kannushi 神主 shinshoku 神職
Kannushi (“god master”), also called shinshoku (“god’s employee”), is a person responsible for the maintenance of a Shintô shrine as well as for leading worship of a given kami (“gods”). Originally, the kannushi were intermediaries between kami and could transmit their will to common humans. A kannushi was a man capable of miracles or a holy man who, because of his practice of purificatory rites, was able to work as a medium for a kami. Later the term evolved to being synonymous with shinshoku, that is, a man who works at a shrine and holds religious ceremonies there.