Bunrei or wakemitama (分霊) is a Shinto technical term that indicates both the process of dividing a Shinto kami to be re-enshrined somewhere else (such as a house's kamidana), and the spirit itself produced by the division.[1] Shrines conduct bunrei to distribute them to "child" shrines elsewhere.[2] The spirit of kami does not decrease through this act, and a bunrei functions the same way as the original spirit.[3] The reason for conducting bunrei is often to make a kami more accessible to worshipers far from the main shrine.

For details, see the article about the similar term Kanjō.


  1. ^ Smyers, Karen Ann (1999). The Fox and the Jewel: Shared and Private Meanings in Contemporary Japanese Inari Worship. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824820589.
  2. ^ "「分霊」の意味や使い方 わかりやすく解説 Weblio辞書". www.weblio.jp (in Japanese).
  3. ^ "これで納得! 同じ名前の神社がたくさんある理由 ~同じ名前の神様がたくさんいるの?~ – 早稲田神社". wasedajinja.jp (in Japanese).