Description: The official religion of Nippon is called Jinto and has been so for thousands of years. During Nippon’s history it has existed as an amorphous mix of nature worship, fertility cults, divination techniques, hero worship, and shamanism and unusually it has no recognised founder. It is a religion of nature and spirituality and the belief that human nature is inherently good, and evil is thought to stem from the individual's contact with external forces or agents that pollute their pure nature and cause them to act in ways which are disruptive.

Jinto worship is centred on the reverence of the gods or kami. Kami may be anything that is extraordinary and that inspires awe or reverence. Consequently, a wide variety of kami exist in Jinto: there are kami related to natural objects and creatures -- the spirits of mountains, seas, rivers, rocks, trees, animals, and the like; there are guardian kami of particular locales and clans; also considered kami are exceptional human beings, including many emperors. Evil spirits are also known in Jinto, but few seem irredeemably so. While a god may first call attention to its presence through a display of rowdy or even destructive behaviour, generally speaking, the kami are benign. Their role is to sustain and protect.

In a way Jinto is similar to the Old World religion in that it consists of a pantheon of deities. However, the priests of Jinto worship all the gods or kami as one rather than there being any single clerics of a particular god. Although some gods are more popular than others, such as the Sun God for example, it is highly unusual for anyone to take on a monotheistic perspective, i.e the worship of just one god. There are hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of gods in the Jinto pantheon which are discussed further in this chapter but suffice to say the Sun God is one of the most pre-eminent of the kami as well as the divine couple Zanagi and Zanami who were said to have created Nippon.

Alignment: Lawful and Good permitted, Neutral preferred. Evil and Chaos prohibited.

Symbol: There are numerous symbols associated with Jinto as it represents not only mountains, rivers, trees, rocks, but also the sun, the stars, the clouds, rain, snow and emperors and heroes of the past. If anything, however, symbolism of the natural world is most common with the sun being the most popular. Jinto priests wear plain white robes.

Area of Worship: Jinto only really exists in Nippon but it is known that some Cathayans practice this faith, though not in any great numbers. Outside the Far East Jinto is not known at all save for Marienburg where Nipponese merchants trade.

Temples: Like the Old Faith, Jinto is based on the natural world and its adherents can worship on mountains, in forest glades, caves, by rivers, or at temples and shrines. The temples tend to be very bare and stark, made of simple wood, paper and stone. The architecture of temples and shrines are very beautiful. Sometimes the timbers are assembled without nails and are crossed at roof level to form an open scissors shape. These crossed timbers are reminiscent of the antlers which used to mark the home of the ancient clan's high priest or medicine man. However, some temples and shrines are often burnt to the ground and then constructed again. This is intended to symbolise the process of renewal and exact replicas are built again. Some temples must be built from trees that grow in a holy forest and these must also be ceremoniously felled and transported amidst popular festivities. Teams of carpenters, who know the old secrets of cutting wood are trained and retrained for the purpose of re-constructing a temple and/or shrine.

Both temples and shrines represent the kami and it is believed that they dwell there or at least part of them does. With this in mind there are several rituals by which someone can enter a temple or a shrine. Each one has a tori or gateway, a representation of the link between mortal humans and the gods, and people pass through the tori to gain access to the building. But before entry the person must wash his hands and wash his mouth out in a basin by the building, or if there is a river or stream nearby the person uses that instead. The more devout will bathe their bodies fully before entering. This ritual washing represents purification of the soul and is necessary if one wishes to commune with the kami.

Friends and Enemies: The various spiritual religions of Cathay is on neutral terms with that of Jinto or are at least in-different. The cults of Haendryk and Manann, two of the most prominent Old Worlder religions to reach Nippon via Marienburg merchants, are on reasonably good terms with Jinto, not least because the friendship is based more on trade than any real warm friendship. In fact some priests of Jinto see Haendryk and Manann as kami: the former representing the acumination of wealth and the latter representing the sea. Jinto is utterly opposed to evil and Chaos cults as well as those who practice dark sorcery, such as necromancy, daemonology and dark magic, all of which they believe stems from the weakness of the soul.

Holy Days: There are seasonal celebrations marking spring planting, fall harvest, and special anniversaries of the history of a shrine or of a local spirit. The emperor, being the first Jinto priest of Nippon, is also involved in these holy days. He offers the early fruits of the rice harvest to the Sun God Hiruko, whom it is said the emperor is descended from. This takes place in small temples built for the purpose in the gardens of the palace; and it is there that the emperor invokes the blessings of the kami on Nippon.

In reverence of the kami of nature the celebrations take place in natural surroundings such as caves, rocks and on cliff tops, by offering up rice, sake, water, vegetables, cakes, salt and fish. Other holy days involve the destruction and subsequent re-construction of temples, such as the one in Hyudo at the end of winter. This represents the fact that the temple collected all kinds of impurities and taints throughout the year and only by its destruction and renewal will it become pure again.

Cult Requirements: The only requirements are that priests must be human and must be of Nipponese stock or were at least born in Nippon. Priestesses are quite rare but the religion is not barred to women.

Strictures: All Clerics of Jinto must adhere to the following strictures:

Be grateful for the blessings of Kami and the benefits of the ancestors, and to be diligent in the observance of the Jinto rites, applying oneself to them with sincerity, brightness, and purity of heart.

Be helpful to others and in the world at large through deeds of service without thought of rewards, and to seek the advancement of the world as one whose life mediates the will of Kami.

Bind oneself with others in harmonious acknowledgment of the will of the emperor, praying that the country may flourish and that other peoples too may live in peace and prosperity.

Never kill a wild animal unless for food.

Spell Use: Clerics of Jinto may use any Petty magic spells as well as those from Battle magic, Elemental magic and Druidic magic.

Skills: Clerics of Jinto may exchange 100 experience points for one roll on the Ranger Skill Chart during the Initiate career, and at each level of the Cleric career. If the character already possesses the skill indicated, the player may roll again until a new skill is gained.

Trails: Should a Cleric of Jinto transgress any of the strictures, or act in a manner that is against the interests of Jinto, the harmonious forces of the kami will be broken and this will be known to the offending Cleric by a series of omens and dreams. The omens and dreams often involve animals, as they are seen as messengers of the gods, such as foxes, doves, swans, wagtails, cockerels, or fish like koi-carp. What trial is set depends on the seriousness of what the Cleric has done. Minor trials may involve spending a period of time alone in a forest or mountainous area during which time he must fast and meditate (effectively removing him from play for a roleplay session or two.) Other trials might involve the restoration or construction of a shrine in some far-off and dangerous place or the recovery of a holy artefact.

Blessings: Standard blessings might include one roll on the Ranger Skill Chart, or the one-shot use of a Druidic, Battle, and Elemental spell of the highest level that the character is normally able to use, with no magic point cost.


There are possibly thousands of deities or kami in the Nipponese pantheon. While some may not be the conventional gods, such as those envisaged by an Old Worlder for example, they are all nevertheless kami and some of the most important ones are detailed below.

ZANAGI: God of Life

Zanagi is of great importance in Nippon, as is his erstwhile spouse the Goddess of the Underworld, Zanami. The other gods and goddesses are their descendants, but when the god of fire was born he burned his mother to death. Descending to the underworld, Zanami became old and ugly. Zanagi followed her to bring her back, but she forbade him to look at her. Zanagi looked anyway and Zanami tried to imprison him in the underworld. Pursued by Zanami's furies, Zanagi escaped and sealed up the entrance to the underworld with a boulder. Enraged, Zanami vowed to kill a thousand of Zanagi's subjects a day, and Zanagi vowed to create fifteen hundred a day. So it was that Zanami became the Goddess of the Underworld and Zanagi became the God of life. Zanagi is sometimes portrayed as youthful man clad in a beautiful, shimmering kimono. He may also take the form of a Human, of either sex and of any age, or a wagtail.

ZANAMI: Goddess of the Underworld

Zanami was the spouse of Zanagi, the Lord of Life, but ever since he saw her in the Nether World as a corpse-like entity, rather than a beauty, she has never forgiven him. Like Zanagi, Zanami is credited with the creation of the lands of Nippon and its people. Today Zanami is revered as the Goddess of Death and her reverence is in some regions is more than that of Zanagi, the Lord of Life. Death plays a big part in the feudal system of Nippon and many worship her in this respect. Zanami is commonly portrayed as either a wondrously beautiful woman or as a wizened old woman. Among the evil kenza who worship her, she is known as the Hag Queen, in her aspect as necromancer and demonologist, and is portrayed as a revolting being, not unlike a corpse. It is said that she can assume the form of a winged Daemon or a young girl.

HIRUKO: The Sun God

Hiruko is the Sun God and is also the ruler of the Plain of Heaven. He is the central figure in the Jinto pantheon and the emperor claims descent from him. He is the eldest son of Zanagi. It is said that the Thunder God, Mikazuki, destroyed Hiruko's Grand Palace in one of his fits of anger. Hiruko then hid himself in a cave. With the world steeped in darkness it is said that Daemons ruled the world and, try as they might with all kinds of magical tricks, the other gods could not get Hiruko out of his cave. Then it is said that Sama, the Fertility goddess, performed a bawdy dance outside the cave mouth. This made the other gods laugh but it was enough for Hiruko to peep outside of his cave. As he drew a little closer, mesmerised by Sama's dance, the other gods grabbed him and hauled him out.

AWATSU: God of the Sea

Awatsu was the first immortal to be born from the Divine Couple Zanagi and Zanami. He is the patron of the sea and controls its tides and currents. It is said that with his spouse, Shina the Goddess of Wind, he can create great storms that lash the coastlines of the world and it is only Shina that can calm him down again. Awatsu is usually portrayed as a tall, slender man with an immeasurably long white beard, and long white hair with a bald crown. He may also assume the form of any marine life, such as a fish (typically a koi carp) or swan. Alternatively he may transform himself into a whirlpool, a tidal wave, or a huge sea monster or whale.

SHINA: Goddess of Wind

Shina is the spouse of Awatsu and the first daughter of Zanagi and Zanami. With the birth of the Wind-deity it is said that the clouds and mists that hung over the World were immediately dispersed. Shina fills the empty space between heaven and earth. Shina is commonly portrayed as a gloriously beautiful young woman whose long hair is forever in motion. She may take the form of a tornado, a cloud, or any other weather phenomenon as well as a Human of either sex and age. Shina can also assume the form of any bird.

SAMA: Goddess of Fertility, Love and Happiness

Sama is the sister of Shina, Goddess of Wind, and is the goddess of fertility, love and happiness, as well as compassion and mercy. In the age of the gods it is said that she performed a bawdy dance hoping to entice the Sun God out of hiding (this dance symbolises the planting of seed which waits for the sun come after winter). The Sun God did indeed come out of hiding, mesmerised by the beauty of Sama. Sama is portrayed as a beautiful young maiden, but she can also take the form of an equally beautiful butterfly with wings of many different colours.

NUSHI: God of Sorcery and Medicine

Nushi is the patron of sorcery, wizardry, and all kinds of magicks. He is also seen as a patron of chemists. Nushi is the brother of Awatsu and is the most magically proficient of all the Gods of Nippon. Nushi is often portrayed as a man of intermediate age with a kindly face. His kimono is patterned with all kinds of cosmic symbols and in his right hand he carries a beautiful fan. It is said that when Nushi flaps this fan the winds of magic blow thus allowing his followers to cast spells.

MIKAZUKI: God of Thunder, Storms and Rain

Mikazuki is the god of thunder, storms and rain. It is he whom causes the rains to come and for lightning to strike the land and for thunder to rumble noisily across the heavens. It is said that Mikazuki was born noisy and, in order to quiet him, the other gods carry him up and down a ladder, which is why one can hear him receding and approaching. Mikazuki is sometimes portrayed as a young man sitting, cross-legged, upon a cloud with a bolt of lightning held in one hand. It is said that when he is displeased he throws this bolt of lightning down from the heavens.

HACHIMAN: God of War and Loyalty

Hachiman is not only the patron of war and loyalty, but is also a guardian of Men where, it is said, he protects people from demons. Hachiman is the son of Nushi, the Sorcerer God, and it is said that he was created from his conjurations. Hachiman is often portrayed wearing a wheel of fire like a halo, which some see as the Wheel of Fate. He is the archetypal warrior-god and has many forms. He can assume the form of a fire-breathing dragon or a Human of either sex and age.

KAGUNARI: God of Farming and Rice

Kagunari is the patron of farming, rice, honest hard work and labour, and the protector of farmers. He is the brother of Mikazuki and is said to have sown the first seeds on Nippon and invented rice and was the first to cook it. Kagunari is portrayed clad in tatty clothes and wearing the humble straw coat of the Eastern farmer. Also his hands are often dirty. It is said that whenever there is a draught, and the crops fail, Kagnuari has in some way offended his brother, the thunder and rain god Mikazuki. The farmer-god uses foxes for his messengers.


Amatsu is said to be one of the two infants discarded by Zanagi and Zanami when the Divine Couple first cohabited together on the new World. Being conceived outside the pure ways set by the Divine Creator, Amatsu was as twisted an immortal as a demon was evil. For many eons, Amatsu has remained bitter and now has a following of his own. His worship has many aspects most of which is to do with the spilling of blood. To everyone Amatsu is seen as the bringer of evil in all shapes and forms, from the mutants lurking in the forests to the fanged goblinoids raiding the villages of the daimyo.



The Gods of Chaos are just as reviled in the East as they are in the West and death is the only reward to anyone who is found to be in league with them. Their worship is never conducted openly, unless it is in the sparse plains of northern Cathay or the remoter areas of Nippon where the Shogun typically does not concern himself. Tzeentch and Khorne both have their influence. The former is known to the East as Tsien-Tsin Lord of the Fifteen Devils or Master of the Five Elements. He is known to have many followers in Imperial Cathay where court intrigue is of a much more higher level than it is in the military dictatorship of Nippon the Land of the Sword. The latter is known as Great Gojira. His worship is not especially popular among the higher echelons of Imperial Cathay, except for maybe the jungles of the west, but in Nippon it is known that his followers are strong and gaining strength. Nurgle, known as Onogal, appears to have devout followers in those where there is no hope, such as the downtrodden under-classes or those afflicted with disease. The worship of Slaanesh, known as Shornaal, has come from Cathay and is steadily growing especially in the houses of the rich and there are many secret cults dedicated to his reverence. Who knows how many of the geisha secretly worship the Lord of Pleasure?


The cults of Haendryk and Manann, two of the most prominent Old Worlder religions to reach Nippon via Marienburg merchants, are on reasonably good terms with the major faith of Nippon, not least because the friendship is based more on trade than any real warm friendship. In fact some priests of Jinto see Haendryk and Manann as kami: the former representing the acumination of wealth and the latter representing the sea. Sigmar is reasonably well known, at least by one or two in the port cities, as the dominant deity of one of the most powerful human nations in the world. The other deities of the Old World are more or less unknown and only a few people will have heard of the likes of Ulric, Taal, Verena, Morr et al.