Arahitogami

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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 Humanity Declaration 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.[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]