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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What is the bushido code

The Bushido Code – The Way of The Warrior

Bushido was established around the eighth century as a code of conduct for the samurai class of Japan. It was concerned with the behavior, ...
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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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Japanese mythological creatures list

10 Types of Japanese Mythology Creatures

Traditional Japanese mythology and Shintoism in particular, are home to many unique creatures, spirits, demons, and other supernatural beings. ...
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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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Yokai Japanese supernatural monsters

What Are The Japanese Yokai Spirits?

Together with kami (gods), yokai is one of the words most often used when talking about Japanese Shinto mythology. The yokai are spirits or ghosts ...
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Jorōgumo Japanese mythology

Jorōgumo- Shapeshifting Spider

In Japanese mythology,a Jorōgumo is a ghost, goblin, or spider, that can transform and shapeshift into a beautiful woman. In Japanese Kanji, the ...
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Komainu Japanese lion dogs

Komainu – A Japanese Symbol of Protection

The Komainu are a pair of Japanese statues carved in the shape of a dog or lion, and typically placed in front of Japanese Shinto shrines and ...
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Onryo Japanese ghost of vengeance

Onryō – Japanese Ghost of Vengeance

In Japanese mythology, an onryōis a wrathful spirit, which roams the earth to take vengeance. It’s an unfulfilled and unsatisfied soul that has ...
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