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(Jap.). Objects of prayers and offerings and the subjects of mythology in the Japanese Shintō religion. In some senses they are analogous to the gods of ancient Greco-Roman or Nordic mythology, although the range of the term covers not only beings who have names and life-stories but also dimly perceived entities that manifest as the awe inspired by particular objects or landscapes. When Buddhism came to Japan.one of the leading questions that caused concern was: how would the native kami respond to the importation of foreign deities? One answer that allowed Buddhism and Shintō to coexist for a time was the theory of honji-suijaku.which held that the kami were local manifestations in Japan of the universal forms of the Buddhas andBodhisattvas of Buddhism. Another was to see them as converting to Buddhism themselves and taking on the role of protector deities for particular shrines and temples.

Subjects: Religion.

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