Landlord deity

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Landlord deities (地主神) are a type of tutelary deity worshipped in the East Asian cultural sphere.[1]

They are minor gods who are considered to be of lower rank than Tudigongs and City Gods.

In some East Asian cultures, when people move to a new place, they ask for the permission of the landlord deity before settling in.

In China[change | change source]

Landlord Gods (Chinese: 地主神; pinyin: Dìzhǔ shén) are deities worshipped in Chinese folk beliefs, and is considered to be lower in rank compared to Sheshen and City Gods.

Landlord god tablet[change | change source]

The Landlord God tablet usually has two inscriptions, one on the left for “The Landlord Wealth God of the Overseas Tang People” (唐番地主財神) in Singapore and Malaysia, or “The Landlord Wealth God from Front to Back” (前後地主財神) in Hong Kong and other Chinese diaspora. On the right, it is inscribed with the Dragon God of the Five Directions and Five Lands (五方五土龍神).

Benefits of worshipping landlord gods[change | change source]

The Landlord God is believed to have the power to help people gather wealth, and the tablet's placement must follow fengshui laws.[2] In Chinese tradition, Spirit houses are called 土地神屋 or Landlord God House, which symbolizes a connection between the concept and the idea of an Earth Temple [zh] dedicated to a Dizhushen or Sheshen.

In Taiwan[change | change source]

Taiwanese altar for a landlord god

In Taiwan honoring landlord deities is very important. Both government organizations and companies honor them when they enter a new building. Household altars for Dijizhu are also very common.[3] People disagree on what landlord deities are. Some people say they are ghosts. Some people say they are gods. Sometimes, they are thought to be the souls of former occupants.[4] This tradition may have originated from the Taiwanese indigenous peoples who practiced indoor burial, burying people inside buildings. Dijizhu may also be linked to Goryō or people who died without relatives.

In Japan[change | change source]

Ōkuninushi the original owner of Japan. Some people call him the Jinushigami of Japan

Jinushigami (地主神) is the Japanese name for landlord deities.[5][6]

Japanese people have honored them since at least the 9th century. People seek their blessing before they move to the land. Some people think they are ancestors.[7]

Japanese people do a ritual called Jichinsai for Jinushigami.[8]

Ōkuninushi is sometimes considered a Jinushigami of Japan as a whole.

Hokora are often created for Jinushigami,[8] natural objects like trees are also often seen to be yorishiro or shintai for them[8][8]

Shinra Myōjin is considered a landlord deity, but he originated in Korea[9]

Pop culture[change | change source]

The manga series Kamisama Kiss, written by Julietta Suzuki, follows the story of Nanami Momozono, who becomes the guardian deity of an abandoned shrine.

See Also[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Dragon, Tin Yat. "Landlord Deity in Taoism 土地神明". Tin Yat Dragon. Retrieved 2023-04-08.
  2. The Encyclopedia of Malaysia, vol. Religions & Beliefs, edited by Prof. Dr M. Kamal Hassan & Dr. Ghazali bin Basri. ISBN 981-3018-51-8
  3. ChinaConnectU (2012-01-23). "Religion, Folk (Mínjiān zōngjiào 民間宗教)|Mínjiān zōngjiào 民間宗教 (Religion, Folk)". ChinaConnectU. Archived from the original on 2023-04-07. Retrieved 2023-04-07.
  4. 弘子, 植野 (1992-03-31). "台湾漢民族の死霊と土地 : 謝土儀礼と地基主をめぐって(Ⅳ. 祖先祭祀の諸形態)". 国立歴史民俗博物館研究報告 (in Japanese). 41: 377–411. ISSN 0286-7400.
  7. "Shinto Portal - IJCC, Kokugakuin University". Archived from the original on 2011-05-18. Retrieved 2023-04-17.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3
  9. Kim, Sujung (2019). Shinra Myōjin and Buddhist Networks of the East Asian "Mediterranean". University of Hawaii Press. p. 30. doi:10.1515/9780824881733. ISBN 978-0-8248-8173-3. S2CID 243035601. Retrieved 2023-02-20.