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The term god refers to concepts such as spirits, natural forces and superhuman beings. In Japan's native Shinto religion, "god" is usually considered equivalent to the term kami (神). It should be noted, however, that kami include a broader spectrum of beings than those found in monotheistic religions (e.g. Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, etc) or even some polytheistic ones. Shinto is at its roots an animist religion, meaning that any being (alive or dead), object or even phenomenon can be considered a god. Also, it should be noted that the 'G' in "god" should not be capitalized when referring to Shinto gods or any other gods from polytheistic religions.

Like many polytheistic religions (e.g. those of ancient Greece and Rome), Shinto gods live among humans and have direct impact on their daily lives. While their personalities are mostly similar to humans, they possess two aspects known as Ara and Nigi (荒・和): when they are worshiped they will protect people and grant them blessings (ご利益 gorieki), but when angry they will create disasters and curses (祟 tatari). In some cases the Ara and Nigi aspects of a god are so different in appearance and behaviour that they are named or worshipped separately. A shrine (神社 jinja) is a place for gods to occupy in order to interact with humans, which can vary in size from a small box or shelf (found in many homes) to an entire building and grounds.

Characters under this BestiaryEdit

See AlsoEdit

  • Wikipedia entry for deity
  • Wikipedia entry for kami
  • Wikipedia entry for Kahaku (Japanese)
  • Wikipedia entry for Yaksha

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