Glossary of Shinto Names and Terms: I

Ichijô Kaneyoshi, also Kanera 一条兼良


(1402-81). Courtier-scholar of the mid-Muramachi era. Used the pen name Tôsai among others . Representative of the intellectuals of his day, he was versed in the religious traditions of Shintô, Confucianism, and Buddhism, as well as classical literature. Noted for his studies of the Nihon shoki.


imi 忌


taboo, interdiction.

See Basic Terms of Shinto: Imi.


inadama 稲霊


rice-soul /rice-spirit.

The spiritual force dwelling in rice which governs its growth and the quality of harvest. A kind of grain spirit. Folk beliefs included the notion that the rice-spirit could be ingested by greeting the kami of the rice fields at time of harvest, and sharing with it a communion meal of first fruits.


inari 稲荷


A kami of grain. The Inari cult is especially related to activities of production, including foodstuffs, agriculture, fisheries, and commerce, and is sometimes found as the object of worship directed to yashikigami. The cult is closely related to activities of rice production, the traditional concept of a "grain spirit," and to veneration of foxes. Over 20,000 Inari shrines exist nationwide.


inbe 忌部


an ancient Shintô priestly family.

One of the hereditary clans of ritualists responsible for carrying out ceremonies of the Imperial Court. The Inbe prepared the implements used in ceremonies and were involved in the rituals associated with shrine construction. Their influence was diminished by their rivals, the Nakatomi clan.


Ise no Jingû 伊勢の神宮


Ise Shrine also the Grand Shrine of Ise.

See Basic Terms of Shinto: Ise no Jingû.


itako イタコ


shamaness, female spiritual medium.

Blind mediums found throughout northern Japan (Aomori Prefecture). Known for their ability to be possessed by and intercede with spirits of the dead.


iwasaka 磐境


See Basic Terms of Shinto: Iwasaka.


Izanagi イザナギ (記: 伊邪那岐命 (神)、紀: 伊奘諾尊 (神))


See Basic Terms of Shinto: Izanagi no mikoto and Izanami no mikoto.


Izanami イザナミ (記: 伊邪那美命 (神)、紀: 伊奘冉尊)


See Basic Terms of Shinto: Izanagi no mikoto and Izanami no mikoto.


Izumo Ôyashiro-kyô 出雲大社教


A sect of Kyôha Shintô. One of the pre-war "Thirteen Sects of Shinto" (Shintô Jûsampa), the sect's beliefs focus on the Izumo Taisha, as reorganized in accordance with Meiji-era Religious Policy by Senge Takatomi (1845-1918); the group was recognized as an independent sect by the government in 1882. Headquartered in Hikawa County, Shimane Prefecture; reported membership is approximately 1,190,000.


Izumo Shrine 出雲大社


A shikinaisha shrine located in Hikawa County, Shimane Prefecture. Dedicated to the major kami Ôkuninushi, the shrine is widely popular as a god of marriage and matchmaking.