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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Monozane
Generally, this term refers to the origin of a thing, or its material substance. In Shintō, however, monozane carries an additional significance as a term related to the process of the creation of kami. In this context, monozane is the essence from which kami are born. In Book 1 (kamitsumaki) of the Kojiki, Amaterasu and Susanoo swear a particular kind of oath (known as ukehi) wherein the outcome of a certain act — in this instance, childbearing — yields insight into the intentions of a kami. In this passage, Amaterasu says to Susanoo, "The latter-born five male children came into existence from my essence and are therefore naturally my children....The first-born three female children came into existence from your essence and are therefore your children." This is the only place in the Kojiki and the Nihon shoki where the expression monozane appears, but there are many other stories in which kami are generated from various elements and materials. In these cases, such diverse things as one's possessions, elements of the natural world (e.g. sea foam), and blood and parts of the body are included as aspects of monozane.

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