Jinushigami (地主神), also known as jigami (地神), tochigami (土地神), chi no kami (地の神, also read as ji no kami), or jinushisama (地主様), are Shinto folk deities, or kami, of an area of land (the name literally means "land-master-kami"). Their history goes back to at least the 9th century and possibly earlier. Originally, jinushigami were associated with new areas of land opened up for settlement. New residents of the land created shrines to the local resident kami either to gain its blessing/permission, or to bind it within the land to prevent its interference with, or cursing of, nearby humans. Jinushigami may be either ancestors of the original settlers of an area, or ancestors of a clan.