Here I will list some of the gods/kami of Japan. Maybe in another post I will cover the other beings like the Yokai, Oni, Baku, etc...
Ishikori-dome-the smith goddess, she made the first mirror, the 8 sided Yata No Kagami, to help lure Amaterasu out of the cave she had sealed herself in.
Ana-no-Uzume-goddess of dance, revelry and mirth. She danced and spread mirth to help lure Amaterasu out of the cave she sealed herself in.
Uke Mochi-goddess of food. Tsukuyomi came to visit her one day, and so she decided to prepare a feast, but Tsukuyomi spied upon her and was horrified to see that she was creating food from her body. He slew her and from her body arose all the foodstuff that humans eat.
Ninigi-No-Mikoto-the grandson of Amaterasu, father of Hoori and Hoderi and great-grandfather of Jimmu. He was sent to the earthly realm to pacify the land and plant rice. Amaterasu gave him her 3 sacred gifts, of the Kasanagi-no-Tsurugi(sword), Yata-no-Kagami(mirror) and the Yasakani no Megatama(jewel,) which he gave to Jimmu and have been kept by the emperors since then.
Hoori/Yamasachihiko-god of hunting, younger brother of Hoderi and great-grandson of Amaterasu. He lost his brothers fish hook in the ocean when he wanted to try his hand at fishing. So, he went diving to find it and met Otohime, Ryujin's the sea dragons daughter. She fell in love with him and took him to her fathers palace. Ryujin was not happy, as he was the guardian of the sea and he thought this was a fisherman, a plunderer of the sea. Eventually Ryujin gave into his daughters pleas and allowed the two to marry. They lived happily for many years, until Hoori became homesick and remembered the whole reason he came down there was to find his brothers treasured hook. Ryujin found the hook and Hoori returned to the surface world with his bride, who was not pregnant. After settling into life on the surface world, she went into labor and asked that her husband not see her until it was over. He was annoyed that he couldn't see his child being born though and snuck a peak, only to see her change into a dragon. He screamed in horror, she screamed in fear and fled, leaving him his son. Later, she sent a sister up to raise her son as a nanny, but the 2 fell in love and had a son together, Jimmu, who became the first emperor of Japan.
Hoori meets Otohime
Hoori losses the fish hook
Hoderi-god of fishing, older brother of Hoori and great grandson of Amaterasu.
Musubi-no-Kami-god of love and marriage, appears as a young man. He also represents creation or the power of becoming, which makes him very similar to Eros, who was first thought of as a child of Chaos (the primodial god) who used love to help create the universe, and later as a demi-god son of Aphrodite, that went around shooting arrows of love at people. Musubi lives in a sacred cherry tree, Kanzakuri, where he will leap out of and offer young girls a bough of cherry blossoms, with a promise of love in their future (not his love, the love of a human man.)
Gekka-O-god of binding in marriage, he ties the bride and grooms feet together with a magic red silk cord.
Inari-god/goddess of rice and fertility. This ambigous deity has shrines all over Japan, and is very important, as rice is the staple food there. S/He uses pure white foxes as messengers, and you will see them all over the shrines. Because of this, s/he is also called the fox god, but many priest discourage this (because the foxes can also be thought of as evil.) Both a god and a goddess, appearing as either one, someitmes a young maiden, or an old man, a bodhisattva or a even as a fox. This deity has more shrines than any other in Japan, showing the importance of rice to the people. The shrines often have the red torii (spiri gates) at the entrance, and since there are so many shrines and so many torii, red has become associated with Inari. The shrine itself is often flanked by a pair of fox statues, one male and one female. People would leave offerings of rice or saki at the temple, but the most common is to offer a fox statue.
Chimata-no-Kami/Sai-no-Kami-god of crossroads, roads and footpaths. He was originally a phallic god, and the phallus is still his symbol, and images or carvings of a phallus are placed at crossroads.
Konohanasakuya-Hime-goddess of Mt. Fuji, a sacred mountain in Japan. She is the daughter of O-Yamatsumi and the wife of Ninigi, mother of Hoori and Hoderi. Her symbol is the cherry blosson, and she is called the "blossom princess." Because this is her symbol, and cherry blossoms are fleeting, human life is short. If Ninigi had married her sister, Iwa-Naga, the rock princess, human life would have been very long.
Bimbo-Gami-god of poverty. He causes it wherever he dwells, so people perform rituals to get rid of him. He is a thin and filthy man, and during times of economic troubles people would beat idols of him to punish him and force him to leave.
Chinese 8 Immortals
- Benten-goddess of words, speech, eloquence and music
- Bishamon-god of warriors, guards and the punisher of criminals, protector against diseases and demons
- Daikoku-god of wealth
- Ebisu-god of mirth, joy and happiness
- Fukurokuju-god of wisdom and longevity
- Hotei-god of contentment and abundance
- Jurojon or Gama-god of longevity
- Kichijoten/Kisshoten/Kudokuten-goddess of happiness, fertility and beauty, sometimes considered to be the 8th god of fortune
Modern worship in Japan, means you can carry luck on a keychain,
and all your gods, too