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Transcript of Shintoism
What is the origin?
thousands of years
roots can be approximated as dating back to the 6th century BCE
Shinto is also known as Kaminomichi or the way of the Kami
‘Kami’ means God or deity
‘Shinto’ means ‘The way of the Gods’
Who is the founder?
There is not a founder. Shinto has been around since the beginning of Japanese culture.
Where is this religion found?
What religions have branched off of Shintoism?
There are none
two divisions: Sect Shinto and State Shinto
Sect Shinto has 13 sub-branches
Belief about Angels/Saints
The Shinto do not believe in Angels or Saints but they do believe in the spirits of their ancestors and that those spirits watch over them.
Life After death
The places where the spirit dwells are known as the otherworld.
Three otherworlds- ‘Takamano-hara’ ‘Yomi’ ‘Tokoyo’
It can be said that Shinto is not a religion which centralized its interests in the life after death, but in this world.
There is no legitimate sacred texts
There are two important books about the religion not necessarily sacred or holy
The Kojiki (records of ancient matters) and The Nihongi (chronicles of Japan).
How to obtain salvation
Shinto are concerned with the life on earth and being in harmony with people on earth now.
"born Shinto, die Buddhist."
death and salvation in the afterlife came to be regarded as Buddhist matters.
For a Buddhist salvation is reaching Nirvana. Nirvana is a transcendental, blissful, spiritual state of nothingness
Beliefs about gods
Shinto gods and goddesses are called kami.
The term kami refers to anything that is above, high, special, unusual or auspicious in any way.
These phenomena include rocks, trees, rivers, animals, places and people.
All of these can contain the nature of the kami. Also in the category of kami are things that
inspire a sense of wonder or awe in the beholder in a way that testifies to its special nature
or the divinity of its origin.
There are basically 3 categories or types of kami:
- abstract powers associated with nature , family ancestors , souls of the auspicious dead
The Japanese people also used to believe that their emperors were gods
sacred rites and symbols
Morality about love and respect for Gods and Nature
live in harmony and peaceful coexistence with nature and others
morality linked with views of Buddhism and Confucianism
not based on a set of commandments or laws
follow the will of the Kami
no absolute rights or wrongs
Things which are usually regarded as bad in Shinto are those which:
disturb the Kami and the worship of the Kami
disrupt the harmony of the world
disrupt the natural world
disrupt the social order
disrupt the group of which one is a member
How to understand and treat the human person
goal is to return to the original human state by living a daily life as one with the Kami
live in harmony with each other
not to disrupt those around you
preservation of traditions
birth and marriage are important times
taught the importance of loving nature
being close to nature is being close to the Kami
cleanliness of the body
sexual union is a holy, creative process
Lying, Cheating, and Stealing
no set list of rules
sincerity of the heart
sincere people don't lie, steal, or murder
benefit society and family
Justice and Concern for the poor
Justice is important to the Shinto faith, but is not something that receives a heavy focus. There aren't any set rules about justice and how to treat the poor; using a moral judgment in each situation is the way that things are handled in this religion.
Each Shinto shrine has several major festivals (matsuri) each year, including the Spring Festival (Haru Matsuri or Toshigoi-no-Matsuri), Autumn or Harvest Festival (Aki Matsuri, or Niiname-sai), an Annual Festival (Rei-sai), and the Divine Procession (Shinko-sai). The Divine Procession usually takes place on the day of the Annual Festival, and miniature shrines (mikoshi) carried on the shoulders are transported through the parish.
Special rules of worship
This is what you have to do to worship at a Shinto shrine
1) Purification - this takes place before the main ceremony
2) Adoration - bowing to the altar
3) Opening of the sanctuary
4) Presentation of food offerings (meat cannot be used as an offering)
5)Prayers (the form of prayers dates from the 10th century CE)
6) Music and dance
7) Offerings - these are symbolic and consist of twigs of a sacred tree bearing of white paper
8) Removal of offerings
9) Closing the sanctuary
10) Final adoration
11) Sermon (optional)
12) Ceremonial meal (this is often reduced to ceremonial sake drinking)
places of worship
The Torii gate
The Shinto worship at shrines or at their houses
The sacred symbol for the Shinto is the Torii gate, The gates are actually arches with two uprights and two crossbars, and symbolise the boundary between the secular everyday world and the infinite world of the kami. Because there are no actual gates within the torii arch a shrine is always open.
Sacred Rites- The first visit of a newborn baby to the tutelary kami, which occurs 30 to 100 days after birth. The Shichi-go-san (Seven-Five-Three) the occasion for boys of five years and girls of three and seven years of age to visit the shrine to give thanks for kami's protection and to pray for their healthy growth.