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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
Nainokami
[Nai no kami] (Nihongi)
A kami worshiped following disastrous earthquakes. The earliest historical record of an earthquake in Japan appears in a poem included in Nihongi's account of Emperor Buretsu, but the first record of an earthquake kami and its worship comes from Nihongi's records of the reign of Empress Suiko. In summer of the seventh year of her reign (599 C.E.), a temblor struck the capital regions, and an order was issued to offer worship to the kami of earthquakes, although no title is given to any specific kami to be worshiped. In later periods, the transmission of legends regarding the "pivot stone" (kanameishi) at the shrine Kashima Jingū led to the belief that the shrine's central deity Takemikazuchi was a protector against earthquakes, and identifications were also made with kami of the "landlord deity" (jinushigami) type. The mythologies transmitted by Kojiki and Nihongi, however, provide no descriptions of kami with clear attributes as protective tutelaries against earthquakes, and the original deity may have been related to Chinese Onmyōdō (Yin-Yang) beliefs. Some have suggested that Nai Jinja in Nabari of Iga Province (a shikinaisha or shrine listed in the Engishiki) was dedicated to this kami.

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