Shintoism in History

Good Essays
A thousand torches blaze with fire in dozens of cities and towns in Japan. It is January 15th, the start of the lunar year. Before World War II, the emperor of Japan used to light fires twice a year at the four corners of his palace in homage to Kagutsuchi, the God of Fire. Today, temples across the country continue to celebrate the fire festivals, known as Dosojin Matsuri, to honor the fire deities and ask for favors. Shintoism is not a normal religion. In modern perspective, it resembles the views of many modern pagan religions—for instance Wicca—in the sense that it involves ideas like animism, shamanism and the existence of a spiritual world; nevertheless, Shintoism, unlike western modern paganism, is deeply rooted in Japanese culture including its literature.
Shintoism has no founder ,and the history behind the technicalities of the rise of Shinto are rather obscure. Experts don't agree as to when Shinto became a unified religion more than just a label to give to the different faiths of Japan. Before the arrival of Buddhism, Shinto referred to the many local cults of the prehistoric Japanese people. These people were animists; devoted to the worship of nature and spirits. These spirits were the Kami; found in living things, nonliving things and natural phenomena. The early Japanese created a spiritual world—and rituals and stories to accompany it—that seemingly gave them control of their lives. It wasn't considered a religion at those times, early Japanese people regarded their faith as a commonality as a part of the natural world. The realms of Earth and the supernatural were closely integrated into each other for them. (“Religions”)
In the 6th century C.E, Confucianism and, more importantly, Buddhism arrived i...

... middle of paper ...

... history of the Japanese Islands. The texts where compiled during the 8th Century and are not directly related to shinto doctrine. They are, nevertheless, a collection of mythological narratives and historical chronicles that informe about the cultural traditions of early Japan.

Works Cited
“Religions.” BBC News. BBC, 30 Nov. 2009. Web. 29 Nov. 2013.
Operation Cooperation. “Shinto.” Oracle Thinkquest. n.d. Web 01 December 2013.
"Shinto in History."Shinto in History: Ways of the Kami. Ed. John Breween and Mark Teeuwen. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 2000. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.
Stuart, James. “The Shinto Fire Ritual” Opposing Views. n.d Web 01 Dec. 2013.
Schumaker, Mark. SHINTŌ FESTIVALS, RITES, & CEREMONIES. OnMarkProductions. n.d. Web 01 Dec. 2013.
Elacqua, Joseph. Shinto Sacred Texts. Faithology. n.d. Web 01 Dec 2013.
Get Access