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Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Kami in Classic Texts
"mountain kami".

Generic name for any kami identified with a mountain, or that dwells in a mountain. Also called yama no kami (kami of the mountain). The original meaning of yamatsumi is yama-tsu-mi ("holder of the mountain"), signifying that the kami possessed the mountain as its entitled domain. Kojiki lists five kami known solely by the title yamatsumi. These include Ōyamatsumi no kami, Okuyamatsumi no kami, Kurayamatsumi no kami, Hayamatsumi no kami, and Harayamatsumi no kami.

According to an "alternate writing" transmitted by Nihongi, when Izanagi cut the fire kami Kagutsuchi into five pieces, each piece became a "mountain kami," namely Ōyamatsumi, Nakayamatsumi, Hayamatsumi, Masakayamatsumi, and Shikoyamatsumi. The names of these kami reflect their jurisdiction over various parts of the mountain.

Religious veneration of yamatsumi overlaps considerably with the folk beliefs centered on the yama no kami or "kami of the mountain." See yama no kami, Ōyamatsumi.

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