Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
 main menu
  »New EOS site

  »Home

  »Foreword

  »Guide to Usage

  »Contributors & Translators

  

  »Movies List
 Links
AND OR

Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Kami
This "kami," which is written 坷客, is not to be confused with kami in general (坷, see kami , § Definitions and Typology ). The kami here is considered to mean a kami with a human nature, but it is also used to refer to "kami and human beings." There is no fixed interpretation of the term. In Confucian Shintō (Juka Shintō) it was regarded as important as a term expressing the principle of unity between kami and human beings. Proof of this was found in an alternative passage in the Nihongi: "When Heaven and Earth were in a state of chaos, there was first of all a kami ("kami-man" 坷客) whose name was Umashi-ashi-kabi-hiko-ji no mikoto." The Edo period Shintō scholar Yoshikawa Koretari said that "chaos" was when heaven and earth opened up and the forms of heaven, earth and human beings were accomplished. He commented that 坷客was read as kami , "showing that it was the principle of unity between heaven, earth and human beings" (Nihonshoki monsho). In another reading in the Nihongi (section 5-1), "human being" is read as "kami" and Koretari pointed this out as being "the principle of unity between kami and human beings," and that because in the Age of the Kami (kamiyo) humans were called kami this meant that they were beings endowed as receptacles of the kami (shintai) (Jindai no maki Koretarishō). In this way, beginning with Koretari, Confucian Shintoists asserted "the principle of unity of kami and human beings" by using the Chinese cosmological view (uchūkan) of the unity of heaven, earth and humanity (欧孟客话和) to elucidate the myths of the Nihongi.
       
+ This kami (坷客) is also not to be confused with jinin , which referred to a certain class of shrine priests in late antiquity and the medieval period, but is written with the same characters.

— Nishioka Kazuhiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
4-10-28 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8440, Japan
URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
Copyright ©2002-2006 Kokugakuin University. All rights reserved.
Ver. β1.3