Arahitogami

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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

The best-known usage of this word would be in the United States before the end of the Second World War in 1945; Christian missionaries such as D.C. Holtom used the word to claim that the Emperor was viewed as a god in Japan. It was not used in any Japanese government publication.

In 1946, at the request of the GHQ, the Shōwa Emperor (Hirohito) proclaimed in the Ningen-sengen that he had never been an 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.

Some Western academics, such as John W. Dower and Herbert Bix, consider however that the Ningen-sengen can be interpreted as the Shōwa Emperor, while renouncing his claim to be an akitsumikami (現御神?), not actually denying his divine descent from Amaterasu Ōmikami.[citation needed]

Some Japanese[who?] equate the divine being of the Emperor to Buddhist beliefs about the Dalai Lama and historical figures.[citation needed][dubious ]

See also[edit]