Shinto Essay

1218 Words 5 Pages
There are many religions in the world. Some are more well known than others. One of the lesser known Asian religion is the Japanese religion Shinto. It has been around for millenniums and it is among the many religions in Japan. It is the original religion of the Japanese empire.

The origin of Shinto is hard to pin down. There is no one person or group that is known to have started Shinto (Molloy p256). The mysteries history date back to the ancient people of Japan and their lore of how the world began. It seems this religion seems to have arisen from the human's awareness of the power of nature. This brings the people that practice Shinto closer to nature. They also have a belief that sprites in habit all parts of nature.

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The kami are treated as people and are given human names. This allows them to be approached by people and feel closely related to them. The have five major gods: Izanami the female who invites, Inzanagi the male who invites, Amaterasu the sun spirit, Tsukiyomi the moon spirit, and Susanowo the wind spirit (Molly 257-258). There are also lesser gods : god of fire, goddess of grain, ocean spirits, and mountain spirits.

Now Ancestors also seen to become kami. This is to live close and be ready to return to see how their descendants are fairing. By believing in this, this allows them to maintain a connection with family and clan members. They respect the dead for the love of past members of their family and also the fear of the unknown.

Shinto has no clearly defined code of ethics but a type of morality does flow from the Shinto system of values and its way of looking at life. There is no since of guilt or sin found in Shinto. The person is looked upon as fundamentally good, the body is good and this earthly life is good. Shinto worships fertility and the new life that is brings (Molly 264). Sex is seen as a positive and with out quilt. There are wooden carvings of sexual imagery in the temples.

Shinto, unlike other religions, does not focus on death. It does the exact opposite and focuses on life. This is due to the fact that Shinto worships the life force which it works to counteract

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