Immortal Wishes, pp. 30-32)
spirit mediumship is prominent in the Tsugaru
region and has long associations with Akakura mountain, where
many mediums undertake ascetic discipline (shugyo)
At times, "kamisama" (literally, divine being) mediums
may speak for the dead or for ancestors, and may engage in healing
rituals. Kamisama at times are linked to established Shinto shrines,
and at times are associated with independent shrines and religious
establishments; many practice without formal affiliation to larger
the Tsugaru region, kamisama are often contrasted with the more
famous Itako spirit mediums, who are
often blind and who belong to an overarching association. In contrast
to itako, who have usually undergone severe spiritual training
since adolescence, "kamisama" are generally not called
to spiritual service until maturity or middle age, often following
a severe illness or family crisis.
practice, there is a good deal of overlap between "itako"
and "kamisama" mediumship, and at times individual practioners
have moved from one status to another.
the many rituals associated with kamisama is the Cooking
Pot (Kamado) rite, which has been incorporated into the annual
ritual cycle at Akakura Mountain Shrine.
mediums usually are guided by tutelary deities, such as Ryujinsama
(the Dragon) or Fudo Myoo.
kamisama spirit mediums at Akakura