Glossary of Shinto Names and Terms: O

ô shôgatsu 大正月


New Year's Period.

A general term referring to the period January first through the seventh. See also koshôgatsu.

Ôbarai no kotoba goshaku 大祓詞後釈


Ôbarai no kotoba goshaku.

A two-volume work by Motoori Norinaga published in 1796. It includes corrections and criticism of Kamo no Mabuchi's discussion of Ôharae no kotoba in A treatise on the norito.

Odoru shûkyô 踊る宗教


The Dancing Religion.

See Tenshô Kôtai Jingû-kyô.


ofuda 御札


See Basic Terms of Shinto: O-fuda.


Ofudesaki お筆先


Tip of the Divine Writing Brush.

See Tenri-kyô and Nakayama Miki.


ogamisama オガミサマ


shamaness, female spiritual medium.

One of the names for a folk shamaness in Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan. Typically the shamaness is a blind medium who delivers oracles after becoming possessed with the spirit of a dead.


Ôgisama 王祇様


A large ceremonial purification wand (bonten) resembling the ribbed frame of a large folding fan. Used in the Ôgi Festival held at Kasuga Shrine in Higashitagawa County, Yamagata Prefecture on February 1st and 2nd. Known as Ôgi-sama, the wand is formally greeted by the lay-officiants (tôya), followed by performances of Noh drama (Kurokawa Noh -- see Shinji nô) throughout the night.


Ogyû Sorai 荻生徂徠


(1666-1728). A Confucian scholar of the Edo period who influenced numerous thinkers of the period, including Motoori Norinaga.


ôharae 大祓


See Basic Terms of Shinto: Ôharae.


Ohotonohokahi, Ôtono hogai 大殿祭


Ôtono hogai, Ôtono ritual.

One of the rituals of the Imperial Court in which prayers are offered for the prevention of disasters to the Imperial Palace. Originally performed only at the time of new palace construction (for an imperial accession), the ritual was later observed on other ocassions as well.


Ôjin Tennô 応神天皇


Emperor Ôjin.

Son of Emperor Chûai and Okinagatarashibime (Empress Jingu). Also called Homudawake. The 15th Emperor of Japan according to traditional reckoning, Ôjin is said to have reigned around the late 4th or early 5th century.


Okada Mokichi 岡田茂吉


(1882-1955). Founder of the New Religion called Sekai kyûsei-kyô.


okunchi オクンチ (御九日)


a harvest festival.

The 9th day of the 9th month. Also refers to folk harvest festivals occurring on that day. Alternately read okunichi.


Ôkuni Takamasa 大国隆正


(1792-1871). A National Learning scholar active around the end of the Tokugawa and beginning of the Meiji eras. Ôkuni studied National Learning under Hirata Atsutane and others. He also pursued Western scientific learning or so-called Dutch Studies. Advocating a form of essentialist Japanese nativism called Honkyô hongaku, Ô had a significant impact on the administration of religion during the Restoration years.


Ôkuninushi no kami オオクニヌシ (記・紀: 大国主神)


See Basic Terms of Shinto: Ôkuninushi no kami.


omikoshi お御輿


portable shrine / divine palanquin.

See Basic Terms of Shinto: Mikoshi.


Ômoto 大本


A Shintô-based new religion. Founded by Deguchi Nao (1836-1918) and Deguchi Onisaburô (1871-1948), Ômoto involves teachings based on Deguchi Nao's automatic writing called Ofudesaki, together with spiritualism and intercessory techniques. Ômoto attracted intellectuals and members of the military, and its robust teachings spread widely, but it was suppressed by the government in 1921 and 1935. In the postwar era it reemerged and introduced activities focusing on world peace. Headquartered in Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture; reported membership is 170,000.


Ômotokyô jiken 大本教事件


The Ômoto Incidents.

Two indicidents involvining suppression of the new religious group Kôdô Ômoto. To suppress the group, which had been expanding dynamically both domestically and overseas, the government arrested its leaders in 1921 on charges of lè majesté in what came to be known as the First Ômoto Incident. Despite this suppression, the group changed its name to Ômoto and continued its activities, resuming political and international operations in 1929. The government took steps to thoroughly squash the group in the 1935 "Second Ômoto Incident," once again arresting leaders and completely destroying the group's headquarters, dissolvingl their organizations, and moving to place restraints on its activities.


Ônishi Aijirô 大西愛次郎


(1881-1958). Founder of the New Religion called Honmichi.


Onryôshin 怨霊神


vengeful kami.

The vengeful spirit of a deceased human, frequently offered worship to placate its wrath. A well-known example is Tenman Tenjin, the spirit of the Heian period court minister and scholar-poet Sugawara no Michizane.


Ontake-kyô 御嶽教


A sect of Kyôha Shintô. One of the pre-war Shintô Jûsampa.Originally organized into a sect named Ontakekyô by Shimoyama Ôsuke in 1882, based on mountain-worship confraternites center on Mt. Ontake, a 3,000m. mountain in Nagano Prefecture. Headquartered in Nara with a reported membership of 580,000.


Orikuchi Shinobu 折口信夫


(1887-1953). Folklorist, scholar of Japanese literature and Shintô. Professor at Kokugakuin University and Keio University. Used the pen name Shaku Chôkû. Orikuchi wrote on the religious meaning of Shintô and religious beliefs of ancient times, and developed concepts of "visiting kami" (marebito) and the "eternal world" (tokoyo).


Oshirasama オシラサマ


Name of a household kami in northeastern Japan. Also called Oshirahotoke. Kami of agriculture and sericulture. The kami is enshrined in the family's kamidana or in the alcove of the sitting room; also used as a ritual object by itako. The kami's cult is observed primarily by female family members.


Oshôgatsu お正月


the New Year season.

The first month of the year, referring particularly to the period of the first three or seven days in which various new year's activities, such as hatsumôde are performed.


Ôtsuka Kan'ichi 大塚寛一


(1891-1972). Founder of the Shintô-based New Religion called Shinrei-kyô.


Ôwatatsumi no kami ワタツミ (記: 綿津見〔大〕神、海神、紀: 少童命、海神)



The sea kami born of Izanagi and Izanami; father of Toyotamabime. The element "watatsumi" designates a kami that rules the sea. In the Kojiki Izanagi's purification results in the production of three such sea gods: Uwatsuwatatsumi, Nakatsuwatatsumi, and Sokotsuwatatsumi.


Ôyama Nezu-no-mikoto shinji kyôkai 大山*命神示教会


A Shinto-related new religion. Founded by Inai Sadao (1906-88), who attracted followers by performing faith healing through the power of the kami Ôyama-nezu-no-mikoto. Inai was succeeded by Mori Hideko. Headquartered in Yokohama; reported membership is approximately 840,000.


Ôyamatsumi no kami オオヤマツミ (記: 大山津見神、紀: 大山祇〔神〕)



The mountain kami born of Izanagi and Izanami according to the record of the Kojiki. The element "yamatsumi" designates a kami that rules over a mountains or kami that dwell in the mountains (yama no kami). The Kojiki also includes related names such as Okuyamatsumi.


Ôyashimaguni 大八洲国


A euphemism for Japan in the Kiki and other works. The characters "Ô" and "YA" are auspicious honorifics.