Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
 main menu
  »New EOS site

  »Home

  »Foreword

  »Guide to Usage

  »Contributors & Translators

  

  »Movies List
 Links
AND OR

Home » 2. Kami (Deities) » Concepts of Kami
Shushin
The principal or central kami among all those dedicated at a shrine (see saijin). Also called shusaijin, the term shushin is used to discriminate the main enshrined kami from other kami that may also be jointly enshrined (see haishi). A shrine may, however, have more than one shushin, in which case separate shrine halls are generally provided for each kami, although cases exist in which multiple shushin are enshrined within a single structure. When multiple shushin are enshrined, one is normally considered to take precedence over the rest.

Under the Meiji shrine system, "main kami" (shushin) and "jointly enshrined kami" (haishishin) were discriminated at nationally endowed shrines (kankokuheisha); at the time of annual festivals, national offerings (hōbei) were provided in accordance with the number of shushin enshrined.

It is believed that the differentiation of yashiro and mae within Engishiki played much the same role as the discrimination of shushin and haishishin.

-Inoue Nobutaka
"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. 1.3