Chimata-No-Kami (岐の神)

"Chimata-No-Kami" or "Tsuji-no-kami" are gods (Shinto) who are believed to prevent evil gods and evil spirits who bring epidemics and disasters from entering the village in Japanese folk beliefs.

Chimata (岐, also written 巷) or tsuji is a place where the roads diverge or cross. They were believed to be places where not only people, but also gods come and go. Some gods are evil gods or evil spirits, and Chimata-No-Kami was enshrined to prevent these from invading. Thus, it is also referred to as Sai-no-kami (god of keeping out evil spirits).

In Japanese Mythology, in the chapter on kamiumi (birth of the gods) in "Kojiki" (Records of Ancient Matters), it is described that Chimata-no-kami was born from the fundoshi (loincloth) which Izanagi, who returned from Yomi (world after death), took off for to perform misogi (purification ceremony). This god is considered to be same god as Sarutahiko in "Nihonshoki" (Chronicles of Japan) and "Kogo-shui" (History of the Inbe clan). Additionally, in "Kojikiden" (Commentaries on the Kojiki), it is considered to be the same god as Yachimatahiko and Yachimatahime in the 'Norito (Shinto prayer) of Dokyo-sai Festival' of "the Engishiki" (an ancient book for codes and procedures on national rites and prayers).

In "Nihonshoki," Funado-no-kami and Kunatonosae-no-kami were born from the cane that Izanagi who was fleeing from Izanami threw saying 'do not come any closer' at Yomotsuhirasaka. In "Kojiki," in the scene of Izanagi's misogi, Tsukitatsufunado-no-kami was born from the first cane thrown.

Later, it was syncretized with Doso-shin (traveler's guardian deity), the god of road, introduced from China. From there, Doso-shin came to be equated with Sarutahiko. Additionally, it was equated with Buddhist Jizo Bosatsu (Jizo Bodhisattva).

[Original Japanese]