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day; sky; heaven
God; unusual; mysterious; soul; spirit; divine essence; lively; spiritual being
simp. and trad.




  1. god; godhead; divinity


Kanji in this term
Grade: 1
Grade: 3

Etymology 1Edit

From Sinitic 天神. Date of borrowing unknown. Compare modern Mandarin 天神 (“god, godhead, divinity”).


Usage notesEdit

Less commonly read using the kan'on reading tenshin: [tẽ̞ɲ̟ɕĩɴ][2][3]


天神: an umeboshi
天神: the hairstyle

天神 (hiragana てんじん, rōmaji Tenjin)

  1. (mythology, Shinto): the Japanese gods of the heavens
  2. a noble wearing ordinary robes (robes not dyed to match the wearer's rank)
  3. an umeboshi (from the way that Sugawara no Michizane (see Proper noun below) was very fond of ume)
  4. an umeboshi pit
  5. short for 天神髷 (tenjin mage) or 天神結び (tenjin musubi), a certain kind of bow-shaped topknot or bun hairstyle worn by women, popular in the late 1800s
  • (gods): 天つ神 (あまつかみ, ​ama tsu kami)
  • (umeboshi): 梅干し (うめぼし, ​umeboshi)
  • (hairstyle): 天神髷 (てんじんまげ, ​tenjin mage)
  • (hairstyle): 天神結び (てんじんむすび, ​tenjin musubi)
Derived termsEdit
Further readingEdit

Proper nounEdit

天神: Sugawara no Michizane
天神: Tenjin-san, the Tenman-gū shrine to Sugawara no Michizane in Kitano
天神: Tenjin Station in downtown Fukuoka

天神 (hiragana てんじん, rōmaji Tenjin)

  1. the Shinto kami of scholarship, the deification of Sugawara no Michizane (845-903 CE), a scholar, poet, and politician
  2. a shrine dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane
  3. one of the traditional Noh masks, depicting one of the 鬼神 (onigami; kijin, fierce gods) as the vengeful spirit of Sugawara no Michizane, the lead role in the 雷電 (Raiden) piece
  4. an area in downtown Fukuoka
  • (shrine): 天満宮 (てんまんぐう, ​Tenman-gū)
Derived termsEdit
Further readingEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Phrase consisting of (ama, the heavens) +‎ (tsu, Old Japanese possessive particle) +‎ (kami, god, gods).[2][3]

More commonly written with the tsu explicitly spelled out in hiragana, as 天つ神.


Alternative formsEdit


天神 (hiragana あまつかみ, rōmaji ama tsu kami)

  1. (mythology, Shinto): the Japanese gods of the heavens
Coordinate termsEdit
Further readingEdit


  1. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN
  2. 2.0 2.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  3. 3.0 3.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN