Religion Shintoism in the japanese people


There are many categories of dynamic religion in the world today. This paper will focus on an ancient religion of the Japanese people known as Shinto.

Shintoism influenced by aspects of Buddhism and Confucianism and plays a major part in everyday life and culture.It is generally practised in Japan and rarely in other countries. Shinto is worship of Kami, the invisible spiritual and supernatural deity and powers by which the Japanese people devote their lives.There is no much literature on the beginning of Shinto.Even so, the Japanese don’t think of it as a religion but a part of their family, politics, spiritual life and art.

Japanese people consider the sun very sacred. The people, in particular the Imperial family, regard the Sun Goddess as their principal deity. People perform various rituals to communicate with Kami who has great influences on human events and natural forces.For a person’s request to be granted, the Shintomust to be happy. The devotees of Shinto have tiny local shrines in their homes, where Kami is said to live rather than a religion.Kami as a property is a sacred or mystical element and is found in almost anything. Kami have elements such as musubi– which is a specific uplifting, harmonizing power and makoto– a truthful will. Albeit, not all Kami are good, some are said to be very evil.Japanese build local communities by visiting shrines for rituals and festivals. There exist millions of Shinto in Japan.

Shinto does not believe in another life but that everything experienced is part of this world. Unlike Christianity, Shinto does not have any scriptures or founder and no believe in a single deity such as God.In general, Shinto performs norito, a ceremonial prayer which ischanted by their shrine priests. Shinto teaches fundamental ethical principles but no commandments.That is why they are able to co-exist peacefully with Buddhists.

The Japanese believe in purity and where impurity is involved, there isa disconnection fromKami and musubi. Tsumi, which is described as sin or pollution of air issomething that makes oneimpure for instance, death, disease and disaster. For Shinto, human beings are born pure and sacred but impurity may come later in life and can be removed by performing purifying rituals. Human beings cannot control Tsumiwhich is believed to be caused by evil spirits. Purifying rituals are common, and are performed in the beginning of Shinto religious ceremonies using purifying agents like water and salt.

Another Shintoritual is worship. It is performed with great sincerity and purity. There is great emphasison aesthetics to please the Kami in which the worship is being offered. Worship can also be done at home in a secluded place for a shrine called kami-dana, meaningshelf. There is no specific day set aside for the rituals. It is done according to the need of a person.

In conclusion, we can learn some aspects from the Japanese way of life as affirmed by their emphasis on tradition and family, nature, physical cleanliness and worship. Their dedication and purity is a way that could end major wars and the rest of the world would benefit from borrowing a leaf from them.



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