Shintō deities are generally called KAMI 神 or SHIN 神.

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In the Kojiki 古事記 (712 AD), Japan’s oldest extant document, the first land mass (Onogoro Shima or Onokoro Shima 磤馭慮島, or “self-congealing island”) was formed when the creation gods stirred the primordial oceans, causing salt to separate from the brine.

Sumo wrestling began as a Shinto ritual to pray for a bountiful harvest.

The tossing of salt before individual bouts (a purification rite), and the opening and closing Sumo ceremonies, all reflect Sumo’s Shinto origin.

Salt is scattered in quantity by sumo wrestlers before each bout to purify themselves and the sumo ring (dohyo).

Restaurants may place small piles of salt at the entrance to their eateries.

The origin of placing salt piles outside restaurants, some say, was to encourage wealthy clients to enter the establishment -- they rode horseback in the old days, and horses love salt. According to one Chinese story, the Chinese emperor had many wives, who he would visit in turns.The act of cleansing or exorcising impurity is called Misogi 禊 or Misogi Harai 禊祓い, and the actual washing of hands with water is called Temizu 手水.An associated term is Imi 忌, meaning “abstention from defilement.” Most large shrines have a stone wash basin where worshippers and casual visitors rinse their mouth and hands before approaching the deity (most people no longer rinse their mouth).Mori-shio may also be put at the four corners of a plot to purify the area (especially before one moves in).Elsewhere, Japanese sprinkle salt over the shoulder after attending a funeral (although funerals are typically Buddhist affairs, a small package of salt is always given to mourners who attend the funeral ceremony).First the left and then the right hand is rinsed with water at the purification font, then the mouth is rinsed with water from the left hand.