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Religion Project: Shintoism

AP Human Geography
by

Sara Celeste

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of Religion Project: Shintoism

Origin and Classification Branches Basic Beliefs Key Figures and Sacred Writings Followers and Holy Places Diffusion Shinto is mainly found where ever there is a substantial amount of Japanese emigrants living together in one place, even in the Americas. Other than in Japan and the previous example, Shinto is not often practiced. Due to the diffusion of Buddhism into Japan from China, Shinto received its name to define it as a separate religion, but it was soon over run by the wave of Buddhist that appeared. In consequence, Shinto wasn't given the opportunity to spread far from its hearth. Also, due to the invasion of Buddhism, Shinto was removed as the state religion and was no longer funded by the government. Place of Origin: Japan
Founder: No real founder could be traced
Approximate Date: roots go back to at least the 6th Century; 660BC
History: In the mythology of Shintoism is that it teaches that the Japanese and Japan itself were brought to life by a divine creation and that the emperors of Japan were actual descendants of the “Sun Goddess”. Shinto is the only religion that represents their “Supreme Being” as a feminine figure. In the end of the 6th century, Japan was mainly Mahayana Buddhist, and it was then that the term “Shinto” was introduced to separate the original Japanese religion from the new foreign religions.
Classification: Ethnic polytheistic religion 1. Koshitsu Shinto (a.k.a. The Shinto of the Impereal House):
Koshitsu Shinto encompasses rituals performed by the Emperor. The Japanese Constitution ascertains the Emperor as the "symbol of the state and of the unity of people". The ritual most important and sacred to the Koshitsu Shinto is Niinameai, a ritual that includes making offerings to the deities of the first fruits of each years grain harvest. A male and female clergy aid the emperor in the performing of these rituals.
2. Jinja (shrine) Shinto: Jinja, or Shrine, Shinto is the largest of the four main forms of Shinto. Its roots date back to pre-history and is the original form of Shinto. It was closely associated with State Shinto up until the end of the second World War. The emperor of Japan, much like in Koshitsu Shinto, was worshiped as a living god. Most all shrines dedicated to Shinto in Japan are members of Jinja Honcho, or the Association of Shinto Shrines. Its members currently number 80,000.
The association urges followers of Shinto
a."To be grateful for the blessings of Kami and the benefits of the ancestors, and to be diligent in the observance of the Shinto rites, applying oneself to them with sincerity. brightness, and purity of heart."
b."To be helpful to others and in the world at large through deeds of service without thought of rewards, and to seek the advancement of the world as one whose life mediates the will of Kami."
c."To bind oneself with others in harmonious acknowledgment of the will of the emperor, praying that the country may flourish and that other peoples too may live in peace and prosperity."

*State Shinto- refers to government-associated Shinto activities and shrine; has a few or no actual followers who relate to it as their primary religion Religion Project: Shintoism •Reality: The universe was created—and is inhabited and ruled—by numerous kami. Shinto adherents view all life as a gift of the kami, so all life and human nature is sacred.
•Rituals: Children are brought to a shrine at 30-100 days of age and initiated as new adherents. At age five (boys) or seven (girls), children go to the shrine on November 15th for the Seven-Five-Three (Japanese, "Shichi-go-san") festival, specifically to thank the kami for protection and to ask for healthy growth. Similar rites exist for adults.
Numerous festivals are celebrated in Shinto during the year:
-The New Year’s (Japanese, "shōgatsu") festival involves a ritual purification of the home with prayers for a lucky year.
-The Obon festival celebrates the departed ancestors.
-The Cherry Blossom (Japanese, "sakura") festival celebrates the return of spring.
•Pilgrimage: Travel to shrines or other holy places, such as Mount Fuji, became common during the 16th century. These pilgrimages were undertaken to obtain the favor of the kami and, under the strict government rules of earlier centuries, were the only way some Japanese could get permission to leave their villages. Sacred Writings-
Although there is no real religious volume in Shinto, some writings are considered sacred.

1. Kojiki: "records of ancient matters"
2. Rokkokushi: "Six National Histories"
3. Shoku Nihongi: the "Chronicles of Japan"
4. Jinno Shotoki: "Shinto and Japanese Politics and History"

Key Figures-
*Amaterasu: the sun goddess; the most important of the "kami" gods
*The Emperor of Japan: looked upon as a living god Followers: The estimates made to determine the number of followers have proved unreliable. Some numbers have ranged from 2.8-3.2 million. Some state 40% of Japan follow Shinto or 50 million people, while others claim 86% of Japanese adults follow a Shinto/Buddhism combination which amounts to 107 million.

Holy Places:
*Ise Grand Shrine- located in Ise, Japan; stands within the "Sacred Forest of Ise Jingu"; the most important shrine in Shinto
*Izumo Taisha- Japan's oldest Shrine; second most important shrine in Shinto Sara Myers Images Religious Symbols and Places of Worship Where it is Practiced Today (Four Main Forms or Traditions of Shinto) Branches (continued) (Four Main Forms or Traditions of Shinto) 3. Kyoha (Sectarian) Shinto (a.k.a. Shuha Shinto): Kyoha Shinto is a group of 13 sects that were founded at the beginning of the 19th century. Each and every sect follows their own set of beliefs and doctrines. Most sects encourage and emphasize the worship of their own main deity, though some follow after a near monotheistic religion.
4. Minzoku (Folk) Shinto: Minzoku, or folk, Shinto is not technically a separate Shinto group. It includes no form of central organization or creed and is mainly seen in local rural practices and rituals. For example, small images on the side of the road and agricultural rituals conducted by individual families are the work of the Minzoku. A rural community often selects a layman annually who becomes responsible for worshiping the local deity.

All four forms or traditions are closely associated with one another. Shinto is a very tolerant religion and itis common for a follower of Shinto to associate and pay respect to another religion. Magatama: the ancient emblem of Japanese identity Torii Gate: the boundary between the physical and spiritual world Tomoe: means turning or circular; refers to the motion of the Earth Places of Worship:
The many Shinto Shrines serve as the places of worship for the people who follow Shinto. Many shrines perform festivals to regularly show the "kami" the outside world. Outside of the Shinto hearth in Japan, Shinto can be found where ever there is a large Japanese population or communities exist. Today in Japan, the Shintoism has reverted back to its original form, Jinja Shinto which supports the beauty of the supernatural around them and need to co-exist with other living creatures. In addition to the original Shinto, Jinja, today's Shinto includes traditions from other religions such as Confucianism and Buddhism. Also, today, a lot of the people who follow Shinto, also follow Buddhism. Bibliography Hume, Robert E., John B. Noss, Clark B. Offner, William B. Eerdmans, and Ninian Smart. "Handbook of Today's Religions." Shintoism. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1976, n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.
"Ise Shrine (Ise Jingu), Ise." Ise Shrine (Ise Jingu). N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
Ketcham, Jonathan. "Shinto." Overview. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
Kin Min, Ching, and Joy Alari. "Shinto - The Indigenous Religion of Japan." - Japanese Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
"Library." Shinto Origins, Shinto History, Shinto Beliefs. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2012.
"Magatama." Symboldictionarynet Font Faceverdana Geneva Helvetica Color660000 Size4Magatamafont Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
See W. G., Aston. "Shinto." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition. N.p., 1 Nov. 2011. Web. 1 Jan. 2013.
"Shinto, an Ancient Japanese Religion." SHINTO. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.
"SHINTO OVERVIEW." Shinto Overview. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013.
Sprunger, Meredith. "An Introduction to Shinto." An Introduction to Shinto. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.
"What Are Shinto's Holy Sites?" Www.findthedata.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2013. Thanks For Listening
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