Shinto Case Essay Sample

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Shinto is the religion that is indigenous to Japan. Shinto is a ritual based religion and the rituals must be completed with precision and diligence to maintain the connection between the ancient past and modern-day Japan. Shinto is based in mythology on a collection of beliefs from the earliest Japanese writings in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki. Public shrines that are devoted to multitudes of gods, or kami, that are devoted to various memorials or festivals. Shinto Theology

The theology and mythology are very foundational in Shinto. The thoughts and stories that started the religion of Shinto are still used and taught to the followers of Shinto today. Kami
Kami is the word used to describe a god, essence, or spirit. Kami manifests in several forms in nature such as rocks, rivers, animals, and trees. Shintoists believe that kami resides in all things but that there are places in nature that hold more kami than others places. These objects or places are sacred and usually are on or near shrine grounds. Kannagara

Kannagara is the law of natural order. Understanding Kannagara involves sincerity, purity, honesty, and how to live through the divine. Amenominakanushi
Amenominakanushi is the concept that is the source of the universe. Amenominakanushi is able to manifest into male, Takamimusubi, and female, Kamimusubi, and is the first of the three kami of creation, zoka sanshin, and one of the five kotoamatsukami, or heavenly gods. Creation of Japan

Mythology states that two gods, Izanagi, He-who-invites, and Izanami, She-who-is-invited, created the islands of Japan. Legend states that the two gods were called by all the myriad gods and asked to help create a new land. Each of the gods were given a spear and with the spears they stirred the waters of the ocean. The drop of water from the spears created the island of Japan. Izanagi and Izanami lived on the islands and created their palace. When the gods wanted children they performed a ritual. The first two attempts the gods decided had been performed wrong and so they made a change in the ritual and the eight islands of Japan were created. The myth also says that Izanami dies and Izanagi tries to revive her. Izanami descends into the netherworld and Izanagi chases after her. Izanagi sees the dead figure of his wife and flees the netherworld. Upon his return to the living Amaterasu, sun goddess, Tsukiyomi, moon deity, and Susanoo, the storm deity, were born from Ianagi. Purity

Purity is the main life force of Shinto. Rituals are done on a daily, weekly, yearly, basis, possibly even seasonal or lunar as well. The purity rituals have been adapted for modern Shintoists. Priests perform blessings on buildings, cars, and have performed yearly ritual blessings on buildings that have been built outside of Japan. Shrines

The main location of worship of kami is in public shrines or at home in small shrines called Kamidana or god shelves. Some shrines can be natural and they are called mori. Mori can be waterfalls, mountains, or trees. Shrines were built during specific time periods throughout the history of Shinto but all shrines have a torii, gate that is made of two upright columns and two crossbars. The tori is the separation between regular, everyday space and the sacred space inside the shrine. When visiting a shrine one must approach respectfully and perform Temizu, or a hand washing ritual. After the hand washing ritual you may ring the bell if you are making prayers. However, a donation is requested before ringing the bell. Depending on the season or holiday different rituals may be observed. Conclusion

Shinto is based deeply of ancient mythology and sacred writings. Shintoists believe in legends of how the islands of Japan were created. Rituals are sacred practices that are still performed by modern day Shinto priests and followers. Nature is the basis for the beliefs of Shinto.

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