• Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!


Green Gaia

Veteran Member
Kami is the Japanese word for god. The word is used to indicate any sort of god or "beings of a higher place," embracing both a number of spirits and the God of the Abrahamic religions. Because Japanese lacks a plural form, it is rarely clear if "kami" means a single entity or multiple entities. Japanese often imply multiple entities, including Buddha and the Abrahamic God – not as the supreme being that control everything but as a member of Kami. It connotates charisma, omniscience, miracle – any kind of thing resembling divinity. For example, Kamikaze means "divine wind".

In Shintoism, the ancient and animistic religion of the Japanese, the "kami" is understood as "divine forces of nature". The worshippers of the Shinto religion in ancient Japan revered creations of nature which exhibited a particular beauty and power such as waterfalls, mountains, boulders, animals, trees, grasses and even rice paddies. They strongly believed the spirits or resident kami deserved respect.

Shinto believers also adhere to kami having an anthromorphic form with the ability to act and communicate, as in a kind of avatar. They could not be seen by men. However, they were not omnipotent and omnipresent. In Japanese mythology, for example, Amaterasu, the sun-goddess of the Shinto Pantheon, could not see the events of the human world. She also had to use divination rituals to see the future.

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

As could be expected, the ancestors of a particular family can also be worshipped as kami. The Japanese had great respect for tradition, family and their elders. In this sense, these kami were worshipped not because of their godly powers, but because of a distinct quality or value. These kami were regional and many shrines (hokora) were built in honour of these kami.

Izanami, Izanagi, Amaterasu, and Inari are some of the more famous kami.

Info from http://en.wikipedia.org

Tresi Nonno

New Member
[FONT=&quot]Etymology of Japanese word "kami" is the following: Old Ainu (Upper Jomon Ainu) ka-mu-'i [kamuj] -> Old Japanese kamɯ -> Modern Japanese kami.

[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]It should be noted that concept kamuy differs seriously from European concepts deus / god / Gott / dios / deux because European god (God of christianity) is a transcendental being opposite to this world while kamuy exists in the neighborhood of people and people can easily get kamuy mosir (island of kamuy) and also people can become kamuy. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Because of it, the word kamuy should not be translated as dew /god / Gott / dios / deux into European languages. I think the best way is to leave the word kamuy without any translation at all and explain its meaning with a certain context.[/FONT]