Daimyōjin: Suffix meaning Great Shining Kami. Used for Shintō-Buddhist syncretic kamisama.
Heishi: A pair of white ceramic sake containers used in Shintō ritual. White lidded ceramic vessel.
Hiraka/Doki/Shirosara: Flatter plates for salt and rice used in Shintō ritual. White ceramic plate on a black background.
Kagaribi: Candlestand. Note that the candles for these are rather specific (and come with holes) so I do not recommend this for people without regular access to Japanese candles. The second image shows the bottom of the special candles which come with holes so they can easily be stood on the spikes in the stand. Black metal bent into a basket shape with three legs holding a thin white candle.
Three white candles with holes in the bottom.
Kami: A revered deity or spirit. Can be a historical Japanese figure like Sugawara no Michizane.
Kamidana: Shintō home altar. More images and info here.
Kamisama: Respectful word for “kami”.
Kumoita: A wooden letter stuck above a kamidana. The letter is usually the letter for sky 空, cloud 雲, or heaven 天. This is used when the kamidana is placed in a room beneath another room, so that anyone in the room above will not be symbolically treading on the kamidana. A freestanding wooden kumoita whose top bar is shaped like an abstract cloud. It stands on two pillars.Balsa wood plate in the shape of the Japanese letter for cloud on a white background.Balsa wood plate in the shape of the Japanese letter for sky on a white background.Balsa wood plate in the shape of the Japanese letter for heaven or sky on a white background.
Masakaki: A type of sakaki that includes references to the 3 sacred treasures and has sacred colors on it – the left masakaki has the sword, the right has the mirror and magatama 勾玉 jewel. This is an alternative (and somewhat fancier) than sakaki. A pair of small wooden poles with small sakaki attached to the tip. Both bear streamers of green, yellow, red, white, and blue. A red and gold cloth case containing a miniature sword dangles on the left masakaki from a white string. A red and gold cloth case containing a mirror with green, yellow, and white dangles on the right masakaki from a white string. Both items have large white tassels.
Misogi: ritual purification in water.
Mizutama: White ceramic lidded container used in Shintō ritual. Contains water. The lid is often left on its side while offerings are up. Some say this is so that the water can evaporate and symbolically be drunk by kamisama. A round, white ceramic pot with a pointed lid rested on its side so that the opening of the pot is visible sits on a wooden surface. There are concentric rings designed into the lid.
Myōjin: Shining Kami. Used for Shintō-Buddhist syncretic kamisama.
Ofuda: Wooden tablet bestowed by a shrine, usually wrapped in paper, that is usually enshrined at a kamidana. Buddhist Ofuda are usually purpose-specific. A rectangular wooden ofuda covered in paper, which has black calligraphy describing an Ise Faith shrine and a scarlet stamp bearing a shrine's name.
Ōkami: Suffix meaning Great Kami.
Omamori: Charms giving a blessing bestowed by a shrine. Usually their purpose is specified. Forms may vary. They are usually meant to be carried on one’s person, attached to bags. A variety of omamori laid on a white surface. Most are made of embroided cloth and some are encased in vinyl. Some are shaped like rectangles, while others are shaped like pouches or children's backpacks. All bear writing indicating the shrine of origin and their intended blessing.
Sakaki: Japanese evergreen tree whose branches are used in Shintō ritual. Kami are thought to descend into them temporarily. A pair of branches of a plant with thick, dark green, oval-shaped leaves.
Sakakitate: Vase and vase holders for sakaki. You don’t need to have ones with the box around the vase, as it’s more decorative. A white ceramic vase inside of an attached ceramic square box.A white ceramic vase with a tapered shape.
Sanbō: A wooden tray with a square base and cut out shapes to hold offerings. Placed in front of kamisama. Not a mandatory part of kamidana setups. A wooden tray with raised sides and beveled corners. It has a high base with a cutout shaped like two circles attached to each other.
Shimenawa: Hemp rope with paper zigzags hanging from it that denotes a sacred space. They must be made with care and reverence. A rice straw rope tapering at each side with three tassels. Four paper zigzags hang alternating with the tassels.
Shinki/Shingu: General word for all items that are used in Shintō ritual, both in the home and in shrines.
Shinkyō: Sacred mirror where kamisama’s spirit can alight. Not a permanent living place for kamisama, but still must be handled with respect. A round silver mirror resting on an intricately carved wooden stand that evokes waves or clouds.
Shinsen: General term for food and drink offerings to kamisama.
Shinshoku: General word for Shintō priests, regardless of rank.
Tōrō: A pair of electrical lamps placed on a kamidana. Usually one has either kagaribi or tōrō, not both. A pair of wooden lamps with roof-like tops on poles, akin to a miniature streetlamp. There is a white electrical cord extending from both.

2024/03/15 up

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