Shintoism and Christianity

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  • Topic: Shinto, Kojiki, Nihon Shoki
  • Pages : 2 (536 words )
  • Download(s) : 368
  • Published : December 14, 2005
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Shintoism is the indigenous and national religion of Japan. The literal translation of the word Shinto means the way of the gods. It is a nature worship based religion with its own concepts on deities, ethics and life. Shintoism is based on the beginning of the human race when the trees and plants had speech. Shinto followers also believed that the animals acted and spoke like men. However, the religion does not directly deal with common religious themes of evil, sin and redemption. Shinto followers believe that spirits exist everywhere whether good or evil, thus the religion is unorganized worship of those spirits. Objects of worship include: the sky, heavenly bodies, mountains, rivers, seas, trees, beasts, great fish, reptiles and the process of reproduction in nature. Shintoism stresses the importance for respect of nature and oneself. There are essentially four historical written sources, which provide scholars with information on the beginnings of Shintoism. The first of these books is the Kojiki, which means records of ancient matters. The second book is the Nihongi, which means the chronicles of Japan. The third book is the Yengi-shiki, meaning the institutes of the Yengi period. This contains a few ancient prayers and is an important source for the ceremonies of Shinto. The final book is the Manyo-shiu, meaning the collection of myriad leaves. It was written in the late eighth or early ninth century and contains a collection of approximately four hundred poems. Daily worship at Shinto shrines is not public but individual. A worshipper enters the shrine presents their offering bowing before and after. The priests serving in these ceremonies move in and out of the sanctuary silently. These offerings consist of products of the earth and ocean. Often fish, vegetables birds or sake are offered. The offerings are brought one after another and are raised to the forehead. After the ritual is recited the worshipper is lead away by the priest. No systematic...
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