Kami (神; Japanese for god or deity) are the supernatural beings that are worshiped in the religion of Shintō. In Shintō, kami are not separate from nature, but are of nature, possessing positive and negative, and good and evil characteristics. According to Miroku, Buddha and the gods reside in heaven.[1]


Kami can come in a variety of forms, ranging from human to monstrous. For instance, Suijin was rather human in her appearance (albeit with pointed ears), Sarugami the monkey god looked similar to the monkey yōkai who served him, and the Sea God has the form of a giant turtle. While their appearance, powers and abilities vary greatly depending on the type of deity, Kami all apparently derive their power from kamuitama.[2]

Known Kami


  • Though the word kami is translated multiple ways into English, no one English word expresses its full meaning. The ambiguity of the meaning of kami is necessary, as it conveys the ambiguous nature of kami themselves.
  • According to folklore, great or sensational leaders like the Emperor could be or became kami. Many kami are considered the ancient ancestors of entire clans (some ancestors became kami upon their death if they were able to embody the values and virtues of kami in life).
  • Several yōkai have either claimed to be gods, or were mistaken for gods due to their extraordinary supernatural abilities. For example:
  • Kami can produce demigods (半神), a hybrid between human and god.
    • The only known instance was Datara's daughter, who later reincarnated as Janis.[2] This was until the introduction of Goro, Mayonaka/Mahiruma's son.[7]
  • At Datara's shrine, it has the artifacts called, the "Key of the Gods" that can find Mitsurugi and Sugagaki at Mitsurugi Tower and Sugagaki Waterfall to open the door at Datara's room, according to Monk Sen.[2]
  • According to Kirinmaru's daughter Rion, in ancient times, Amatsumikaboshi, the god of stars, gifted two swords: Zanseiken and Bakuseiken.[8]

See also

Yōkai Badger yōkai  •  Bakeitachi  •  Bat yōkai  •  Bear yōkai (Polar Bear yōkai)  •  Bird yōkai (Demon birds)  •  Boar yōkai  •  Bull yōkai  •  Horse yōkai  •  Kappa  •  Kawauso  •  Lizard yōkai  •  Monkey yōkai  •  Oni  •  Ox yōkai  •  Oyster yōkai  •  Qilin yōkai  •  Rat yōkai (Fire-rat)  •  Root yōkai  •  Shinidamachū  •  Tree yōkai  •  Turtle yōkai (Meiōjū)
Canines Dog yōkai  •  Kitsune  •  Tanuki  •  Wild dog yōkai  •  Wolf yōkai
Felines Cat yōkai  •  Bakeneko  •  Nekomata  •  Leopard cat yōkai  •  Tiger yōkai  •  Wildcat yōkai
Insects Flea yōkai  •  Mantis yōkai  •  Moth yōkai (Yōkai moth)  •  Ōmukade  •  Parasite  •  Saimyōshō  •  Spider yōkai (Kumogashira)  •  Steel wasps
Other Human  •  Hanyō  •  Ghost  •  Specter  •  Dragon  •  Kami  •  Demigod  •  Shikigami  •  Kugutsu


External links

Wikipedia This article uses Creative Commons licensed content from Wikipedia's Kami article.

The list of authors can be seen in the page history there.