Raijin(雷神), also known as Yakusa no ikazuchi no kami, Kaminari-sama, and Raiden-sama, is a god of lightning, thunder and storms in Japanese mythology and the Shinto religion. The name 'Raijin' is derived from the Japanese words kaminari (雷, meaning thunder) and kami (神, meaning god). Raijin is typically depicted with fierce and aggressive facial expressions, standing atop a cloud, and is shown beating on drums. The drums are often shown to have the symbol tomoe drawn on them. Raijin is often depicted as a protector and/or warrior figure within Japanese temples and shrines.
In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, and principal object of faith. The conceptions of God, as described by theologians, commonly include the attributes of omniscience (all-knowing), omnipotence (all-powerful), omnipresence (all-present), and as having an eternal and necessary existence. Depending on one's kind of theism, these attributes are used either in way of analogy, or in a literal sense as distinct properties. God is most often held to be incorporeal (immaterial). Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence". Psychoanalyst Carl Jung equated religious ideas of God with transcendental aspects of consciousness in his interpretation.
Lightning is a violent and sudden electrostatic discharge where two electrically charged regions in the atmosphere temporarily equalize themselves, usually during a thunderstorm.
Thunder is the sound caused by lightning. Depending on the distance from and nature of the lightning, it can range from a sharp, loud crack to a long, low rumble (brontide). The sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces rapid expansion of the air surrounding and within a bolt of lightning. In turn, this expansion of air creates a sonic shock wave, similar to a sonic boom, often referred to as a "thunderclap" or "peal of thunder".
Raijin is often depicted with a fierce, frightening face and a muscular figure with gravity-defying hair. He is surrounded by Taiko drums that he plays to create the sound of thunder. Raijin holds large hammers in his hands that he uses to play the drums. In some cases, Raijin is portrayed with three fingers which are said to represent the past, present and future. Two of the most notable sculptures of Raijin are located in the Sanjusangendo temple and the Taiyuin Rinnoji temple.
Taiko(太鼓) are a broad range of Japanese percussion instruments. In Japanese, the term refers to any kind of drum, but outside Japan, it is used to refer to any of the various Japanese drums called wadaiko and to the form of ensemble taiko drumming more specifically called kumi-daiko. The process of constructing taiko varies between manufacturers, and preparation of both the drum body and skin can take several years depending on method.
Sanjūsangen-dō is a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto, Japan.
Raijin and Fujin reside side by side in the Kaminarimon gate that guards the entrance to the Sanjusangendo temple. These sculptures are made of wood with lacquer, gold leaf and paint along with crystal, inlaid eyes. The Raijin and Fujin sculptures in Sanjusangendo are considered national treasures.
Fūjin (風神) or Futen is the Japanese god of the wind and one of the eldest Shinto gods.
The Kaminarimon is the outer of two large entrance gates that ultimately leads to the Sensō-ji in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. The gate, with its lantern and statues, is popular with tourists. It stands 11.7 m tall, 11.4 m wide and covers an area of 69.3 m2. The first gate was built in 941, but the current gate dates from 1960, after the previous gate was destroyed in a fire in 1865.
Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin that resists compression. Wood is sometimes defined as only the secondary xylem in the stems of trees, or it is defined more broadly to include the same type of tissue elsewhere such as in the roots of trees or shrubs. In a living tree it performs a support function, enabling woody plants to grow large or to stand up by themselves. It also conveys water and nutrients between the leaves, other growing tissues, and the roots. Wood may also refer to other plant materials with comparable properties, and to material engineered from wood, or wood chips or fiber.
In the Taiyuin Rinnoji temple, Raijin and Fujin are located in the Niten-mon gate. They are made of wood with paint and are seen with their token talismans, Raijin's drums and Fujin's wind bag.
Raijin was born from the divine pair Izanagi and Izanami after Japan was first created. Raijin came from Izanami's corpse when she was in Yomi, the land of darkness. Izanami later sent Raijin and several female demons to chase after Izanagi, after he fled the image of her rotting form, to bring him back to Yomi . Raijin has many siblings, most notably, Fujin (the god of wind), Kagutsuchi (the god of fire), Susanoo (the god of the sea), and Amaterasu (the goddess of the sun).
Izanagi is a deity born of the seven divine generations in Japanese mythology and Shinto, and his name in the Kojiki is roughly translated to as "he-who-invites". He is also known as Izanagi-no-mikoto or Izanagi-no-Ōkami.
In Japanese mythology, Izanami no mikoto is a goddess of both creation and death, as well as the former wife of the god Izanagi-no-mikoto. She is also referred to as Izanami no kami.
Kagu-tsuchi or Kagutsuchi (カグツチ), referred to as Hinokagatsuchi (火之迦具土) in the Kojiki, and Kagutsuchi (軻遇突智) or Homusubi (火産霊) in the Nihon-Shoki, is the kami of fire in Japanese mythology.
Raijin is also often seen in the company of his brother, Fujin, and his son, Raitaro. He is often seen fighting with Fujin, mending his drums, or causing mischief. He is also shown in the company of Raiju, a thunder-beast or thunder demon.
Raijū is a legendary creature from Japanese mythology.
Prayers to Raijin were mainly based upon agriculture as it was believed that rice that was struck by lightning would produce the best harvest.
In one legend, Raijin is shown to defend Japan against the invading Mongols. In this legend, the Mongols are driven off by a vicious storm in which Raijin is in the clouds throwing lightning and arrows at the invaders.
Another legend depicts how a man named Sugaru (nicknamed the God-catcher) was ordered to catch the Thunder God Raijin and deliver him to the Emperor in order to stop a storm. Sugaru commands Raijin to cease the storm in the name of the Emperor but to no avail. Sugaru prayed to Kannon who later delivered Raijin to him. Sugaru then tied him up in a sack and took him to the Emperor.
Some Japanese parents tell their children to hide their belly buttons during thunderstorms so that Raijin doesn't take them away and eat them.
Raijin also appears in the kabuki play Narukami, in which he is imprisoned under a pool of water, thus causing a drought.
Amaterasu (天照), Amaterasu-ōmikami (天照大神／天照大御神／天照皇大神), or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神) is a deity of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is seen as the goddess of the sun and the universe. The name Amaterasu is derived from Amateru and means "shining in heaven". The meaning of her whole name, Amaterasu-ōmikami, is "the great august kami (deity) who shines in the heaven". According to the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki chronicles in Japanese mythology, the Emperors of Japan are considered to be direct descendants of Amaterasu.
Japanese mythology embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculturally-based folk religion. The Shinto pantheon comprises innumerable kami. This article will discuss only the typical elements present in Asian mythology, such as cosmogony, important deities, and the best-known Japanese stories.
Leigong or Leishen, is a deity in Chinese folk religion, Chinese mythology and Taoism. In Taoism, when so ordered by heaven, Leigong punishes both earthly mortals guilty of secret crimes and evil spirits who have used their knowledge of Taoism to harm human beings. He carries a drum and mallet to produce thunder, and a chisel to punish evildoers. Leigong rides a chariot driven by a young boy named A Xiang.
Tawaraya Sōtatsu was a Japanese painter and designer of the Rinpa school.
Yaiba, also known as Legend of the Swordmaster Yaiba, is a shōnen manga series by Gosho Aoyama. It ran in Shogakukan's Weekly Shōnen Sunday from issue 39 of 1988 to issue 50 of 1993, collected in 24 tankōbon volumes. It also came in 12 double volumes. In 1993, it received the 38th Shogakukan Manga Award.
Yomotsu-shikome, in Japanese mythology, was a hag sent by the dead Izanami to pursue her husband Izanagi, for shaming her by breaking promise not to see her in her decayed form in the Underworld (Yomi-no-kuni). Also recorded by the name Yomotsu-hisame (泉津日狭女), the name may have been a term referring collectively to eight hags, not just one.
Kennin-ji (建仁寺) is a historic Zen Buddhist temple in Higashiyama, Kyoto, Japan, near Gion, at the end of Hanami Lane. It is considered to be one of the so-called Kyoto Gozan or "five most important Zen temples of Kyoto".
A weather god, also frequently known as a storm god, is a deity in mythology associated with weather phenomena such as thunder, lightning, rain, wind, storms and hurricanes. Should they only be in charge of one feature of a storm, they will be called a god/goddess, such as a rain god or a lightning/thunder god. This singular attribute might then be emphasized more than the generic, all-encompassing term "storm god", though with thunder/lightning gods, the two terms seem interchangeable. They feature commonly in polytheistic religions.
Hawaii Shingon Mission or Shingon Shu Hawaii located at 915 Sheridan Street in Honolulu, Hawaii, is one of the most elaborate displays of Japanese Buddhist temple architecture in Hawaiʻi. It was first built in 1915-1918 by Nakagawa Katsutaro, a master builder of Japanese-style temples, then renovated in 1929 by Hego Fuchino, a self-taught man who was the first person of Japanese ancestry to become a licensed architect in the Islands. The building underwent further changes in 1978, and was considerably augmented in 1992. However, its most distinctive features remain: the steep, hipped-gable roof (irimoya) with rounded-gable projection, both with elaborate carvings on the ends, and the glittering altar and interior furnishings from Japan that signify its ties to esoteric Shingon Buddhism.
In Japanese mythology, the Age of the Gods is the period preceding the accession of Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan. The kamiyo myths are chronicled in the "upper roll" (Kamitsumaki) of the Kojiki and in the first and second chapters of the Nihon Shoki. The reigns of Emperor Jimmu and the subsequent Emperors are considered the Human Age.
In Japanese mythology, the story of the birth of the gods occurs after the creation of Japan (Kuniumi) and refers to the birth of the kami descendants of Izanagi and Izanami.
Suzuki Kiitsu was a Japanese painter of the Rinpa school.
Wind God and Thunder God (紙本金地著色風神雷神図) is a painting on a pair of two-folded byōbu by Rinpa artist Ogata Kōrin, a replica of a similar work by Tawaraya Sōtatsu, depicting Raijin, the god of lightning, thunder and storms in the Shinto religion and in Japanese mythology, and Fūjin, the god of wind.
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