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Home » 7. Concepts and Doctrines » Basic Terms
Mono, chi
Mono and chi are ancient terms that express the idea of "spirit." These terms refer primarily to the spirit of "things". In fact, the modern Japanese word mono (often translated as "thing") is thought to have originally been used as an abstracted expression for times when one was hesitant to outright name the object of ones fear and dread. The term mononoke (vengeful spirit) is one such example. Another example is the kami Ōmononushi whose name can be literally translated as "Great Spirit Master." The word chi () is often considered to be a shortened form of the term mochi (); one theory is that chi is used to express praise for kami, human spirits and other sources of benefit. Good examples of this usage include spirits of the field, such as notsuchi (field spirit), mitsuchi (water spirit), and orochi (eight-headed snake spirit).

— Nishioka Kazuhiko
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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