“Landlord kami,” that is, the kami who is the tutelary deity of a particular area. Πkuninushi is the jinushigami of the Izumo area. Other kami of various titles and importance may be the jinushigami of a particular grove, shrine precincts, or household.

The association of a particular kami to an area is a common phenomenon. Jinushigami may be of lower rank in the Great Tradition scheme of things, but they are the kami actually worshiped most frequently, particularly in rural locations, where they may be Yama-no-kami or Ta-no-kami as well, and where their goodwill is important for daily survival.

In a broader context, many of the kunitsu kami (earthly kami) that joined the heavenly kami to pacify the earth were in effect jinushigami. The Ainu have their own master of the land in the form of the giant owl, Chikap Kamui, who is responsible for and keeps an eye on each of the clan domains. The local kang in Ryukyuan culture fulfill a similar function.


  • Chikap Kamui;
  • Earthly Kami (Kunitsu kami)
  • Jimmu Tenno.


  • Stefansson, Halldor. 1985. “Earth Gods in Morimachi.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 12 (4): 277–298.
  • Toshimasa, Hirano. 1980. “Aruga Kizaemon: The Household, the Ancestors, and the Tutelary Deities.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 7 (2–3):144–166.


Handbook of Japanese Mythology written by Michael Ashkenazi – Copyright © 2003 by Michael Ashkenazi

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