Japanese Mythology

Japanese mythology is made up of a collection of stories and beliefs that originated in the Japanese islands. Compiled from oral traditions, these stories offer explanations about the gods, practices, customs, traditions, and history of the Japanese people and their country.


Most Japanese myths were gathered in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, records which outline the origins of the monarch and the ruling class. Naturally, the idea was to strengthen their authority over the people and to justify their rights to rule.


The Japanese pantheon is full of dynamic, complex and unique characters such as Amaterasu, Susanoo, Inari, Izanagi and Izanami. Their stories are a mix of tragedy, triumph, horror, life, and death, and perfectly showcases the morally ambiguous nature of the deities in Shintoism.


Explore our comprehensive guides that cover the stories of the gods, goddesses, yokai and creatures that make up this fascinating mythology.

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Who are the Ronin

Ronin – The Disgraced Japanese Samurai

The Japanese ronin are legendary and yet they’re often widely misrepresented. Fascinating historic figures turned into romantic mythological ...
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Susanoo Japanese god of sea storms

Susanoo –Japanese God of Sea Storms

Susanoo is one of the most famous deities in Japanese Shintoism. As the god of the sea and of storms, he had great importance for the island ...
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Fujin Japanese wind god

Fujin – The Wind God in Japanese Mythology

Fujin is the Japanese god of wind, worshipped in Shintoism, Buddhism, and Daoism alike. Like most wind deities in other religions, Fujin isn’t the ...
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Bakeneko Japanese mythology

Bakeneko Cat – Japanese Feline Spirits

Virtually every culture that’s shared its streets and homes with cats has some fascinating myths about these elegant animals. Some worship them as ...
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Inugami Japanese dog spirits

Inugami – Tortured Japanese Dog Spirit

Shintoism and Japanese culture as a whole are abundant with fascinating gods (kami), spirits (yokai), ghosts (yūrei), and other mythical beings. ...
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Amaterasu goddess in Japanese mythology

Amaterasu – Goddess, Mother and Queen

In Japan, also known as The Land of the Rising Sun, the Sun Goddess Amaterasu is regarded as the Supreme Deity in Shintoism. Viewed as the mother ...
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Japanese sword names

Legendary and Mythological Japanese Swords

Japanese history and mythology are full of amazing weapons. Spears and bows were favored by many mysterious Shinto and Buddhist deities as well as ...
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Oni Japanese demon yokai

Oni – Japanese Demon-Faced Yokai

The oni are often viewed as Japanese demons or evil spirits, or even goblins, trolls, or ogres. These beings are depicted with blue, red, or green ...
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Tengu Japanese flying demons

The Tengu – Japanese Flying Demons

The Tengu are flying bird-like humanoid yokai (spirits) join Japanese mythology as just minor nuisances. However, they evolved in parallel with ...
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