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Glossary of Japanese Terminology
in Spiritual/Healing Arts

Copyright © 2002/3 James Deacon

G.. H.. I.. J.. K . . .
[ A - F.... M - R.... S - Z ]

Gaki a 'hungry ghost'
Ga kudoku riki Merit produced by individual through the practice of sammitsu
Gaman Patience
A ritual gesture formed by placing the hands together in a prayer-like position in front of the mouth - the fingertips at a level just below the nose. 'Gassho' implies recognition of the oneness of all beings. This gesture is also used to show reverence to Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Patriarchs & Teachers
Gassho Kokyu-Ho 'Gassho Breathing Method' - the practice of 'breathing' through the hands while in the Gassho position
Gassho Meiso Gassho Meditation
Gedatsu Attainment of absolute freedom - a state in which one is no longer a slave to desire
Gense riyaku receiving worldly benefits (eg. healing and relief from other forms of suffering) from the Buddha
Godai Japanese term for the Buddhist 'Five Elements': Earth, Water, Fire, Wind/Air, Sky/Void. (not to be confused with the Chinese Five Elements)
Gogai 'The Five Entrapments': the five 'evil passions' (Skt. klesha, Jp.bonnou) that entrap our minds, thus, keeping us from noticing, practicing upon & polishing our Buddha natures: Tonyokugai (avarice, greed);
Shinnigai (evil hatred); Konjin Zuimengai (a mind asleep in ignorance):
Jousokugai (a restless mind); Gigai (a doubtful mind)
Gohogo The mantra to Kobo Daishi - founder of Shingon Buddhism:
"namu daishi henjo kongo"
Gohonzon mandala of Lotus Sutra, created by Nichiren Shonin
the mystic practice of recitation of jumon / shin(gon) - ie. mantras, and dharani. One element of the 'three mysteries' (sammitsu)
Goshintai Most Shinto shrines have a goshintai or symbol that embodies the particular kami. Probably the most common form of goshintai is a mirror (yada-no-kagami).
Hannya Shingyo The Heart Sutra
Hara 'Belly' - the extended area between the top of the pubic bone and the base of the sternum. In Japanese thought, hara is the seat of the individual's ki - their vital power.
Haragei Force of Personality; expressing yourself without recourse to gesture or word
Hijiri a mendicant
Hojin [skt. sambhogakaya] the 'Bliss Body' or 'Reward Body'
Hokkai riki the power of the Dharmakaya - the Dharma Universe
Honzon the main image in a shrine or temple
Hosshin [skt. dharmakaya] the Dharma Body
Hotoke sama deceased ancestors, literally "venerable buddhas"

Hyakumanben juzu

special rosary (nenju/ juzu) for the reciting of the Nembutsu 1,000,000 times
Hyobyaku invocation
Ikiryo A living ghost. The evil spirit of a living person which leaves the body and haunts others without the owner being aware
Imitsu the mystic practice of meditative focus (nenriki) & visualisation; and cultivation of faith. One element of the 'three mysteries' (sammitsu)
Inga ritsu cause and effect - a similar concept to katsuma
In(gei) A sign or symbolic gesture - a form of mudra
Emblematic symbol composed of sun-disc, moon-crescent and the kanji for Tiger & Dragon - representative of the dynamic interplay of complimentary opposites.
Equivalent of the Chinese Yin-Yang (In = Yin, Yo =Yang)
In-zou a hand-sign; mudra
Iruka-no-kokyo 'Dolphin Breath' or 'Dolphin Breathing'
Isshen-funi oneness- non-duality of matter-mind
Ja ki negative energy which 'burdens' the keiraku (meridians) and creates kyo ( empty) conditions.
Jaki kiri joka ho

Technique for 'energetic cleansing' of inanimate objects.
NOT to be used on living things: people, plants or animals
[This technique seems to be derived from a more involved practice called the 'Ki Barai']


'evil teaching' - refers to unapproved / heretical teachings & beliefs. Often applied to a cult.

Jikikoki Incense eating goblins. The souls of those who sold bad incense during their lives and are condemned to seek sustenance solely in incense smoke
Jikininki spirits of the dead who, because they were so greedy in life, have become corpse-eating demons. Despising what they have become, Jikininki long for release, and, with gifts of gold and silver, stolen from tombs, they have been known to bribe warriors to kill them.
Jinja a Shinto shrine
Jinshin 'Profound Mind'
Jinki 'Human-Energy': personal seiki.
Jiriki 'self power' results achieved through personal effort - contrasts with and complements tariki
Jishin compassion
Jitsu excess energy in a keiraku (energy meridian)
A Mantra or Sacred Invocation; a magic spell
Junmitsu Tantric practices for attaining Liberation (Shingon)
also Nenju
Japanese Buddhist Rosary
Ka 'Fire' - the fire-aspect of the Godai 'Five Elements'
Kaigen Spiritual Awakening, enlightenment, wisdom
Kaji Faith-healing, incantation - a meditative process for transfer of merit/grace & healing through esoteric unionand 'mutual-empowerment' with a Deity
Kami a Shinto deity or 'numinous being'
Kanashibari Sleep paralysis (often fatal), caused by a vengeful child ghost.
Kanji A Chinese ideogrammatic character used to write Japanese. Also the simplified version of these characters, developed in Japan in the 1940's
Kanjo The transmission of an attunement-empowerment from a Master. There are different types of Kanjo, including ones to prepare or protect a student during the undertaking of certain difficult training disciplines or special studies
Kannushi a Shinto Priest
Kantoku Illuminating visionary mystical state - brought about by practice of strict ascetic mystical disciplines including fasting, isolation, meditation & the use of incantation and mudra-like techniques
Katsuma 'Action' - the law of cause and effect. In the art of Tenchi Seiki Te-Ate, the primarily focus on Katsuma is in an aetiological sense: inquiry into the origin/causation of dis-ease & disorder
Keiraku Japanese term for an energy path or 'meridian'
Ketsu-in A Mudra - a Ritual Gesture
Ki Often translated simply as "Life-Force Energy", Ki also means Heart, Mind, Intent; and implies 'Spiritedness', 'Feelings', or the effect of energy in action
Ki Barai

A form of 'Blessing' - the Ki Barai is a ceremony performed on special occasions to "bless", or to clear away, all negative influences - be it from a new building, ones home, a meeting place, etc. Ki Barai can also be of value when meeting people you are unsure of, travelling, or on entering a situation that might prove compromising or challenging. It is especiallu employed to protect oneself and others from immanent danger.

The Ki Barai is always enacted above the person's head, or over the roof of the building, etc. - never 'projected' directly into the place or person
[Probably the origin of the Reiki technique: Jaki Kiri Joka Ho]

Ki jutsu 'Energetic Arts' - Collective term for Japanese disciplines concerned with the development, strengthening and refinement of 'Ki'
Ki ko Japanese name for the Chinese Art of Chi Gung (Qi Gong)
Kiriku Pronounced: k'rik - the 'spiritual emblem' of Amida Butsu, and probable origin of the second of the four Usui Reiki symbols - Sei Heiki
Ko 'Tiger'
Kogo no kokyo 'Alternate Breath' or 'Alternate Breathing'
Koki Ho 'Exhalation (Koki) Method' - technique of healing with the breath
Kokoro Heart, Spirit, Will or Mind
Kokoro no kokyu 'The Heart's Breath' - a meditation practice: emanating Love, Gratitude and Compassion
Kokyu Ho Breathing Techniques for Development, Strengthening and Purification of Ki
Koriki spiritual power gained through Buddhist disciplines
'Word-Spirit' - Shinto practice involving the intonation of individual syllables and vowel-sounds
Ku Sky/'Void' - the etheric-aspect of the Godai 'Five Elements'
Kuden The passing on of the inner significance of symbols and practices. Also, the manner in which the teaching is delivered - the different experiences & events leading up to & occurring after it. Kuden is an experiental phenomenon, transforming mere 'information' into living, practical wisdom

Kufu, or 'naturalness in bodily action'-a state in which ones body is allowed to manifest 'perfect action', i.e., allowed to express the total harmony of its natural coordinations, unfettered by the intervention of ones conscious mind. However, the concept of kufu does not preclude training.

Kuji-in 'The Nine Signs' - recitation of the sacred nine-word jumon: "Rin-Pyo-To-Sha-Kai-Jin-Retsu-Zai-Zen" combined with the performance of nine accompanying ketsu-in, and relevant nenriki visualisation. An outgrowth of sammitsu
Kuji-goshin-ho 'Spiritual protection by the nine syllables of power' - alternative name for Kuji-in
Kuji-no-in Alternative name for Kuji-in
Kuji-kiri 'Cutting of the Nine Signs'
the mystic practice of recitation of jumon / shin(gon) - ie. mantras, and dharani. One element of the 'three mysteries' (sammitsu)
Kutai the ability to clearly identify the true root cause of any given manifestation of suffering
Kyo energy deficiency in a keiraku (energy meridian)
Kyuketsuki A Japanese vampire. Often, a person who has been buried in a piece of cursed ground, or has died without releasing their final breath, may become a Kyuketsuki. While they will attack anyone if the opportunity presents itself, Kyuketsuki prefer to prey on members of their own family or clan.

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