How is it that Shinigami come into being? If there was no way for them to come into existence(in the human world), would they just slowly die away when any of them kill for love? Also, can Shinigami die of old age?

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    I'll make this a comment since i can't answer the main question. Ryuk states when talking about how Shinigami work that they wont die if they aren't too lazy, remember, a Shinigami who uses a death note to kill a person, the difference between the victim's old life span and new life span is added to the Shinigami's own lifespan. it works in reverse too, when a Shinigami dies because they prevented a human from dying at their assigned time the dead Shinigami's lifespan is added to the human's (as Rem explains to Misa) – Memor-X Apr 17 '14 at 1:56
  • @Memor-X Why can you not answer the main Q? – Cyberson Apr 17 '14 at 2:38
  • because i don't know how Shinigami actually came to be in Death Note – Memor-X Apr 17 '14 at 2:43
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    It's a work of fiction, they came into existence because the authors wanted it that way. – noko May 19 '14 at 22:50
  • @noko I wanted to know how they come into existence within the Deathnote universe. – Cyberson May 19 '14 at 23:17

Shinigami, or death gods, rule the world of Death Note. A shinigami's purpose in life is to kill humans to extend their own lifespan, through the use of a death note.

Well, as you have already noticed, there are many different definitions of shinigami. The word is usually translated as "god of death", so you can think of them like grim reapers. And since the word "grim reaper" is also used for a variety of things, you can see how this can get interesting. There is no set definition for what a shinigami is, so the writers of different shows can just make things up. For your story, you get to decide whether you have to die to become a shinigami, and you get to decide whether certain people become shinigami.

In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, the word Shinigami is used to refer to a character whose friends and family kept dying. It's a really loose word.

But if you're asking specifically about Death Note.... In Death Note, the shinigami do not have to die and they are not people who have become shinigami. The manga doesn't really go into the history of the shinigami, but it is implied that they have been shinigami for the entirety of their existence.

One of many stories about Shinigami coming to existence is :

The Shinigamis become how they are because they commited suicide and as punishment they have to collect souls. If a shinigami fully remembers his or her past life before becoming a full shinigami, he or she disappears and becomes a ghost. They become full shinigamis by collecting their first soul. Personally, I think this is more easy to understand.

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    what is the source for your quote? – Cyberson Apr 17 '14 at 21:43
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    Source appears to be this passage on the wiki page for Full Moon o Sagashite (why tho?) – Hakase Apr 17 '14 at 23:53
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    Almost all of this answer does not answer the question, which asks how shinigami come into existence in Death Note. – senshin Apr 18 '14 at 1:26
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    @senshin I have to agree this does not really answer the question since it is directed at Death Note Shinigamis, and not just Shinigamis in general. – Cyberson Apr 18 '14 at 21:06
  • @cyberson what exactly do you want to know? how shinigami came to existence in death note or in general?? – Elysium Apr 19 '14 at 5:54

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