Thank you, David, for picking up on my comment. I am very interested in how all this connects to training, but it will take me a while to study these threads! In the meantime, I will answer briefly to your kind question. Before I went to Japan, I used to study some Japanesse literature on the subway returning from class in NYC, so of course I was fascinated by the things Peter Shapiro and Saotome Sensei were bringing up in discussions after "foreigners' class" at Aikikai Hombu. Peter just was announced Sixth Dan on the Aikikai Kagami Biraki promotions announcements this past winter, quoted here on Aiki Web. He has been teaching in France and has a fascinating website which I should revisit soon..... So thanks for asking!
Peter, our senpai, now of course Shapiro Sensei requested Hombu Dojo for Saotome Sensei to be the "foreign students class" instructor because Saotome Sensei had been interested in what O Sensei was teaching about Shinto. Peter was also studying in Shingu with Hikitsuchi Sensei, who was officially registered or not as such, a Shinto Priest.
Peter mentioned the Kojiki, so I bought a copy in English, also the Nihongi. So I mainly know of these things as literature, mythology and of course some of it is actual history.
Various teachers here who were direct students of the Founder have taught Furutama, but when Hikitsuchi Sensei was visiting New Haven before or after he gave an exhibition at Yale, he taught the names of Kami, which were chanted during Furutama. They were, if I remember correctly, Ama Terasu O Mikami, O Harai Do no Okami, and Ame No Minaka Nushi no Okami. This Furutama was practiced between the three Funakogi Undo, boat rowing exercise left and right I forget which order and which side was done twice. So I don't remember everything! However, I think it started in left hanmi.
Some things we never forget, although a little fuzzy at times as to exact details in the mists of time in my elderly brain
Hikitsuchi Sensei's students are still around in the US, for example Mary Heiny, who has visited the Southeast! She will be at Bond Street Dojo on the 20th of October, I think, but I don't think we can make it due to work and financial obligations, but I would love to meet her again someday! She is charming and from what I hear, a great teacher.
Another person who might know of the connection between Shinto and the actual
Aikido techniques is Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan who has been mentioned in many threads, I should look those up too. I met him in training camps years ago and wonder whether he has connected Saotome Sensei's teaching with some things I hear he has shared with "The Internal Power People" (Please excuse the paraphrase, I don't mean to be disrespectful, I am just curious as to how this all connects. As I said, I am still studying the threads) Or you might have an opportunity to speak with Saotome Sensei directly. He lives in Florida, and perhaps you can visit one of his affiliated dojo when he is there. He still travels many places in the US from what I read.
Thanks again, I might write a little more later, but will send this now to keep the conversation going, as I am very interested in your question where I learned the Shinto terms!