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Shinto
Shinto
This article is part of a series on Shinto
Practices and Beliefs
Kami · Ritual purity · Polytheism · Animism ·
Japanese festivals · Mythology · Shinto shrines
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Amaterasu Omikami · Sarutahiko Okami · Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto · Inari Okami ·
Izanagi-no-Mikoto · Izanami-no-Mikoto · Susanoo-no-Mikoto ·
Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto
Important Literature
Kojiki · Nihon Shoki · Fudoki · Rikkokushi ·
Shoku Nihongi · Jinnō Shōtōki · Kujiki
See also
Japan · Religion in Japan · Glossary of Shinto
List of Shinto divinities · List of Shinto shrines
Sacred objects · Japanese Buddhism · Mythical creatures

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Arahitogami (現人神 ?) is a Japanese word meaning a kami (deity) who is a human being. It first appears in Kojiki (c. 680), but is assumed to have been used before this book.

The best-known usage of this word would be in Japan before the end of the Second World War in 1945. State Shinto (Kokka Shintō) applied this word to the Emperor and required the Japanese people to obey absolutely and have loyalty to the Emperor as a kami.

In 1946, Emperor Hirohito was forced in the Ningen-sengen to renounce the conception of akitsumikami (現御神 ?), divinity in human form, and claimed his relation to the people did not rely on such a mythological idea but on a historically developed family-like reliance.

Many authors, such as John W. Dower and Herbert Bix, consider however that the Ningen-sengen can be interpreted in a way which, while renouncing his claim to be an akitsumikami (現御神 ?), Hirohito did not actually deny his divine descent from goddess Amaterasu Omikami.

Some Japanese equate the divine being of the Emperor to Buddhist beliefs about the Dalai Lama and historical figures.

See also

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