Essay about Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens' Similarities to Shinto

Essay about Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens' Similarities to Shinto

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Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens is a Japanese animation TV series that brings together drama, romanticism, and comedy all in one. Kannagi is about a boy named Jin Mikuriya who uses wood from the sacred tree of Kannagi and carves a statue of a girl. The statue comes to life as a goddess, whose name is Nagi. Both Nagi and Jin work together to remove impurities that are congregating in the town. There are numerous symbols, references to beliefs, and tie-ins to the Shinto religion throughout Kannagi. Whether they are intentional or not, they are still present and can be used for analysis.
The main characters in Kannagi are Nagi, Jin, Zange, and Tsugumi. Nagi is a goddess whose duty is to cleanse impurities. She meets Jin when she is brought into the story, and Jin helps her in her battle to cleanse the impurities. Jin Mikuriya is the boy who summoned Nagi by using wood from her sacred tree to make a carving. Jin has taken Nagi into his home and they become friends. Jin goes crazy with the thought of an attractive young girl in his home. Tsugumi was just introduced; she goes to school with Jin and is a longtime friend of his. Zange is Nagi’s sister and is also a goddess. She is under the disguise of a Catholic nun who listens to people’s problems. She presents herself as a nice and caring individual, but in reality she torments Nagi.
Nagi and Zange are both goddesses set out to destroy impurities. Because Nagi’s tree was cut down, she has a slight disadvantage compared to Zange. Zange also takes the role of a Catholic nun because Catholicism is a strong religion in the west and she wants to appeal to the masses and be even more powerful over Nagi. Zange is not a good representation of Catholicism. Catholics are forgi...

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...ruggle between Nagi and Zange is a classic feud between sisters, but it shows that Zange is the lesser of the two sisters because she does not portray Shinto or Catholic values. The presence of shide paper helps solidify Nagi’s purification processes and gives support to the value of purifying impurities in the Shinto religion. Kannagi is a great anime show for learning more about Shinto and understanding its basic values and ideas.

Works Cited

Davies, Roger J., and Osamu Ikeno. The Japanese Mind: Understanding Contemporary Japanese Culture. Boston: Tuttle Pub., 2002. Print.
Nobutaka, Inoue. "Ritual Implements and Vestments." Encyclopedia of Shinto. Ibaraki Prefecture, 6 Feb. 2005. Web. 03 Feb. 2014. .
Varley, Paul. Japanese Culture. 4th Edition. Honolulu: History of Hawai’i Press, 2000. Print.

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