Shingon's Kami

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Kaminohitoshisan
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:04 am

Shingon's Kami

Post by Kaminohitoshisan » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:13 am

Hello to all. I am Kaminohitoshisan and I am writing from Italy. Sorry for my bad english.
I wanted to know, are there any "Kami females" in the shingon?
Thanks

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Kim O'Hara
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Posts: 3737
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:09 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Shingon's Kami

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:47 am

Welcome to DW, Kaminohitoshisan - and congratulations on your English - it's far better than my Italian. :smile:
The simple answer to your question is "yes". The complete answer is complicated.

The kami are originally shinto deities - nature spirits both male and female, gods and goddesses - but were adopted into Buddhism centuries ago and into Shingon in its very earliest period. This wikipedia page about Inari - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inari_Ōkami - says, for example ...
Inari Ōkami (稲荷大神, also Oinari) is the Japanese kami of foxes, of fertility, rice, tea and sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success, and one of the principal kami of Shinto. In earlier Japan, Inari was also the patron of swordsmiths and merchants. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. ...
Inari has been depicted both as male and as female. The most popular representations of Inari, according to scholar Karen Ann Smyers, are a young female food goddess, an old man carrying rice, and an androgynous bodhisattva. ...
Inari's female aspect is often identified or conflated with Dakiniten, a Buddhist deity who is a Japanese transformation of the Indian dakini,[5] or with Benzaiten of the Seven Lucky Gods.[6] Dakiniten is portrayed as a female or androgynous bodhisattva riding a flying white fox.[5] Inari's association with Buddhism may have begun in the 8th century, when Shingon Buddhist monk and founder, Kūkai, took over administration of the temple of Tōji, and chose Inari as a protector of the temple.[1] Thus, Inari is still closely associated with Shingon Buddhism to this day.
(You may find this page in the Italian version of Wikipedia, if you are lucky.)

:namaste:
Kim

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