Hearth deity

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  • Other Names: hinukan ganashi, umichimun
  • Japanese/Okinawan: 火の神 (hi no kami / fii nu kan)

The fii nu kan (lit. "god/spirit of fire") was a traditional deity in the native Ryukyuan religion.

Possibly possessing connection to the worship of the sun (O: tiida), the fire deity took main forms: the official/governmental fire deity (J: seiji hi-no-kami) maintained by the kikoe-ôgimi, and the household hearth deity (J: minzoku hi-no-kami). The latter is enshrined in the kitchen, and oversees the protection of the family and household. Traditionally, on 12/24 on the lunar calendar each year, the hearth deity was believed to travel up to heaven to report on the events of the year, returning on the 4th or 5th of the first month. Additional fire deities watched over individual villages.


  • "Hinokami." Okinawa Compact Encyclopedia 沖縄コンパクト事典. Ryukyu Shimpo, 1 March 2003.
  • Smits, Gregory. Visions of Ryukyu: Identity and Ideology in Early-Modern Thought and Politics. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1999. p165.