The meaning of kamisama (神様) and how to use it

This article will give you all of the knowledge you need on the Japanese word kamisama, including its Japanese definition and translation, example sentences, related expressions and more!

What does kamisama mean?

Kamisama (神様、かみさま) means god in Japanese. As is the case in English, kamisama can refer to a godly being/deity or to someone who is godlike at a certain activity (e.g., the god of baseball).

The word kamisama breaks down as kami (神; god) and sama (様; an honorific to show respect). Accordingly, you will often see kami appear on its own too, signifying essentially the same thing.

Japan has many traditional gods and deities, as shown by the vast number of shrines around the country. For historical reasons and owing to its Buddhist heritage, Japan does not have a large number of Christians or those of other monotheistic faiths.

However, Japanese Christians do use the words kami and kamisama to refer to God. Without further ado, let’s look at some example sentences below that include both terms.

Kamisama meaning 1: A god

Kamisama or kami mean a god or deity in Japanese.

To make it easier for you, I have written each sentence in full Japanese kanji in the first line, followed by roman letters (romaji), and hiragana, with the English meaning coming last.

Nihon no kamisama ni tsuite shiru koto wa nihon wo shiru koto.
To know Japan’s gods is to know Japan.

Iesu kurisuto wa, hito de ari kami desu.
Jesus Christ is both human and a god.

Watashi wa shuukyouteki de wa nai kedo, kamisama ga iru to omou.
I’m not religious, but I do think God exists.

Nihon ni wa naze, takusan no kamisama ga irassharu no?
Why does Japan have so many gods?

Nihon wa mushuukyou no hito ga ooi ga, dentou toshite takusan no kamisama ga nokotteiru.
There are many non-religious people in Japan, but there a still a lot of gods as a matter of tradition.

Kamisama or kami mean a god or deity in Japanese.

Kamisama meaning 2: A master, an ace

Babe Ruth no koto wa yakyu no kamisama to mo yoku iwareteiru.
Babe Ruth is often also known as the god of baseball.

Kanojo wa ryouri ga jyouzu de, gurume no kamisama no you na sonzai.
She is so good at cooking, like some kind of goddess of gourmet food.

Mukashi kara Diego Maradona wa sakkaa no kamisama to yobareteiru.
Diego Maradona has long been called a footballing god.

Kami: When someone has done you a solid

In casual Japanese, when someone has done something kind or generous you can call them a kami as a way of thanking them for doing you a solid. Obviously, this is an informal usage that should only be used with friends.

Kyou wa hontou ni arigatou. Maji de kami da!
Thanks so much for today. You really did me a solid.