Basic Terms of Shinto 神道基本用語集

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Text A deity worshipped by a naturally formed group living in a specific geographical area. In the broad sense, chienshin can include ujigami and ubusuna no kami, but the term usually refers to the village god, a deity worshipped by smaller geographical groups than those worshiping an ujigami or ubusuna no kami. A ketsuenshin or dozokushin may sometimes become a chienshin, or deities of other localities may be introduced as chienshin of new localities. The chienshin is chiefly a deity protecting the region in which it is worshiped, but since the Meiji period, there have been many cases of the chienshin of a small group being incorporated into an ujigami.