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No founder An 'ethnic' religion of the Japanese people ... 7-5-3 festival: blessings for boys age 5, girls ages 3 & 7. Entry to adulthood (age 20) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Shinto

Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo -- by enuserjpatokal
What is Shinto?
  • The Spirit Way (From Chinese Shen-Dao, way of
    the Gods, cf. kami-no-michi in Japanese)
  • Ancient (?), indigenous, mythical, nature
    religion of Japan
  • Called Shintoafter Buddhism (552 C.E.)
  • No founder An ethnic religion of the Japanese
  • The root and embodiment of Japanese culture

Early Shinto
  • shamanism
  • healing practices
  • worship of kami
  • (Deities of Shinto that are associated with
    places, certain animals, and the emperor. They
    include mythological beings, powerful and awesome
    aspects of nature, and important humans.)
  • Appears to have been very flexible in
    incorporating new figures.

Historical Overview
  • In the sixth century C.E. contact with China
    introduced Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism
    (and writing)
  • 14th-century concerns that Buddhism would
    overwhelm Shinto, led to some defensive
  • At the height of the Shogunate (ca. 15th-16th
    centuries) a preference for Zen by the samurai
    elite led to some declines in Shinto influence.
  • Under the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912) Shinto
    became the state religion.
  • After WWII, the Allies forced the Japanese
    government to become secular the Japanese
    Emperor renounced his divine status.
  • Kuroda Toshio has proposed an alternative/revision
    ist history of Shinto Only in modern times has
    Shinto/kami no michi designated a specific,
    separate religion

Shinto Mythology
  • Two main texts
  • Kojiki (myths of ancient times, origins of gods
    and man)
  • Nihonji (ancient history of Japan)
  • Of gods goddesses The Kami
  • Polytheistic
  • Nature deities represent and control natural
    elements and forces
  • Creation myth Japan as the center of the world

Shinto Mythology
Izanagi (male) izanami (female) (brother
sister) create the islands of Japan
  • Amaterasu the Sun Goddess
  • Mother of the first emperor of Japan

Three kinds of Shinto
  • Shrine/Folk Shinto
  • State Shinto
  • Sect Shinto

Shrine Shinto
  • Jinja (shrines) - Tens of thousands located
    throughout Japan
  • Natural structure, fits in with natural
  • Torii entry gate, separates sacred from profane
  • Tusbaki Grand Shrine of America
  • Household shrines kamidana (kami shelf)

  • A formal gatelike structure that marks a Shinto
    sacred place or shrine.

Akumi Kanbe Shinmeisha (????????), Toyohashi,
Aichi, Japan
  • An island near Hiroshima in Japan that is home to
    a Shinto shrine and a Buddhist temple. A large
    orange torii stands in the ocean in front of
    Miyajima, marking the entire island as a shrine..

Grand Shrine at Ise
  • a twisted rope marking a sacred or holy spot.

Shimenawa at the Izumo-Taisha
  • an ablution pavilion where worshipers purify
    themselves by washing face and hands before
    approaching the kami.

Kotoku-in, Kamakura ?Photo by Linda Freeman, July
6, 2003
Enshrined Kami
  • The (symbol of the) kami remain hidden from
    public view
  • Sometimes the symbol of the kami can be an
    anthropomorphic figure, but that is rare.
  • Inscriptions on paper or cloth symbolize the
  • The three treasures sword, a mirror, and a jewel
    (comma-shaped stone)

Shinto Worship
  • Worship can take place at home, at a shrine, or
    at festivals
  • The default mode/model is the invidual visiting
    the shrine
  • Enter at the torii
  • Approaches the temizuya for purification ritual
  • Approaches the shrine, avoiding the middle path
    to leave room for the kami
  • Places a coin in the donation box, rings the bell
    (to summon the kami)
  • Bows twice
  • Claps twice
  • Prayer
  • Bows once
  • (sometimes more bows and claps are customary)
  • Oracles may be given, Charms purchased, etc.)

State Shinto
  • Meiji period (1868) end of WWII
  • Emphasis on Japanese culture and nationality
    (elimination of foreign influences)
  • Emperors of Japan as divine
  • Hierarchy of shrines
  • Main shrine at Ise dedicated to Amaterasu
  • Palace shrines honoring Amaterasu, other kami,
    and emperors
  • Shrines elsewhere dedicated to national heroes
  • 97 of remaining shrines dedicated to local kami

Sect Shinto
  • 13 recognized sects
  • NGOs
  • Many founded in 19th century
  • Specific founders and texts
  • Unique teachings and practices
  • Some combine Shinto with influences from Buddhism
    or other religions

The Four Affirmations
  • Tradition and Family
  • Love of Nature
  • Physical cleanliness
  • Matsuri festivals that worship and honor the Kami

Shinto Practices Tradition and Family
  • Life cycle celebrations take place at shrines
  • Newborn Baby
  • 7-5-3 festival blessings for boys age 5, girls
    ages 3 7
  • Entry to adulthood (age 20)
  • Marriage
  • (since Shinto celebrates life in this world, in
    death, the Japanese may turn to Buddhist rather
    than Shinto rituals)

Shinto Practices
  • Love of Nature
  • Annual cycle of seasonal festivals
  • Physical Cleanliness
  • Misoji - Water purification rites to wash away
    impurity, thus restoring original purity

Shinto on the Web
  • Ancient Japan Shinto Creation Stories
  • Visit a Shinto shrine on-line Tsubaki Grand
    Shrine of America http//
  • The Shinto Online Network Association