Since ancient times, Japanese have expressed the divine energy or life-force of the natural world as kami. Those derived from nature — such as the kami of rain, of wind, of the mountains, of the sea, and the kami of thunder — have a deep relationship with our lives and a profound influence over our activities.

Kami can exist anywhere—even waterfalls.

Individuals who have made a great contribution to the state or society may also be enshrined and revered as kami.

What are Kami?

Shinto observes no one single, omnipotent Creator. Each kami plays its own role in the ordering of the world, and, when faced with a problem, the kami gather to discuss the issue in order to solve it.

(You can read the full article via this link. This article was first published on October 24 2019 on JAPAN Forward, who aim to reveal the true face of Japan to the English speaking world in areas ranging from politics to sports and pop culture.)

Read more about our favourite shrines here and more about Japanese culture here.