Amatsukami and Kunitsukami (天津神・国津神)

Amatsukami (天津神; gods of heaven) and Kunitsukami (国津神; gods of the land) are the grouping of gods (Shinto) that appear in Japanese mythology.

Amatsukami is a general term for gods that are in Takamanohara (plain of high heaven) or have descended to this world, whereas Kunitsukami is a general term for gods that have appeared on the land. However, Okuninushi (the chief god of Izumo in southern Honshu Island, Japan, and the central character in the important cycle of myths set in that region) and other offsprings of the Susanoo (Deity in Japanese mythology) that descended from Takamanohara are classified as Kunitsukami.

In Japanese Mythology, most Kunitsukami are regarded as those dominated by Amatsukami. It is considered that gods worshiped by people in regions conquered by the Yamato sovereignty (the ancient Japan sovereignty) were grouped as Kunitsukami and gods worshiped by Imperial Family and influential clans as Amatsukami. In particular, many Kunitsukami were transformed when included in Japanese Mythology; many of their folk stories no longer remain. Since Nihonshoki (Chronicles of Japan) often described that those sentences were quoted from folk stories orally handed down, written records of such stories seem to have been lost.

Because, 'tsu' corresponds to 'no' in modern Japanese, Amatsukami and Kunitsukami means gods of heaven and gods of the land respectively. They may be described as '天つ神' (Amatsukami) and '国つ神' (Kunitsukami). Amatsukami is called as 'Tenjin' (天神) and Kunitsukami as 'Chiji,' (地神) written with two Chinese characters.
They are collectively called 'Tenjinchigi' or 'Jingi.'

[Original Japanese]