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Aramitama (荒魂; literally "brazen soul" or "uncultured spirit") is a Shintoism concept regarding a deity's state of mind. This belief refers to a deity's harsh and frequently cruel behavior. When a deity is within this state, they will desire havoc and decay to anything within their reach. The balance between Heaven and earth tips towards chaos, sickness becomes rampant, and people will never know rest.
Catalysts for swaying a deity towards Aramitama vary and are highly disputed. One argued reason is that a deity has been neglected or ignored by people and unleashes its wrath in anger. Another may be that a deity has been cursed, and their rationality has been defiled. Geographical changes, dispute with other spirits, and/or a deity's fickleness are some of the other proposed triggers.
The concept is conjoined with Nigimitama (和魂), or "calm soul", which is a deity's nurturing side. When a deity invokes this part of their spirit, they grant the land its blessings peacefully and gently watch over its inhabitants. A deity's personality is said to only consist of these two extremes at all times, a trait which separates them from the variety of attitudes found in people and other living beings.
In its simplest form, Aramitama is used by a deity to create and reshape the world; Nigimitama nourishes the land with mercy. This concept is thought to have been a prominent ratification for the hundreds of festivals and religious shrines created in medieval times. People would celebrate in a deity's honor to protect their homes and to avoid a deity's Aramitama. Shintoism argues that the same principles can also be applied to people, although the version used to identify people complicates the rhythm between Aramitama and Nigimitama by adding several other "faces" into the mix.
Both terms share parallels to the yin-yang philosophy; Aramitama is comparable to yang and Nigimitama acts as its yin.
Role in GameEdit
Deities in their Aramitama state act as "the monsters" who attack the party in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 4, taking the place of vengeful spirits commonly found throughout the series. Normally deities are content to watch people from afar and rarely left their dwelling. However, when the Black Dragon awakened within the parallel world, it coated the land with defilements and curses. The power was too much for lesser deities to handle, many of them manifesting as wild beasts whom terrorize the land.
At first the outbreak was mainly contained at Tokoyo no Kuni. Once Tokoyo no Kuni's forces toppled Nakatsu Kuni's kingdom, the Black Dragon's spirit was able to corrupt the other country. The hundreds of deities who once protected the land in secret became mindless and destructive. Even powerful guardian deities began to succumb to the Black Dragon's desire for destruction. Others were manipulated against their will with curses cast by Tokoyo no Kuni's generals, a penetrating weakness for any deity or spirit.
If a deity is physically weakened, Chihiro has the power to observe the depths of their soul. She can use her powers to return the deity to their calmed state. When a deity is calmed, they may continue their previous duties or choose slumber. In very rare occasions, she receives supplementary aid from the White Dragon to purify the malevolent energies within them.
The Black Dragon's spiritual defilements also affected the minds of people, whether they are aware of it or not. If a person should succumb to their most fetid and spiteful desires, their soul may be converted to a Aramitama state. People who died with hatred in their hearts may also rise again as Aramitama. In this case, their physical features do not change and they keep their consciousness. However, they will always be heartless to those around them. Anyone with high spiritual capabilities can sense the negative energies surrounding them and can distinguish them from other people.
Unlike deities, it is nigh impossible to bring these people back to a peaceful state. Their every thought will forever be consumed with jealousy, loathing, and misery. A swift death for those who have changed is considered to be a merciful end.