Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan. It is often called 'nature worship' because of the way the material world is invested with spiritual significance. The world is populated with kami: "the best English translation of kami is 'spirits', but this is an over-simplification of a complex concept - kami can be elements of the landscape or forces of nature" ("Kami," 2009). Kami may include nature, the spirits of the dead, or other supernatural beings. Worship in Shintoism "is highly ritualised, and follows strict conventions of protocol, order and control. It can take place in the home or in shrines. Although all Shinto worship and ritual takes place within the patterns set when the faith was centralised in the 19th century, there is much local diversity" and Shinto practices can be tailored to the needs of the adherents ("Rituals," 2009). Shintoism in Japan is also characterized by a great deal of syncretism, or blending with other religious traditions, specifically...
Most Japanese practice both traditions, rather than simply focus on one, in a manner that might be surprising to a traditional Western monotheist. There is a saying in Japan that one is 'born Shinto, but dies a Buddhist' because most families observe Shinto rituals when a child is born but Buddhist rituals when a family member passes away.
This may seem confusing but it is important to remember that Shinto lacks a specific canon of scripture other than the norito "a formulary statement addressed to the deity chanted by shrine priests. Nor is it an iconolatry" ("Shinto," 2012). Sacred objects do not take the form of unusual shapes in sacred spaces: "most of Shinto shrines house sacred objects such as mirrors (the symbol of the Sun Goddess), swords and jewel (those three objects are the imperial regalia) on the altar, where the gods are believed to reside, and the objects serve as spirit substitutes for the gods" ("Shinto," 2012). Spirits are incarnated even in ordinary household objects.
The incursion of Shintoism into what might be considered profane life can even be seen in professional occupations. In some areas of Japan, new factory managers often visit mini-shrines on the corporate headquarters "where he says a prayer for the safety during his tenure at the factory" and apologies are made to the sea as "factories are usually located near the seacoast and likely to pollute the seawater with effluent" ("Shinto,"…
..as Shinto was hijacked by the military before the War to their own political ends." (1999) Lamont-Brown states "...today members of the new religions-based spiritual regenerations tends to be both socially and politically conservative." (1999) the influence that is seen is the "contemporary trend for such member groupings to be more selective of their choice of candidates to support..." (Lamont-Brown, 1999) Lamount-Brown states that the Risshokosekai has five million members
Shinto-Buddhism in Japan Japan's main religious tradition is a combination of the conventional Shinto beliefs integrated with the imported Buddhist practices. Long been considered the land of several million gods, Japanese base their traditional Shinto beliefs on this pantheon. But the introduction of Buddhism in the mid 500's A.D. forced an amalgamation of the two belief systems. Over time these two very different religious traditions blended together into a unique system
Religion in Tokyo in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries Religion plays an important part in the lives of everyone. It is especially important in the various stages of life such as births, weddings, and funerals. It also plays an important role in the lives of many people on a daily basis. In Tokyo today, there are four major religions: Shinto, Buddhism, Christianity, and another group comprised of various new religions.
. The Dao is the source of all power which embodies all beings and encompasses both the yin and the yang. Remarkable quiet and serene, the Dao is rarely detected by humans, but provides invulnerability to those who posses it. Dao philosophy calls for its followers to refrain from certain foods and sexual activity, and also separates the role of the state from the lives of its citizens. The great philosopher
As a consequence, the society provides a culturally acceptable outlet for such expression, i.e., while under the influence of alcohol during a Shinto festival procession (also known as Japanese matsuri). During these public processions, which are generally held on annual basis, a large object (supposedly containing the spirit of a local deity) is carried shoulder-high through the streets, in order to revitalize the community with its supernatural presence. The bearers
The Japanese myth partly resembles that of Adam and Eve present in the Bible and in the Quran. However, the first beings in Japan are considered to hold much more power than their equivalents in the west. Another resemblance between the Japanese legends and those in the west is the fact that the kami are considered to live in the high planes of Takamagahara, somewhat resembling mount Olympus, from Greek