- The honorific prefix go- is attached to a word to indicate that the speaker is humbling him or herself before the thing to which the word refers, as if before an emperor. It is part of the 'super-polite' level of speech in Japanese, reserved for dealing with the highest ranks or for comprehensively humbling oneself in relation to another. 'Go-' (like o-, or mi-) is sometimes translated into English as 'August' 'Honourable' etc. but it really indicates that the word it prefixes is being uttered with deep respect. Thus the word 'go-shintai' implies an attitude of reverence towards a shintai. Such an attitude is central to worship in Shinto as in other religions, and honorific language naturally abounds. Some Shinto terms prefixed with honorifics are listed under their main word in this dictionary, e.g. for 'go-bunrei' (divided spirit) see Bunrei, while others are not (e.g. o-fuda, o-mamori are listed as written). If in doubt, the index at the end of the dictionary lists variants.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.