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Japanese Deities

  • Many of theologies inherent to Japanese religious traditions and beliefs are from Shinto, whereas others were brought in through Taoism or Buddhism and "incorporated" into Japanese folklore and mythology.





Major Kami

  • Amaterasu-Ō-Mi-Kami commonly known as Amaterasu, is the goddess of the sun and the supposed ancestress of the Imperial Family of Japan. Her complete name means "Great Spirit Who Shines in the Heavens" or "Great Goddess". For several reasons, one of them being her relations with the Imperial family, she is often considered to be the "main god" of Shinto.
  • Ame-no-Uzume commonly known as Uzume, is the goddess of revelry and dawn, involved in the "missing sun motif" in Shinto. Also called The Heavenly Alarming Female and The Great Persuader.
  • Fūjin also called Kami-no-Kaze, is the Japanese god of the wind and among the eldest Shinto gods, believed to have been extant at the time of the creation of the world.
  • Hachiman also called Yawata no Kami or Hachiman-shin is the god of war and the divine defender of Japan and its people. His symbolic messenger and animal is the dove.
  • Inari Ōkami is the goddess or god of fertility and rice. Their symbolic animal and messengers are foxes. They are frequently identified with the Buddhist and Ukanomitama deity Dakiniten.
  • Izanagi, the forefather of the gods, is the first male and the god of life and creation. He as well as his wife, Izanami, were responsible for the creation of Japanese islands and several kami, although Izanami died during childbirth. Later, after his failed attempt to retrieve her from the underworld, he sired Tsukuyomi, Susanoo and Amaterasu.
  • Izanami, Izanagi's sister and wife is the first female and the goddess of death and creation. She died soon after the birth of Kagu-tsuchi, and Izanagi followed her to the underworld, to bring her back to the living world but he failed. A spousal quarrel between the pair resulted in the cycle of death and life for all living beings.
  • Ninigi-no-Mikoto known as Ninigi, was the grandson of Amaterasu. Kan'yamato Iwarebiko was his great-grandson, later called as Emperor Jimmu, first monarch of Japan.
  • Omoikane, the deity of intelligence and wisdom, who is always requested to "ponder" and give good advice in the discussions of the divine deities.
  • Raijin commonly known as Raiden, is the god of lightning and thunder, and is often combined with Fūjin.
  • Ryūjin also known as Ōwatatsumi, is a dragon and god of the sea. He lives in Ryūgū-jō, under the sea from where he controls the tides.
  • Suijin is the God of Water.
  • Susanoo-no-Mikoto is the god of storms and in some cases the god of the sea.
  • Tenjin the god of scholarship. He is the sacred Sugawara no Michizane, who was raised to his position after expiring in exile and ensuing calamities in Heiankyo were accredited to his annoyed spirit.
  • Toyotama-hime, also known as Otohime was the grandmother of Jimmu and the daughter of Ryūjin. It is believed that after giving birth to her son, she transformed into a dragon and vanished.
  • Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto also known as Tsukiyumi no Mikoto, Tsukiyomino Mikoto, Tsuki no Kami, and Tsukiyomi is the god of the moon. He killed Uke Mochi, the goddess of food out of anger and disgust in the way she had cooked a meal. This resulted in Amaterasu to never see him again, resulting in the moon and sun in opposite parts of the sky.

 







Minor kami

  • Amatsu-Mikaboshi, the kami of stars existed before the Kotoamatsukami.
  • Ame-no-Koyane is considered as the "First in Charge of Divine Affairs" and assistant to the first King of Japan.
  • Satimasuma also known as "Futsushi" was a son or elder brother of "Futsu".
  • Futsunushi is the main deity at Katori Shrine.
  • Kagu-tsuchi is the kami of fire, and a benefactor of potters and blacksmiths.
  • Kuebiko is a god of agriculture and knowledge, signified in Japanese myths as a scarecrow that can’t walk but has complete awareness.
  • Kuraokami, Okami, or Okami no kami is a famous Japanese dragon and Shinto deity of snow and rain.
  • Nigihayahi-no-mikoto is reportedly called "Furu". Among Japanese deities, only Nigihayahi (Furu) has the name of "Amateru".
  • Konohanasakuya-hime, also known as the goddess of Mount Fuji. She was great-grandmother of Jimmu, daughter of Ōyamatsumi, and the wife of Ninigi. She is also called Sengen.
  • Ōyamatsumi is an important god who rules war, sea, and mountain.
  • Sukuna-Biko-Na is a small deity of rain and medicine, who created and solidified the land. 
  • Sarutahiko Ōkami, a kami of the Earth which directed Ninigi to the Japanese islands.
  • Uke Mochi, also known as Ogetsu-hime-no-Kami is a goddess of food. After fighting with fish, she vomited and coughed rice. She had been killed by a shocked Tsukuyomi.
  • Shōtoku Taishi was occasionally revered by Shintoists in Prince's Hall as the Kami of building profession and easy birth.
  • Seidai Myōjin is a god of sports, preserved at Shiramine Shrine in Kyoto, specifically revered for Football and Kemari.
  • Oda Nobunaga preserved at Kenkun-jinja.
  • Toyotomi Hideyoshi preserved at Toyokuni-jinja.
  • Tōshō Daigongen (Tokugawa Ieyasu) preserved at Nikkō Tōshō-gū and other similar tombs.
  • Ugajin, a fertility and harvest kami denoted with the body of a snake and head of a woman or man.
  • Ukanomitama, "the spirit of rice in warehouses", a kami related with agriculture and food.
  • Yama-no-kami is a group of mountain deities.







Buddhism

  • Aizen Myō-ō, a wisdom king known to convert earthly desires (lust/love) into divine awakening.
  • Amida Nyorai, commonly known as Amida-butsu, is the main Buddha of the Pure Land school of Buddhism. He is supposed to have unlimited admirable qualities, and is called the "Lord of the Beyond and the Afterlife". He is among the 5 Dhyani Buddhas.
  • Daruma, customarily believed in Buddhist legends to be the creator of Zen Buddhism, and the creator of Shaolin Kung Fu. One legend tells that after many years of opposite a wall in meditation, Bodhidharma's arms and legs fell off because of weakness. In honor of this myth Daruma dolls were created.
  • Fudō Myōō, a wrathful and fierce Wisdom King who defends all by burning away defilements and impediments, and helping them towards education.
  • Idaten, protector of Buddhist monks and monasteries.
  • Jizō, a Bodhisattva identified as the guardian of the helpless, particularly expectant mothers, travelers, and children. He is also considered as the patron deity of aborted fetuses and deceased children, and the protector of hell-beings. His sculptures are a common sight, particularly in graveyards and by roadsides.
  • Kangiten, god of delight.
  • Kannon, a Bodhisattva related with sympathy.
  • Yakushi Nyorai, a Buddha known for medicine and healing.