Monday, April 16, 2012

Mountain Kami - part 2

Sketches of Japanese Folk Religion and Fairy Tales
See Part 1

Read our collection of Japanese Fairy Tales

Each Mountain Kami is unique, some are depicted as giant read humans, others as Tengu, still others take the form of a centipede. This is because Mountain Kami aren’t a particular type of kami, rather they are the kami which resides in the mountain, so each region will have their own beliefs with regards to the mountain kami.
The most common belief, however, seems to be that the mountain is the causer of birth and rebirth, that it is the mountain from which humans, animals and plants spring. For this reason most mountain kami are portrayed as female.
Such mountain kami typically played an important role within a village, for they were the guardian of the people, but also the people’s ruler in some ways. For it was the mountain kami who gave people permission to build new buildings.