaven") – In Shinto, Takamagahara (or Takama no Hara) is the dwelling place of the heavenly gods, the Amatsukami/Kotoamatsukami; not to mistaken with Tendō/Tengoku. It is believed to be connected to the Earth by the bridge, Ama-no-uki-hashi.
  • Takarabune (宝船, lit. "Treasure Ship") – A mythical ship piloted through the heavens, manned by the Seven Lucky Gods during the first three days of the New Year. A picture of the ship forms an essential part of traditional Japanese New Year celebrations; said-picture is placed under one's pillow during the days of New Year, invites Hatsuyume the "First Dream(s) of the New-Year", which have divinational-significance for the dreamer.
  • Tamagaki (玉垣, lit. "Jewel Fence") – The fence delimiting the sacred soil of a shrine.
  • Tamagushi* (玉串, lit. "Jewel Skewer") – A form of offering made from a sakaki-tree branch and strips of paper, silk, or cotton.
  • Tamashii/Tamashī (, lit. the "Contemporary/Current Soul/Spirit") – Although written the same as Kon (魂), when it is said as Tamashii, it refers to a soul within its proper body, encompassing one's "mind", "heart" and "soul". When 魂 is said as Kon, it refers to 1-part of a 2-fold soul (stemming from Daoism), Konpaku (魂魄; see above); Kon meaning the ethereal, subliminal soul (see above), and Haku referring to the ephemeral, supraluminal soul (see above). The opposite of Tamashii is Mitama (written either as 御魂, 御霊, 神霊 (see above)), refers to a soul that has since-parted from its body (i.e. the person has died, be-it from natural or un-natural causes).
  • Tamaya (霊屋, lit. "Soul/Spirit [of the Dead] House") – An altar used in Shinto-style ancestor worship, dedicated in the memory of deceased forebears. It generally has a mirror symbolizing the spirits of the deceased or a tablet bearing their names and is used not only to enshrine blood relatives, but also to honor respected non-family members. See also Kamidama (above) and Butsudan (above).
  • Tanuki (, lit. "Village Canine") – A mammal native to Japan (and Asia (as a subspecies of the Asian raccoon dog)) and to Japanese culture and folklore since ancient times. The raccoon dog is known in folklore to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise, and with a taste for Sake. Tanuki is also regarded as a Japanese art animal, appearing in many different forms of both modern and traditional art. The Tanuki is also featured among Engimono (above), as a bringer of good fortune.
  • Tanzaku (短冊, lit. "Short Writable Object") – A small strip of paper that wishes can be written on, especially those hung on bamboo or other trees during Tanabata.
  • Tatari (祟り, lit. "Disaster Spirit") – A kind of curse, specifically one placed upon the victim by gods or spirits such as Tatarigami (below), powerful spirits of which bring all sorts of calamity, such as death and destruction, fire and famine, plague, war.
  • Tatarigami (祟り神, lit. "Disaster Spirit") – Powerful spirits of which bring all sorts of calamity, such as death and destruction, fire and famine, plague, war.
  • Tate ( & , lit. "Shield") – A shield, sometimes dedicated to shrines, and indicative of a Kami's power to ward-off and protect from negative influences.
  • Tatsu ( / , lit. "Dragon") – A mythical creature, the Tatsu is also featured among Engimono (above), as it is seen as a symbol for great power, wisdom, leadership and success, and is said to bring strength, luck, and fortune. While similar to the Chinese dragon/Lóng/Lūng, the Japanese dragon/Tatsu is more serpentine in its shape; the Chinese dragon also differs in that it is largely associated with rain (due to drought disasters that China experiences); however, due to Japan being less susceptible to drought, the Japanese dragon is associated more with the sea. The Tatsu is often depicted in colours acquainted with colours for its many attributes.
  • Tei (, lit. "Fraternity") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • Temizuya* (手水舎, lit. "Hand Water/Washing Hut") – A fountain near the entrance of a shrine or at a Buddhist temple where worshipers can cleanse their hands and mouths before worship.
  • Ten (, lit. "Heaven(ly)") – The Divine/Deva realm of incarnation, the highest realm on the Wheel of Re-incarnation. See also Ama (above), Sora (above), Tenjō (below) and Rinne (above).
  • Tenchi (天地, lit. "Heaven and Earth") – A term used to refer to the union of opposites; Heaven and Earth, Yin and Yang, Positive and Negative, and all things with them; a term referring to the Whole World. See also Kenkon (above).
  • Tendō (天堂, lit. "Heaven(ly) Hall")Heaven, not unlike Nirvana, the Buddhist equivalent of Heaven or Enlightenment (Spiritual Enlightenment). Another word for Tengoku, mentioned below.
  • Tengoku (天国, lit. "Heaven(ly) Domain")Heaven, not unlike Nirvana, the Buddhist equivalent of Heaven or Enlightenment (Spiritual Enlightenment).
  • Tengu (天狗, lit. "Heaven(ly) Sentinel") – a type of legendary creature found in Japanese folk religion. They are considered a type of Yōkai (supernatural beings) or Shinto Kami (gods). The Tengu were originally thought to take the forms of birds of prey, and they are traditionally depicted with both human and avian characteristics. The earliest Tengu were pictured with beaks, but this feature has often been humanized as an unnaturally long nose, which today is widely considered the Tengu's defining characteristic in the popular imagination. They are also thought to be a parallel to the Garuda (Sanskrit: गरुड़ Garuḍa; Pāli: गरुळ Garuḷa); a legendary bird or bird-like creature in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology, and influenced by Sarutahiko Ōkami, a native Shinto deity. The king (and Kami) of all Tengu is Sōjōbō.
  • Tengu-Kakushi (天狗隠し, lit. "Tengu-Hidden") – A term used to refer to the mysterious disappearance or death of a person that happens when an angered Tengu takes a person away. Japanese folklore contains numerous tales of humans abducted to the spirit world, or else-where, by Tengu. See also Kamikakushi (above).
  • Tenjin (天神, lit. "Sky God") – The deification of Sugawara no Michizane (845–903), the famous scholar, poet and politician of the Heian period. Originally worshiped as a weather kami, Tenjin later became a Patron deity of academics, scholarship, of learning and education, and patron of the Intelligentsia. On 25 February (Sugawara no Michizane's birthday), at Kitano Tenmangū (a shrine built and dedicated to him), the Baikasai (the Plum/Ume blossom-viewing festival), commemorating Sugawara no Michizane's birthday and love of the Ume/Plum blossom.
  • Tenjō (天上, lit. "Heaven(ly) Acme/Zenith") – The Divine/Deva realm of incarnation, the highest realm on the Wheel of Re-incarnation. See also Ama (above), Rinne (above), Sora (above) and Ten (above).
  • Tenkan (天冠, lit. a "Divine Crown" or "Heavenly Crown") – A design of golden-filigree crown worn by Buddha and celestial beings, such as Tennyo (below). Also worn by imperial princesses in the Heian period. Now worn by Miko during formal occasions such as Matsuri/festivals. Tenkan is also the name of the triangular-cloth-headband seen worn by Yūrei in traditional Japanese artwork.
  • Tenne (天衣, lit. a "Divine Raiment" or "Heavenly Raiment") – Similar to the Hagoromo (the stole-like, feathered, Heavenly Kimono or Mantle of Tennin (see above), spiritual beings found in Japanese Shinto-Buddhism; Hagoromo allowed the Tennin wearing them to fly, earning Tennin the moniker of Hiten (飛天, lit. "Flying Heaven"); Tenne are halo-like scarves of gauze, or a ribbon-like strip of narrow and ornamental, floating cloth found on the depiction of many deities and divine beings, denoting them as 'divine'. See also Hagoromo (above), Tenne (below) and Halos.
  • Tenne (纏衣, lit. a "Wrapping Raiment" or "Heavenly Raiment") – Similar to the Hagoromo (the stole-like, feathered, Heavenly Kimono or Mantle of Tennin (see above), spiritual beings found in Japanese Shinto-Buddhism; Hagoromo allowed the Tennin wearing them to fly, earning Tennin the moniker of Hiten (飛天, lit. "Flying Heaven"); Tenne are halo-like scarves of gauze, or a ribbon-like strip of narrow and ornamental, floating cloth found on the depiction of many deities and divine beings, denoting them as 'divine'. See also Hagoromo (above), Tenne (above) and Halos.
  • Tennin (天人, lit. "Divine Being" or "Heavenly Being") – spiritual/divine beings found in Shinto and Japanese Buddhism that are similar to Western angels, nymphs or fairies. They were seemingly imported from Chinese Buddhism, which was itself influenced by the concepts of heavenly beings found in Indian Buddhism and Chinese Taoism.
  • Tennyo (天女, lit. "Divine Women" or "Heavenly Maidens") – Female Tennin: wives, daughters, or handmaidens of the Kami and the Buddha.
  • Tensei/Tenshō (転生, lit. "Moving/Shifting Life") – The concept of rebirth and "cyclicality of all life, matter, existence"; the beginning-less cycle of repeated birth from amongst 6 realms of re-incarnation, mundane existence and dying again; transmigration of a soul into a new body: reincarnation, metempsychosis and rebirth. See also Rinne (above).
  • Tenshi (天使, lit. "Divine Messenger" or "Heavenly Messenger") – Messenger Tennin.
  • Teru teru bōzu (照る照る坊主 or てるてる坊主, lit. "Shine-Shine Monk") – A small traditional handmade doll made of white paper or cloth that Japanese farmers began hanging outside of their window by a string. This talisman is supposed to have magical powers to bring good weather and to stop or prevent a rainy day.
  • The Tide jewels – The Kanju (干珠, lit. "(Tide-)Ebbing Jewel") and the Manju (満珠, lit. "(Tide-)Flowing Jewel"); two magical gems that the Sea Kami (Watatsumi or Ryūjin) used to control the tides. Classical Japanese history texts record an ancient myth that the Sea Kami presented the Manju and Kanju to his demigod son-in-law, Hoori, and a later legend that Empress Jingū used the tide jewels to conquer Korea.
  • Tokatsu Jigoku (等活地獄, lit. "Hell of Revival") – The 1st and shallowest level of Jigoku, location for sinners, who have committed murder (even the murder of small creatures such as insects).
  • Torii (鳥居, lit. "Bird Perch") – The iconic Shinto gate at the entrance of a sacred area, usually a shrine. Also serves as the symbol for Shintoism.
  • Tōrō (灯籠, lit. "[Stone] Lamp Case") – A lantern at a shrine or Buddhist temple.
  • Toshidana (年棚, lit. "Annum Shelf" or "Annum Alter") – An altar specifically-used for the New-Year, to commemorate a Toshigami (below). Offering will include round cakes made of pounded rice (鏡餅 kagami mochi, lit. "mirror rice cake"), bottles of sake, persimmons, tangerines, etc. See also Kamidana (above).
  • Toshigami (年棚, lit. "Annum Kami") – The Shinto Kami of the year cycle, year-by-year.
  • Toso (屠蘇, lit. "Revival Sacrifice") – A spiced medicinal sake, traditionally drunk during New Year celebrations in Japan. See also Ō-Toso.
  • Totsuka-no-Tsurugi (十拳剣, lit. the "Sword of Ten Hand-Breadths") – A sword that is 'Ten Hand-Breadths-long'; this term does not necessarily refer to any-one-sword, specifically, but is a common noun for any sword of this length. In Japanese mythology, numerous deities own a sword of this kind. Four well-known examples of 'Totsuka-no-Tsurugi' were owned by Izanagi (×1), Susanoo (×2), and Takemikazuchi (×1).
  • Tsuina (追儺, lit. "[Ceremony of] Driving-Away Evil Spirits/Demons [Exorcism]") – A term for a kind of ritual of exorcism, specifically one performed during a funeral, by a Hōsōshi (above), in-order to keep-away flesh-eating, corpse-stealing Yōkai away from the body being buried. Tsuina shares its origins with Setsubun in Nuo rituals from China, themselves influenced by Taoism.
  • Tsukimi (月見, lit. "Moon Viewing") – A festival held honouring the autumn moon, a variant of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The celebration of the full moon typically takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese calendar; the waxing moon is celebrated on the 13th day of the ninth month. These days normally fall in September and October of the modern solar calendar.
  • Tsukumogami (付喪神, lit. "Tool Kami")Yōkai who came to being from tools that have acquired a Kami or spirit. According to an annotated version of The Tales of Ise, titled Ise Monogatari Shō, there is a theory originally from the Onmyōki (陰陽記) that foxes and tanuki, among other beings, that have lived for at a hundred years and changed forms are considered tsukumogami. In modern times, the term can also be written 九十九神 (literally "ninety-nine Kami"), to emphasize the agedness.
  • Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto (月読命 / 月読尊, lit. "Moon Reader") – The Shinto Kami of the Moon, the son of Izanagi (above), and the younger brother of the sun Megami, Amaterasu (above) and the older brother of the storm Kami, Susanoo-no-Mikoto (above).
  • Tsumairi or Tsumairi-zukuri (妻入 or 妻入造, lit. "Spouses Structure") – A style of construction in which the building has its main entrance on the side which runs perpendicular to the roof's ridge (gabled side). The taisha-zukuri, sumiyoshi-zukuri, ōtori-zukuri and kasuga-zukuri architectural styles belong to this type.
  • Tsumi (, lit. "Crime", "Offence", "Sin", "Vice", "Fault", "Accountability", "Culpability") – A violation committed against legal, social moral, ethical, or religious rules. It is most often used in the religious and moral sense. See also Amatsu Tsumi (above) and Kunitsu Tsumi (above), Imi (above), Kegare (above), and Miasma (bloodguilt).
  • Tsuru (, lit. "Crane", "Heron") – A species of bird, native to Japan and to Japanese culture. The Tsuru is also featured among Engimono (above), as its white colour is seen as pure and clear.

UEdit

  • Ubusunagami (産土神, lit. "Birthplace Deity") – A kind of Tutelary deity, a guardian god or spirit of a particular place in the Shinto religion of Japan. The term "Ubusuna-mode" (visiting one's own birth god) became widely used for visiting one's-own home-town-&-shrine. See also Sorei (above) and Ujigami (below).
  • Uchide no kozuchi (打ち出の小槌, lit. "Tap-Appear Mallet")Daikokuten's magic, lucky coin-stamping mallet. Small versions are also sold as a kind of Engimono (above).
  • Ujigami (氏神, lit. "Clan Deity") – A guardian god or spirit of a particular place in the Shinto religion of Japan. See also Sorei (above).
  • Ukehi or Ukei (誓占, lit. "Pledge Divination") is a Japanese Shinto divination ritual. See also Bokusen (above) and Futomani (above).
  • Ukemochi (保食神, lit. "Sustainable Food Deity") – The kami of food.
  • Ushi-no-Toki-Mairi (丑の時参り, lit. "Visit [of the] Hour of the Ox") – 1:00 am–3:00 am; the equivalent of the Witching hour in Shintoism.
  • Utsushimi (現身, lit. "Existing Form/Body") – A term for a visible, worldly form; physical form (of a deity). See also Kakurimi (below).
  • Utsushiyo (現世, lit. "Existing World") – A term for a visible world; physical world (i.e. of the Living). See also Kakuriyo (above).

WEdit

  • Wara-Ningyō (藁人形, lit. "Straw/Hemp Doll") – Depending-upon their intended use, Wara-Ningyō can be used either for cleansing a person of sins/impurities (like a Katashiro (above) and a Teru teru bōzu (above)), casting spells to protect &/or empower (like an Ō-mamori (above)), or-else to perform a curse upon another person (usually someone who has wronged the person performing the curse), via ritual impalement. Originating from Daoist rituals (i.e. strengthening bindings over a captured Jiangshi), in Japan, they are nailed to trees to curse people, during Ushi-no-Toki-Mairi, which explains the nail in its design and in Curse. Similar to a Poppet, a Corn dolly, a Corn husk doll and a Voodoo doll, etc.
  • Wara-Ningyō (藁馬, lit. "Straw/Hemp Horse") – Similar to a Wara-Ningyō (above), they are a kind of Engimono and an Omiyage (like a Akabeko (above), &/or a Ema plaque (above)) used as a totem to promote a good harvest, as horses (traditionally oxen) were used for the heavy-work of ploughing fields.
    • Wara-Ningyō (藁午, lit. "Straw/Hemp Horse") – Similar to a Wara-Ningyō (above), they are a kind of Engimono and an Omiyage (like a Akabeko (above), &/or a Ema plaque (above)) used as a totem to promote a good harvest, as horses (traditionally oxen) were used for the heavy-work of ploughing fields.

YEdit

  • Yaku (, lit. "Misfortune" or "Calamity") – In Shinto and in Onmyōdō, Yaku is a term that refers to the bad luck that one accumulates everyday. In Onmyōdō, finding-out the times that one will be subjected to these periods when bad luck tend to occur is paramount to planning-out methods on how to get rid of it, if-not being-able to avoid them-outright.
  • Yakudoshi (厄年, lit. "Misfortunate Year" or "Age of Calamity") – In Shinto and in Onmyōdō, Yakudoshi is believed to be a period of time where-in a person experiences their-own "age of calamity", where they will suffer misfortunes, unless they can avoid it by knowing about it ahead-of-time.
  • Yakuharai (厄祓い, lit. "Exorcism of Misfortunate" or "Exorcism of Calamity") – A specific kind of Harae performed so-as to
  • Yakuyoke (厄除け, lit. "Avoidence of Misfortunate" or "Avoidence of Calamity") – See Yakuharai (above), but Yakuyoke is more to do with pre-emptive actions of 'prevention', rather than 'remedy'.
  • Yama (, lit. "Mountain") – In Shinto, mountains are often seen as sacred places and are referred to as Shintai (the corporeal form of a Kami).
  • Yama (夜摩, lit. "Underworld") – In Shinto, Yama is another name for Enma-Ō (閻魔王, lit. "Evil Gates King"), the Kami who oversees the land of the dead; the afterworld, the underworld; specifically over Naraku (Shinto-Buddhist Hell).
    • Yama (, lit. "Mountain") – See also Yama (above). Mountains were often used as a place to bury the dead and were strongly associated with the afterlife. See also Sacred mountains and Axis mundi.
  • Yama-Bito (山人, lit. "Mountain Person/People") Also known as Sanjin, Yama-Bito were the precursors of the Yamabushi (below). Also a term for a group, some scholars claim, of ancient, marginalized people, dating back to some unknown date during the Jōmon period of the history of Japan.
  • Yamabushi (山伏, lit. "Mountain Prostrator") – A Yamabushi is a practitioner of Shugendō. Yamabushi are also known as a Sōhei (above), and a Shugenja (above); a kind of mountain hermit.
  • Yama-Jijī (山爺, lit. "Mountain Geezer") – A male yōkai found in Japanese folklore (and Noh Theater), and is most often described as a monstrous crone.
  • Yama-Uba/Yama-Babā (山姥, lit. "Mountain Crone") – A female yōkai found in Japanese folklore (and Noh Theater), and is most often described as a monstrous crone; a most famous example of a Yama-uba is the one who found and raised Kintarō. See also Kijo and Onibabā.
  • Yamawaro (山童, lit. "Mountain Child") – A childlike yōkai found in Japanese folklore (and Noh Theater).
  • Yao-Yorozu-no-Kami (八百万の神, lit. the "Eight-Million Kami") – A term in Shintoism meaning all of the Kami in all of creation.
  • Yata no Kagami (八咫鏡, lit. the "Eight Ta Mirror") – A sacred mirror that is part of the Imperial Regalia of Japan. It is said to be housed in Ise Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture, Japan. The Yata no Kagami represents "Wisdom" or "Honesty", depending on the source. Its name literally means "The Eight Ta Mirror", a reference both to its size (1 ta equals about 8 cun, and 1 cun equals about 3 cm) and to its octagonal shape. Mirrors in ancient Japan represented truth because they merely reflected what was shown, and were a source of much mystique and reverence (being uncommon items). Japanese folklore is rich in stories of life before mirrors were commonplace.
  • Yari (, lit. "Spear") – A spear weapon, sometimes dedicated to shrines (along with other weapons, such as Katana and Naginata), and indicative of a Kami's power to ward-off negative influences.
  • Yashikigami (屋敷神, lit. "Estate Divinity") – A Kami (singular or plural) of a specific plot of land, house, household, etc. See also: Household deities.
  • Yashiro (, lit. "Holy Ground") – A generic term for shrine, similar to jinja.
  • Yōkai (妖怪, lit. "strange, unusual, supernatural, paranormal, extraordinary") – An umbrella term that can cover ghosts, phantoms, phantasms, apparitions and illusions, goblins, monsters, demons, devils and any kind of supernatural beasts and beings; the corporeal and the incorporeal; real or fantasy; the term, Yōkai can also be used when referring to humans, animals, objects (i.e. the Tsukumogami (above)), and even used when referring to Kami (above); some are even the servants of Kami (i.e. the Kitsune, who serve Inari-Ōkami).
  • Yōma (妖魔, lit. "Supernatural Evil Being") – A kind of ghost or phantom, apparition, monster and/or demon.
  • Yomi (黄泉, lit. "Underworld") – In Shinto, Yomi is the land of the dead; the afterworld, the underworld: according to Shinto mythology, as related in Kojiki, this is where the dead go in the afterlife. Once one has eaten at the hearth of Yomi, it is (mostly) impossible to return to the land of the living. Yomi in Japanese mythology is comparable to Hades (specifically the Asphodel Meadows) or Sheol and is most commonly known for Izanami's retreat to that place after her death.
    • Yomo (黄泉, lit. "Underworld") – See Yomi (above).
  • Yorishiro (依り代, lit. "Substitute Inhabitat") – An object capable of attracting kami for a ceremony. Trees, rocks, magatama, gohei, even persons can be a yorishiro.
  • Yorimashi (憑坐, lit. "Possession Mount") – A human yorishiro, in particular a child or woman, used by a faith healer for oracles.
  • Yoroi (, lit. "Armour") – A suit of armour, sometimes dedicated to shrines, and indicative of a kami's power to ward off and protect from negative influences.
  • (, lit. "Courage") – One of the seven-plus Virtues of Bushido.
  • Yūkai (幽界, lit. "Dark World") – A term referring to the "invisible world" that one cannot see without any kind of supernatural gift; also another word for Yomi, the Underworld. See also Kenkai (above).
  • Yūki (幽鬼, lit. "Dark Spirit") – A kind of demonic ghost or phantom; a demonic poltergeist. An onryō is a kind of yūki.
  • Yūrei (幽霊, lit. "Dark Spirit") – A kind of ghost or phantom. An onryō is a kind of yūrei.

ZEdit

Gallery: T to ZEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az Bocking, Brian (1997). A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-7007-1051-5.
  2. ^ Yonei, Teruyoshi. "Aramitama". Encyclopedia of Shinto. Kokugakuin University. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  3. ^ JAANUS, Hachiman-zukuri accessed on December 1, 2009
  4. ^ Nogami, Takahiro: "Hakusan Shinkō". Encyclopedia of Shinto, Kokugakuin University, retrieved on August 8, 2011
  5. ^ a b c Smyers (1999:219)
  6. ^ Iwanami Kōjien (広辞苑) Japanese dictionary, 6th Edition (2008), DVD version

ReferencesEdit

  • Basic Terms of Shinto, Kokugakuin University, Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Tokyo 1985
  • Ono, Sokyo, Shinto: The Kami Way, Charles E. Tuttle Company, Tokyo 1992, ISBN 0-8048-0525-3
  • Encyclopedia of Shinto, Kokugakuin University, accessed on April 2, 2009
  • Iwanami Kōjien (広辞苑) Japanese dictionary, 6th Edition (2008), DVD version
  • Japanese Art Net User System Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology accessed on April 2, 2009
  • Smyers, Karen Ann (1999). The Fox and the Jewel: Shared and Private Meanings in Contemporary Japanese Inari Worship. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2102-5. OCLC 231775156.