The Eight Million Gods is an ancient religion practiced in Wa and Kozakura, and it is a collection of beliefs and practices that has evolved over human history since humans arrived in those island kingdoms. The rituals of the practice relate to a variety of nature spirits who are believed to inhabit the land itself. In Kozakura, the worship is open and accepted[1], but in Wa it is not encouraged by the Shogunate government.[2]

Within the practice of this religion, shrines are constructed at sites of particular natural beauty or significance in a local legend. The larger, more extravagant and powerful shrines are known as first shrines, and these are the temples that are supported by the Emperor or by a local noble house. More often than not, these shrines are built in older districts of cities and provincial capitals.[3]

The smaller shrines are known as regular shrines, and have been built and supported by the local peasantry. These shrines tend to focus on more practical dogma for the adherents, such as ensuring good harvests or warding against evil spirits.

The dogma of each shrine is completely independent from the others, as each shrine generally reveres a certain spirit with their own beliefs and priorities. Many large shrines are devoted to the sun goddess or (in Kozakura) to the Emperor who is believed to been descended from the divine.

Another notable goddess in Kozakura, one of the Eight Million Gods, is Chirasu, the goddess of stealth and patron of ninja and thieves.[4]


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