What does kami mean?

Definitions for kamiˈkɑ mi

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word kami.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Kami(noun)

    one the Shinto deities (including mythological beings, spirits of distinguished men, forces of nature)


  1. kami(Noun)

    An animistic God or spirit in the Shinto religion of Japan.

  2. Kami(ProperNoun)

    A Bantu language of Tanzania.

  3. Kami(ProperNoun)

    A Niger-Congo language of Nigeria.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Kami

    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

  2. Origin: [Japanese, god.]


  1. Kami

    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:

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Kami

    kä′mi, n. a Japanese term for a lord, for any of the national gods, demi-gods, or deified heroes, or any of their supposed descendants, as the mikados and the imperial family. [Japanese, 'superior.']

Suggested Resources

  1. KAMI

    What does KAMI stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the KAMI acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of kami in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of kami in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Images & Illustrations of kami

  1. kamikamikami

Translations for kami

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"kami." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 20 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/kami>.

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