Aikido--Japanese martial art

Amaterasu OmiKami, the divinity of the Sun

Amatsumi (pollution from above)

Ame-no-iwato -- a cave

Ame no Minakanushi (the Master of the August Center of Heaven)

Ame no Ukihashi, (the Floating Bridge of Heaven)

Ameuzume OKami (Ame-no-uzume-no-Kami) --wife of Sarutahiko OKami


bonenkai, year end parties

bunke goshintai, a branch of the sacred worship object to represent the spirit of Sarutahiko OKami

Butsudo, the way of the Buddha


chinkon --Shinto spiritual exercises

chinkonto-- way of spiritual practice

chohai or morning worship

chowa or harmony


Daijinja (Grand Shrine--OKamiyashiro is another way of reading the same characters)

Daishizen--the great cosmos, the Great Nature,the vast cosmic setting into which we are born

Do or To is the Japanese word for a "way". It can be the ordinary word for a road


Ebisu (the guardian Kami particularly of merchants and also of rice fields)


fundoshi or loin cloth

Furitama ( "Soul Shaking")


gohei --white paper streamers, cut and folded sacred paper

Gon-Guji (Associate High Priest)

Gon-Negi (or junior priests)

Gosaijin or enshrined Kami

goshintai or object of reverence

gu -- suffix of shrines connected with imperial house

Guji --High Priest

gyo -- discipline

gyoji or events of the year

Gyomando --building where spirits of deceased are revered


hachimaki or headband

Haiden-- outer worship hall or sanctuary

Haraiden -- purification hall

harai-gushi, a wand of paper streamers

hatsumode -- New Year's celebration

Heian age (794-1185)

Heiden -- rooted room with walls

Honden (or Shinden) main worship sanctuary, main Shrine

Honji-Suijaku-Setsu, the idea of the one religion being the manifestation of


hongu or principal shrine


Ibuki ("Breathing")

Ichi-no-miya, i.e. number one shrines

Ireisai (a memorial ceremony for the war dead)

Ise -no-Ichi-no-Miya, which means the first shrine of the Ise district.

Izanagi no Mikoto (the Male Who Invites)

Izanami no Mikoto (the Female Who Invites)

Izumo Taisha, the Great Shrine of Izumo


jinja --shrine

Jinja Honcho or Voluntary Association of Shinto Shrines

Jinja Shinto (Shrine Shinto)

Jingu --shrine with imperial connection


Kagura --a re-enactment of the dance of Ameuzume-no-Mikoto

Kami -- divine (either plural or singular)

Kamidana, the shelf on which the miniature shrine is placed and the offerings made to the Kami

Kami Musubi no Kami (the Divine Producing Wondrous Kami)

Kami no Michi --the way of the Kami

kannagara, the way of the Kami, the way of the divine as perceived by the Japanese spirit, movements that go "along with the Kami," "Natural Religion"

Kannushi which carries more of the nuance of someone who is master in charge or guardian of the house in which the Kami resides.

kansha - simply giving things to the powers that make mankind their care

kempetai, the special police

Ki (which means Spirit in its causal aspect - Ki is a kind of energy source)

kigansai a prayer of purification for the peace of the world

kikinaoshi (meaning "obedient")

Kito a kind of purification and blessing

Kogakuin University was originally State Shinto college which was closed briefly after the War. It was under supervision of the Grand Shrines of Ise and was known as Ise-Senmon Gakko. This is now known as Kogaku-kan or Kogaku Center.

Kojiki which means "Record of Ancient Matters"

Kokka Shinto --State Shinto.

Kokuryuon-no-OKami (Kami of water, life and ki)

Kon, (the soul)

Kotodama the study of the origins of the meaning and use of words by reference to their sound and soul

Kotodamagaku the scientific method of studying Kotodama

kugyo , a kind of ascetic discipline

Kuni Tokotachi no Kami, (the Eternally Standing Heavenly Kami).

Kunitokotachi-no-Mikoto (the earthly Kami)

Kunistumi (pollution from below)


matsuri --the festivals

Mei -- life

Michihiko -- leader

miko or shrine maidens

misogi, the physical act of ritual purification in water

misogi harai -- purification under a free-standing waterfall

musubi -- horizontal knot; also the power of creativity


naihaiden -- inner sanctuary

nakaima -- literally "in the middle of now".

naorai -- ceremonial drinking with the Kami

Negi -- senior priest

Nen-chu-gyo-ji --literally "year-round-discipline-rituals"

ni-hai-ni-hakushi-ippai --two bows, two claps and a final bow

niju-ni-sha --the twenty-two very important shrines

Nihongi, the "Chronicles of Japan" written around the year 720,

Nihonshoki --Japanese classic

Ninigi-no-Mikoto --

noorito --words of ceremonial, ceremonial address to the Kami


O --an honorific, preceding many terms

Obarae --the two great days of national purification (June 30th and December 31st)

Obon --Buddhist festival for the souls of the ancestors

oharai or purification

Okuni-nushi-OKami, the Kami of happiness

omamori --a talisman

omotte sando, the main road into the shrine precincts

Onokoro-jima (the earth)

Oshogatsu--New Year


Rei (spirit)

Reishoan --Tea House

Rinne -- Buddhist term for transmigration of the soul


Saisei-Itchi the union of Religion and State in Kokka Shinto

sakaki, the evergreen tree

Sakashio, or purifying salt

sambo -- offering stand

sammi-sangen, the principle of the three elements that constitute existence: gas, liquid and solid

sampai or formal shrine worship

sando-- pathway

Sangen -- Three main factors

sangen-no-hosoku -- rule of three main factors

Sanshu-no-Jingi, the three sacred treasures of the Imperial Regalia, the Mirror, the Sword and the Jewel

Sarutahiko Daihongu-- Dai means great, hon means head and gu is a suffix which means shrine with an imperial connection. The same character for gu can also be read miya which can mean either shrine or palace.

Sarutahiko OKami --the head of the earthly Kami, the pioneer of the way of rightness and justice

shaku (the wooden flat stick carried by Shinto priests)

Shamusho or shrine offices

Shichi-Go-San, literally Seven-Five-Three--the children's festival

Shimenawa means the rope that marks off a purified area

shime-to-naru -- "To be a knot."

shinboku, the sacred tree

Shinden -- inclusive term for all Shrine halls

shinenkai or new year parties

Shingon or True Word Buddhism

Shinsen -- offerings to the Kami

Shinsenho --ancient ritual based on numerology

Shinshoku (literally Kami-employment)

shinko or faith

shinsen, the specially prepared food offerings to the enshrined Kami, rice, the sustainer of life, water the basis of life and salt, the purifier of life.

Shishido or Lion Hall

Shishimai or lion dance

Shi-shi-mai-shinji, the power of the lion dance

Showa age (1926-present)

Shugendo -- literally, the way of mountain asceticism

Susanoo-no-Mikoto the deity of the stars

Susuharai, a ceremonial house cleaning

Taisai or Great Festival around the third weekend of February each year

Taisho Era (1912-1926)

Takaamahara (the Plain of High Heaven, i.e. the entire universe, the cosmos

Takama-no-Hara can be interpreted as the solar system

TaKami Musubi no Kami (the High August producing Kami)

Takunan Juku -- a Senmon Gakko, a vocational college

tate -- vertical dimension

Te-mizu-ya --the ablution pavilion

torii --great gate

Tsukiyomi (the Deity of the Moon)

tsumi or impurity and wrong


Ujiko or Ujiko-sodai (the committee of representatives of the shrine"s parishioners)

ukeau --spirit of undertaking a mission

Umashi Ashikabi Hikoji no Kami (the Pleasant Reed Shoot Elderly Kami)


Waketama (separated individual souls), which is another way of saying "children of the Kami"


Yakuyuoke means a talisman, or omamori

yashiki-gami or household Kami, the guardian of the household

Yayoi age (primite, prehistoric age)

yoko or horizontal dimension

Yomi no Kuni --the underworld, the land of pollution

Yukinari Yamamoto -- elder brother of author

Yukiteru Yamamoto-- father of author

Yukiyasu Yamamoto--adopted son of author