The Shinto Religion Essay

The Shinto Religion Essay

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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. It was on this new paradise, where they decided to live and continue to create other gods and deities. Unlike Christianity or Buddhism, there is no founder or known true origins. However, the creation myth of the Shinto faith is written in the Kojiki (712 c.e.). In the Kojiki, the solar goddess Amaterasu-no-Omikami is born from the eyes of Izanagi. Amaterasu’s descendants will be told to be the high ruler of all Japan. Emperor Jimmu then becomes the first human ruler of Japan. This line is still in power to this day.
There are two major books that were ordered written by the Emperor of Japan during the initial adoption of writing into Japan, the two books are the Nihongi, and the Kojiki. The Nihongi and Kojiki are documents of ancient affairs in Japan. It includes how Japan was made, the first emperor of Japan, the birth of the kami, and many more things that we as Americans would consider “Mythology”, but in Japan, these books are history, and to many historians these books represent the purest form of Japanese culture and religion. Because of it being some of the oldest written documents in Japan, it holds many keys t...


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It has been through its festivals and rituals, as well as the physical features of the shrine itself, that Shinto has transmitted its characteristic attitudes and values.
After World War II a separation between government and Shinto took place. This separation was noted in the constitution and history. As history shows, the emperor issued a statement forbidding use of Shinto symbols as nationalistic reasons and renouncing all rights to divinity. Today Shinto is still a strong practice. Many Japanese still use the Shinto shrines for marriage, or to bless a new child, car, and etc. Building, homes and other architectural plots are also known to be blessed for safety and protection. Hundreds of Shinto ceremonies are still carried out daily in today’s modern life such as festivals just naming one. In modern life the old Shinto is the main practice still being used.

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The Shinto Religion Essay

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