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... [continues]
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