Shinto vs Buddhism

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Richard Render
10/8/10
WRI – 1100
Prof. Syedullah
Shinto vs Buddhism
In Japan, the people are of such a type that they are bred to hold honor in high regard, yet in the same instance, maintain a constant air of selflessness in every aspect of their lives. The majority of the Japanese people practice not only their native Shinto, but also the adopted Buddhism. While these two concepts have their fair share of similarities, the list of differences is rather long. Each of these differences lie in the fact that Shinto is practiced through actions, whereas Buddhism is a thing of words. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that these two beliefs are a perfect match if one so chooses to become a follower. Shinto is the native spirituality of Japan with the set purpose of establishing a connection between the modern Japan and its ancient past. The term Shinto literally means “the Way of the Gods.” The very word Shinto denotes an idealistic path of study or path of existence. On the other hand, Buddhism is a tradition thought of as the ultimate path of salvation which is to be achieved through an imminent approach into the absolute nature of reality and existence. For the most part, Shinto integrates the various spiritual practices formulated as a result of the diverse regional and local prehistoric traditions that were practiced in ancient Japan. Most of what is known about the spirituality is taken from the ancient Japanese texts, Kojiki and Nihon Shoki. On the other hand Buddhism takes within its purview many diverse traditions, religious practices and spiritual beliefs which are primarily based on the teachings of the Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. Shinto is a unique spirituality where the ritual practices, actions and rites are a lot more significant than the words or preaching. Specifically, Japanese people practice Harai, the rite of ritual purification. They offer many forms of food along with Sakaki tree branches and sake. This act helps to remove any impurities that...
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