Kami of shinto | what’s the difference between Kami and The God ?


Hi, I am Sugihara Junichi in Japan, a Shinto priest.

My profile

I want to introduce Shinto to the world in English.
Although my English is not still good, I want to challenge it.
So if you found my mistakes in English, would you tell me that in the comments ?
I would be glad.

Please enjoy reading this article.

What’s the difference between Kami and The God ?

Eight million Kami

In Shinto, it is traditionally said that there are eight million Kami.
But this is just an expression meaning that there are too many to count.
In this way, Shinto has no concept of the one absolute God.

Rich in individuality

Each deity has its own character, rather as a human being has
and people revere the character as an aspect of divine grace.
For example, Amaterasu-ohmikami is Kami of the sun.
Oinari-san is Kami of business.

No founder and No foundational text

In Christianity, there are Jesus Christ and the Bible.
But in Shinto, there are no founder and no foundational text.
It is just that there are two history books that contain treasured myths and legends of Japan.
One is “Kojiki”, the other is “Nihonshoki”.
These don’t directly tell how to live and think.
Just a history of Japan.

But I think there are many things to learn in these books.

For example, when deities decide things, they always discuss them together.

A tolerant religion

Shinto is an extremely tolerant religion.
It accepted Buddhism, Christianity and so on with a few conflicts.
This attitude formed a multilayered religion on the basis of Shinto tradition.
Shinto has an idea of caring for the other’s treasure as much as its own treasure.

Some people say Shinto is a peaceful religion,
while the other says it is a religion that cannot protect itself from its enemies.