These are a small number of Japanese Shinto Kami deities who were persuaded to become Buddhist for syncretist publicity purposes.
The idea was to convince Shinto worshipers that their old traditional deities were compatible with Buddhism. Just as Christianity did with any rival pantheons it came across, these old Kami deities were renamed, repurposed and requisitioned in the name of the Buddha. See for example Zaō Gongen and Izusan Gongen.
This Buddhist/Shinto syncretism was called shinbutsu-shūgō. It wasn’t really a happy fit and we suspect not many people were convinced. The practice was eventually outlawed and nowadays the deities concerned prefer not to talk about it.
Gongen Facts and Figures
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Gonge
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present
Role: Unknown at present
Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 1859
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Article last revised on November 19, 2018 by the Godchecker data dwarves.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.