StarDragonBlue (stardragonblue) wrote in little_details,

What to Name My Shinto Deity

Places: Iga Prefecture (medieval Japan/1581); New York City (2014)
Search Terms Used: Shinto, Naming my Shinto Deity, Naming my Shinto kami, kami, kami names, Iga Prefecture, Iga Prefecture shrines, Iga Prefecture kami. I also went down the entire list of Shinto terms on Wikipedia.
Subject: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I need to name a Shinto deity. My Japanese is middling, so I know how to read and form basic sentences, look up kanji that I don't know, and put kanji together to make a name. I know that it is common to have Shinto deities with names that end in 神 to denote their status. However, there are plenty of Shinto deities who don't have this addition. Moreover, I don't want to accidentally create a name that is humorous, odd, disrespectful, or already used for an established deity.

The kami would belong to the Foot ninja, the TMNT's parent organization and nemesis. It would appear in the form of a male rat, and its honden would be flanked by two rat statues, one holding a scroll, the other a gem (I copied Otoyo Shrine in this respect). I decided that the Foot existed into the modern day as a Shinto sect. The backstory is that this rat kami taught the Foot the art of ninjitsu. When Oda Nobunaga attacked Iga Prefecture in 1581 and destroyed it, the Foot--centralized in a particular village--were forewarned by their tutelary kami, and ran off with it in its mikoshi (divine palanquin), thereby saving themselves and their art. Evidence of the kami's worship will be seen in the modern day by my protagonist, who visits a secret room where one of its honden was built.

Although an ideal name would deal with being a sneaky fire-setting bastard like the ninja of old, bonus points would be if the name had a connection to Splinter, the TMNT's mentor. Hence, I also considered names that referred to forests, trees, pillars, etc.--something from which a "splinter" could be derived.

I also welcome any other critiques as to how I've presented this kami!

Thank you so much for your help!
Tags: japan: folklore, japan: history, ~languages: japanese, ~religion: shinto

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