Definition of Onmyōdō


Onmyōdō (陰陽 道, The Way of Yin and Yang) is a traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology that combines natural science and occultism. It is based on the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang and the five elements (Wu Xing) and the practice of shikigami, divination, alchemy and the use of ofuda. It was introduced in Japan in the early sixth century and evolved under the influence of Buddhism, Shintoism and Taoism, to become the system of onmyōdō in the late seventh century. It was accepted as a practical system of divination until it was prohibited as superstition in the mid-nineteenth century. During its pinacle, it was under the control of the imperial government, and later, its courtiers, the Tsuchimikado family. The ban was finally lifted in 2006 and the study of onmyōdō is permitted again.

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