The religion we know as Shinto is native to Japan and was first practiced sometime before the year 500 B.C.E. The name ‘Shinto’ comes from a Chinese phrase meaning “Way of the Gods”. It was first used to describe the native Japanese religion in the 8th Century C.E. It is currently the official religion of Japan along with Buddhism (Ono 1-3). There is a less common name for Shinto that comes directly from the Japanese language, which is “Kami no michi” which also means “Way of the Gods” (Renard 18). While Shinto has existed for more than 2500 years, there is no distinct founder, there is no body of religious law and there is no specific scripture as there are in other religions (Ono 2). Despite all of these differences, historically Shinto has coexisted peacefully with other religions, most notably Buddhism (Robinson).
When looking at Shinto, one must realize that it is fundamentally different from most modern religions, especially western religions such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam in that it is polytheistic (DesRivieres 98). According to Shinto, the world is filled with spirits or deities called ‘Kami’ (Renard 18). All of the Kami are descended from the brother and sister Izanagi and Izanami who also created Japan after crossing to this world from heaven (Ono 4). Each of the Japanese clans was formed by one of their children (Shinto).
The basic story of the birth of the other Kami is as follows. Izanami died while giving birth to the fire god. In his anger at his sister’s death, Izanagi cut the fire god into pieces, each piece creating a new Kami. Izanagi then journeyed into the underworld to find his sister, but on his arrival he was revolted by her horrid appearance in death and blocked the gatew...
... middle of paper ...
...i, known as the ‘Continuing Chronicles’ continue the stories of the Kami and the first emperors. The last and most recent book is the Jinno Shotoki, written in the 14th century C.E., the Jinno Shotoki contains the history and politics of Japan from creation to the time of writing (Robinson).
DesRivieres, Dennis and Don Quinlan, ed. Exploring World Religions. Don Mills: Oxford Canada. 2001.
Ono, Sokyo, and William Woodard. Shinto: the Kami Way. Tuttle Pub, 2004. Print.
Renard, John. 101 Questions and answers on Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto. New York: Paulist Press,
Robinson, B.A. . "SHINTO." Religious Tolerance. N.p., 14 Dec 2007. Web. 28 Apr 2010.
"Shinto." New World Encyclopedia. 29 Aug 2008. Web. 29 Apr 2010.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- ORIGINS The religion we know as Shinto is native to Japan and was first practiced sometime before the year 500 B.C.E. The name ‘Shinto’ comes from a Chinese phrase meaning “Way of the Gods”. It was first used to describe the native Japanese religion in the 8th Century C.E. It is currently the official religion of Japan along with Buddhism (Ono 1-3). There is a less common name for Shinto that comes directly from the Japanese language, which is “Kami no michi” which also means “Way of the Gods” (Renard 18).... [tags: Religion]
1490 words (4.3 pages)
- The Shinto religion is not a spiritual faith but more of a ritualistic way of life. Shinto or way of the gods, was not an established uniform religion until the 6th century c.e. after Buddhism was introduced into Japan through Korea in 538 c.e. However, the Shinto faith begins over a thousand years earlier around 660 b.c. when the world was still pure chaos. The two deities responsible for bringing order were Izanagi and his wife Izanami. They lowered a jeweled spear into the ocean and when they removed the spear 4 drops fell from the tip of the spear, which fell and formed the main islands of Japan.... [tags: japan, emperor, buddhism]
853 words (2.4 pages)
- Most countries in the world have archetypes in their creation myths, even countries as distant from each other as Japan and Greece. Japan’s religion, Shinto, has stories about sibling marriages and casting deformed children away. Greek myths have similar plots in their stories. There are reasons why these two completely different cultures have similar stories. The next three paragraphs explain why there are archetypes and differences in creation myths of Japan and Greece. Both Shinto myths and Greek myths have siblings marrying each other.... [tags: Creation Myths]
810 words (2.3 pages)
- There are many religions in the world. Some are more well known than others. One of the lesser known Asian religion is the Japanese religion Shinto. It has been around for millenniums and it is among the many religions in Japan. It is the original religion of the Japanese empire. The origin of Shinto is hard to pin down. There is no one person or group that is known to have started Shinto (Molloy p256). The mysteries history date back to the ancient people of Japan and their lore of how the world began.... [tags: Religion Shinto]
1225 words (3.5 pages)
- Hinduism, Buddhism and Shinto, while vast in differences there is much to learn about these three religions similarities as well. Some facts and history of Hinduism include, Hinduism (being the oldest of the three) is dated back in pre-history before 10000 BC even believed to predate the Indus River Valley Civilization. The Vedas (the holy text of Hinduism) is the foundation for Indian culture and also the basic belief system of Hinduism. The basic belief structure of Hinduism is as follows, the three doctrines; Samsara (1) which means “successive rebirths” indicating the belief in reincarnation started by ATMA or the spark of life given by the god Brahma.... [tags: Compare and Contrast Essay, Religion]
1043 words (3 pages)
- 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.... [tags: religion, goddess, impurities]
827 words (2.4 pages)
- Max Weber, a German sociologist, sees a religion as an agent of social change. While Emile Durkeim argued religion served to maintain social stability and harmony through the act of collective worship, Weber thought religion emerged to satisfy a social need in general. For him, a religion is shared values of any society, shaping one’s thoughts and giving people a sense of hope and something to believe in. Thus, it brings changes in social relations and produce real material effects by empowering and mobilizing them in realities.... [tags: Sociology ]
1618 words (4.6 pages)
- The nation of Japan, even more so than other countries, has a long, long history behind it. It's a country dating back as far as the B.C. Era, and that has experienced various powerful events that has shaped the country since its birth. As with other nations, an important part of their past lies in their religion. Before they were introduced to Buddhism and other outside religions, which had a large impact on their society, the Japanese followed something known as Shinto. As the one religion that can truly be called “Japanese,” it follows that its influences would still remain in the eyes of the people and only aided by a traditionally xenophobic view of the world.... [tags: Japanese History ]
1987 words (5.7 pages)
- All around the world, religion is a dominant idea for many cultures; exemplifying a certain way of life, serving as a basis for faith, and bringing charity to the world, religion is a extensive concept. For several cultures and countries religion may vary according to demographics, socio-economical class, and ethnicity. Main concepts of religion in Japan are natural and superstitious based. The leading religion in Japan remains Shinto, while other religions have come and go, interweaving themselves among the Japanese society.... [tags: Religion]
1827 words (5.2 pages)
- Eileen Barker states that there is no agreement on a definition, yet to study religion, a working definition is important. It provides parameters for the student. The study field for religion is very wide. Some may even interpret sport as a religion though not necessarily correctly. Definitions may include deities, such as Islam and Christianity; others not (Buddhism and Shinto.) A broad definition of religion would generally include rituals, special symbols and artistic and music style, sacred or special texts and a set of doctrines, (good) moral and behavioural codes.... [tags: Religion]
868 words (2.5 pages)