Definitions for kamiˈkɑ mi
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word kami
one the Shinto deities (including mythological beings, spirits of distinguished men, forces of nature)
An animistic God or spirit in the Shinto religion of Japan.
A Bantu language of Tanzania.
A Niger-Congo language of Nigeria.
a title given to the celestial gods of the first mythical dynasty of Japan and extended to the demigods of the second dynasty, and then to the long line of spiritual princes still represented by the mikado
Origin: [Japanese, god.]
Kami is the Japanese word for an effigy, a principle and any supernatural being. For example, "idol", "mind", "spirit", "God", and "supreme being". It is also for the spirits, natural forces, and essence in the Shinto faith. Although the word is sometimes translated as "god" or "deity," some Shinto scholars argue that such a translation can cause a misunderstanding of the term. The wide variety of usage of the word can be compared to the Sanskrit Deva and the Hebrew Elohim, which also refer to God, gods, angels or spirits. In some instances, such as Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, kami are personified deities, similar to the gods of ancient Greece or Rome. In other cases, such as those concerning the phenomenon of natural emanation, kami are the spirits dwelling in trees, or forces of nature. Kami may, at its root, simply mean "spirit", or an aspect of spirituality. It is written with the kanji "神", Sino-Japanese reading shin or jin; in Chinese, the character is used to refer to various nature spirits of traditional Chinese religion, but not to the Taoist deities or the Supreme Being. An apparently cognate form, perhaps a loanword, occurs in the Ainu language as kamuy and refers to an animistic concept very similar to Japanese kami. Following the discovery of the Jōdai Tokushu Kanazukai it is now known that the medieval word kami meaning "above" is a false cognate with the modern kami, and the etymology of "heavenly beings" is therefore incorrect. Shinto kami are located within the world and not above it. In fact, traditionally human beings like the Emperor could be kami. No need was felt to locate them beyond this world. In his Kojiki-den, Motoori Norinaga gave a definition of kami:
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