Kamidana (神棚 kami-dana, "god-shelf") are miniature altars built to enshrine a Shinto kami within a household.
The kamidana is typically placed high on a wall and contains a wide variety of items related to Shinto-style ceremonies, the most prominent of which is the "shintai", an object meant to house a chosen kami. Kamidana shintai are most commonly small circular mirrors, though they can also be stones (magatama), jewels, or some other object with largely symbolic value. Failing that, an ofuda, a type of charm, can also be used.
The kami within the shintai is often the deity of the local shrine or one particular to the house owner's profession.
- Motoko Aoyama keeps a Kamidana in her room a the Hinata House although it is unknown which deity is stored within it.
- Worship at the kamidana typically consists of the offering of simple prayers, food (e.g., rice, fruit, water) and flowers. Before worshiping at the kamidana it is ritually important for family members to cleanse their hands.
- When an ofuda is enshrined in a kamidana there are several rules which must be followed to ensure proper installation:
- First, a kamidana cannot be set up on the ground or at eye level. It must be above an ordinary person's eye level.
- Second, a kamidana cannot be set up over an entrance, but must be built into a space which people will not walk under.
- Finally, when an ofuda is enshrined in a kamidana, after removing the pouch it is customary to leave an offering of water, liquor, or food in front of the kamidana, which should be renewed regularly.