kami - Shinto deities


- kami 神 Shinto deities -

How to translate KAMI?
It may be one or more. In a Shinto shrine, more than one deity is usually enshrined.

In Japan, a variety of deities are known, usually peacefully side by side, starting with ancient animistic believes of "Gods of Mountains, Waterfalls, Rocks" and so on, leading to the concept of KAMI in Shintoism and later the influence of Buddhism with its manyfold HOTOKE.

Christianity came with the Portugese Missionaries, so we have
Deus sama デウスさま
Jesus, Iesu sama イエスさま
(the pronounciacion GODDO ゴッド is seldom used when talking about God.)

God of Christianity キリスト教の神 (kirisutokyo no kami)

To distinguish the Christian God, with a capital letter, from the other gods of other religions,
we can use the capital G !
In German, we can distinguish between Gott and Gottheiten, deities.

. WKD - Japanese deities (kami to hotoke) and haiku .

. WKD : Introducing Japanese Deities .

- - - - -

Bashô is concerned with God
as he sees himself in the mind of the poet before flowers and fields.
. . .

The rice-pounder,
Cooling himself by the convolvulus flowers,—
A sight of pathos.

The rice-pounder is exhausted, and sits in the shade mopping his brow. Along the fence the convolvulus flowers are blooming because of and in spite of the heat. The half-obliviousness of the flowers on the part of the man, and the complete obliviousness on the part of the flowers, gives Bashō a feeling which, like God, is nameless.
source : R. H. Blyth on Bashō

under construction

hanjitsu wa kami o tomo ni ya toshi wasure

half a day
I spent in the company of these deities -
year-end party

half a day
I spent in the company of the Kami gods -
year-end party

half a day
in the company of the Kami gods -
year-end party

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written in 1690 元禄3年, Basho age 47
Basho spent the last day of the year with the priest Ogurusu Yuugen 小栗栖祐玄 Yugen
at the shrine Kami Goryoo Jinja 上御霊神社 in Kurama, Kyoto.
This shrine houses a lot of Japanese deities.

. WKD : Kami Goryoo Jinja 上御霊神社 Upper Goryo Shrine .

for half a day,
companions to the gods -
setting the year off

Tr. Barnhill

for half a day
my friend turns into a god
end-of-the-year party

Tr. Chèvrefeuille

For half a day long,
We have a god as our friend
In our year-end party!

Tr. Oseko

A Basho Haiku Sweet 芭蕉俳諧 by Kikyo san, Iga Ueno
source : kikyou0123

. WKD : toshi wasure 年忘 "forget the old year" .


. kamigaki ya omoi mo kakezu Nehanzoo .
the "fence of the Gods" at Ise Shrine 伊勢神宮
and the statue of Buddha lying down to die

This was composed at the Ise Shrines, on the 15th day of the Second Month, and Bashō is expressing his surprise (and pleasure) at something which, however much sanctioned by ancient custom, is still astonishing, namely, the fusion of Shintō and Buddhism. This amalgamation took place at the beginning of the 9th century a.d., when the Shington Sect developed the doctrine of Ryōbu-Shintō,1 or Shimbutsu-Kongō2 by which the gods of Shintō were recognised as manifestations or incarnations of the Buddhist divinities.
source : Blyth on Basho


. kono matsu no mibae seshi yo ya kami no aki .
Autumn of the Gods - at Kashima Shrine 鹿島神宮

. miyako idete kami mo tabine no hikazu kana .
sharing nights on the road with the gods .
Hiyoshi Shrine 日吉大社 Hiyoshi taisha

. nao mitashi hana ni ake yuku kami no kao .
"the face of God" - the deity Hitokotonushi 一言主

. rusu no ma ni aretaru kami no ochiba kana .
the "Gods are absent", the 10th lunar month, when the Gods assemble at Izumo


. tsuki ni na o tsutsumi kanete ya imo no kami .
Imo no Kami 痘瘡の神 God of Smallpox - a pun with Imo Meigetsu moon

. WKD special : The Deity of Smallpox .


source :keifusa.exblog.jp
Tenmangu shrine at Hoofu, Yamaguchi 防府の天満宮

ware mo kami no hisoo ya aogu ume no hana

me too I look up
to god - in the blue sky -
these plum blossoms

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written in 1676 延宝4年, Basho age 33
The cut marker YA is in the middle of line 2, but lines 1 and two are one sentence
ware mo kami no hisoo o aogu

There are two kanji for HISO : 秘蔵 and 彼蒼

秘蔵 refers to the "secret storehouse" of the Tenmangu shrine in honor of Sugawara Michizane.

彼蒼 refers to the "sky" in an old poem in the collection
Kanke Kooshuu 菅家後集 Kanke kōshū from the Heian period, about 903,
with poems of Sugawara no Michizane 菅原道真.

Here Michizane writes about his feelings on the way to exile in Dazaifu,
having left his home three or four months ago.
It still feels like a dream when he looks at the blue sky.

家を離れて三四月 落涙百千行万事皆夢の如し

Ça fait trois ou quatre mois que je suis parti de chez moi
Je verse des larmes de cent ou mille lignes
Tout ce qui est arrivé, c'est comme une rêve
Je me lève souvent les yeux au ciele bleu
(Le ciel bleu connaît son inocence et il ne peut dire sa tristesse sauf au ciel ...)
source : ameblo.jp/yubazzz

. Michizane and the Plum Blossoms .


Basho speaks paradoxically about how the gods have motivated his decision to travel. He refers to two types of gods.

The first is Sozorogami, the other are the Dosojin.

Vom Kofferpacken und dem Gott des Fernwehs.

sozorogami そぞろ神 / そヾろ神 / 漫ろ神
suzurugami すずろがみ / 漫神
sowasowa no kami そわそわの神
. WKD : Aruki-gami 歩行神 God of Wandering .


. WKD - Japanese deities (kami to hotoke) .

. Shinto Shrines visited by Basho .

. Buddhist Temples visited by Basho .
and hokku with HOTOKE.

. Cultural Keywords used by Basho .