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in the Shinto religion of Japan, a representation either in painting or sculpture of a kami (god or sacred power). The Shinto religion did not have a tradition of iconic representation, but under the influence of Buddhism a few anthropomorphic images began to be created in the Heian period (794-1185). Notable examples are the late 9th-century wooden statues in the Matsunoo Jinja at Kyoto. Paintings of Shinto kami became more common in the Kamakura period (1192-1333) with the development of the syncretic Shinto-Buddhist school of Ryobu Shinto (q.v.).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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