Basic Terms of Shinto

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A deity worshipped by a naturally formed group living in a specific geographical area. In the broad sense, chienshin can include ujigami and ubusuna no kami, but the term usually refers to the village god, a deity worshipped by smaller geographical groups than those worshiping an ujigami or ubusuna no kami. A ketsuenshin or dozokushin may sometimes become a chienshin, or deities of other localities may be introduced as chienshin of new localities. The chienshin is chiefly a deity protecting the region in which it is worshiped, but since the Meiji period, there have been many cases of the chienshin of a small group being incorporated into an ujigami.

Chigi, katsuogi

[Chigi, katsuogi] The crossed beams extending upwards from both ends of the roof gables in Shinto architecture are called chigi. The short log-shaped sections set horizontally on the roof at right angles to the ridge are called katsuogi. Both date to ancient times.

Chinju no kami[Glossary: chinju]

A tutelary god protecting a specific geographical area. Confused in some areas with ujigami or ubusuna no kami. A person who settles or builds in a certain place either performs a jichinsai, a celebration in honor of the spirit already dwelling in the place, or invites a deity from elsewhere to dwell in and protect the location. Chinju no kami are found in imperial residences, large mansions, Buddhist temples, and in the territories and castles of aristocratic families, and have come gradually to be worshipped as ujigami or ubusuna no kami. See also yashikigami.

Chinkon[Glossary: chinkon]

see Tama2

Chi no wa

[Chi no wa] An instrument for casting out sources of misfortune. People pass through this large sacred ring, made of loosely twisted miscanthus reeds, to obtain its exorcising effects. This ancient ceremony is practiced throughout Japan on the occasion of the Ôharae festival on June 30.

Chokusai[Glossary: meiji_jingu]

A festival celebrated on the occasion of a visit by a specially dispatched imperial messenger (chokushi). This festival is performed at more than ten shrines, called chokusaisha, including Ise no Jingû, the two Kamo shrines, Iwashimizu Hachimangû, and Meiji Jingû.


see Chokusai


An imperial messenger dispatched to convey the greetings of the emperor on the occasion of a shrine festival. Chokushi are dispatched to the three great festivals at Ise no Jingû (Toshigoi no Matsuri, Kannamesai, and Niinamesai) and to other annual festivals of shrines with chokusai status such as the two Kamo shrines in Kyoto.


see Taisai

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