Shinto Religion

Topics: Shinto, Religion in Japan, Japan Pages: 3 (903 words) Published: August 22, 2008
The Shinto Religion
The Shinto religion is an ancient Japanese religion. It started around 500 BCE. The Shinto name was originally from the Chinese words “shin tao” which means “The Way of the Gods”(Reader 23). During that time it was the Yamato dynasty and its origins were to the imperial family.

The Shinto religion comes from a creation story. It tells about the lives and history of the Kami which is translated as god or gods. There was a divine couple, named “Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto, who gave birth to the Japanese Islands. Their children became the deities of the various Japanese clans”(website). According the research I conducted about 84% of the Japanese population follow two religions, both Shinto and Buddhism. Unlike most religions, Shinto does not have a completely developed theology. It does not have a moral code like many religions such as Christianity. They generally follow the Confusion Values for their moral code. They have religions texts that discuss aspects of life and afterlife called the “High Plain of Heaven” and the “Dark Land”, but not very many details are given about afterlife. In the Shinto religion, ancestors are deeply worshipped”(website). All human life and human nature is considered scared and all is considered as “Kami’s child”(website).

Some characteristics of Shinto are the great love and reverence for nature. Kami are not deities in a normal western sense, they are closely related to humanity. The lack of what happens after death is a continued debate even in today’s present time. Unlike other religions one does not need to do anything to be considered a Shintoist. If a child is born in Japan his or her name is added to a list the local shrine keeps. Worship to a shrine if a very simple procedure. The person who plans to go to the shrine will “take a morning bath, put on clean clothes, perform his morning devotions before the god-shelf and report his plan to go to a shrine”(Bunce, 120)....
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