Shinto Religion

Topics: Shinto, Religion, Amaterasu Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: March 13, 2013
Shinto is the native religion of Japan. Shinto is still practiced and has been modified by the influence of Buddhism and Confucianism. Shinto is a polytheistic religion. Shinto also involves worship of kami or spirits. The word kami, meaning above or superior, is the name used to designate a great host of supernatural beings or deities. Shinto does not have any person or kami deemed holiest and does not have a set of prayers or religious books. However Shinto Is a collection of rituals and methods used to mediate the relations of living humans and kami. The most immediate theme in Shinto religion is a great love and reverence for nature. Basically a waterfall, the moon, or a rock can be reguarded as a kami. Also charismatic individuals and some more abstract entities like growth and fertility are kamis. Kami inhabit the same world as us and make the same mistakes as us. Those who die will usually become kami, their power and main characteristics will be based on their doings in life. Those believing in other religions maybe venerated as kami after death, if there are shinto believers who wish them to be. Shinto follows a set of four affirmations of the shinto spirit. Tradition and the family: The family is seen as the main mechanism as by which traditions are preserved. Birth and marriage are the main celebrations which maintain the family unit. The love of nature: Nature is considered sacred and imbued with spirits known as kami. Physical cleanliness: Followers of shinto take baths, wash their hands, and rinse their mouths out often. Matsuri: Any festival dedicated to Kami and there are many each year. The most worshipped kami is the sun goddess Amaterasu. However, Japanese do not exactly praise her or say her name to ask her for help. Her main shrine is the Ise Shrine, but many lesser shrines are dedicated to her as well. Shinto’s spirits are collectively called yaoyorozu no kami. There is a kami for literally almost everything on this earth. Unlike many...
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