Shinto the Kami Way
Author: Sokyo Ono, Ph.D., William P. Woodard
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
"An excellently rounded introduction by an eminent Shinto scholar."—Library Journal Shinto, the indigenous faith of the Japanese people, continues to fascinate and mystify both the casual visitor to Japan and the long-time resident. Relatively unknown among the religions of the world, Shinto: The Kami Way provides an enlightening window into this Japanese faith. In its general aspects, Shinto is more than a religious faith. It is an amalgam of attitudes, ideas, and ways of doing things that through two millennia and more have become an integral part of the way of the Japanese people. Shinto is both a personal faith in the kami—objects of worship in Shinto and an honorific for noble, sacred spirits—and a communal way of life according to the mind of the kami. This introduction unveils Shinto's spiritual characteristics and discusses the architecture and function of Shinto shrines. Further examination of Shinto's lively festivals, worship, music, and sacred regalia illustrates Shinto's influence on all levels of Japanese life. Fifteen photographs, numerous drawings and Dr. Ono's text introduce the reader to two millennia of indigenous Japanese belief in the kami and in communal life. Chapters include: The Kami Way Shrines Worship and Festivals Political and Social Characteristics Some Spiritual Characteristics
Shinto in History
Author: John Breen, Mark Teeuwen
This is the only book to date offering a critical overview of Shinto from early times to the modern era, and evaluating Shinto's place in Japanese religious culture. In recent years, a few books on medieval Shinto have appeared, but none has attempted to depict the broader picture, to examine critically Shinto's origins and its subsequent development through the medieval, pre-modern and modern periods. The essays in this book address such key topics as Shinto and Daoism in early Japan, Shinto and the natural environment, Shinto and state ritual in early Japan, Shinto and Buddhism in medieval Japan, and Shinto and the state in the modern period. All of the essays highlight the dynamic nature of Shinto and shrine history by focusing on the three-way relationship, often fraught, between local shrine cults, Shinto agendas and Buddhism.
Author: Motonori Ono, William Parsons Woodard
A New History of Shinto
Author: John Breen, Mark Teeuwen
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
This accessible guide to the development of Japan’s indigenous religion from ancient times to the present day offers an illuminating introduction to the myths, sites and rituals of kami worship, and their role in Shinto’s enduring religious identity. Offers a unique new approach to Shinto history that combines critical analysis with original research Examines key evolutionary moments in the long history of Shinto, including the Meiji Revolution of 1868, and provides the first critical history in English or Japanese of the Hie shrine, one of the most important in all Japan Traces the development of various shrines, myths, and rituals through history as uniquely diverse phenomena, exploring how and when they merged into the modern notion of Shinto that exists in Japan today Challenges the historic stereotype of Shinto as the unchanging, all-defining core of Japanese culture
Author: Thomas P. Kasulis
Publisher: Univ of Hawaii Pr
Nine out of ten Japanese claim some affiliation with Shinto, but in the West the religion remains the least studied of the major Asian spiritual traditions. It is so interlaced with Japanese cultural values and practices that scholarly studies usually focus on only one of its dimensions: Shinto as a "nature religion," an "imperial state religion," a "primal religion," or a "folk amalgam of practices and beliefs." Thomas Kasulis' fresh approach to Shinto explains with clarity and economy how these different aspects interrelate. As a philosopher of religion, he first analyzes the experiential aspect of Shinto spirituality underlying its various ideas and practices. Second, as a historian of Japanese thought, he sketches several major developments in Shinto doctrines and institutions from prehistory to the present, showing how its interactions with Buddhism, Confucianism, and nationalism influenced its expression in different times and contexts. In Shinto's idiosyncratic history, Kasulis finds the explicit interplay between two forms of spirituality: the "existential" and the "essentialist." Although the dynamic between the two is particularly striking and accessible in the study of Shinto, he concludes that a similar dynamic may be found in the history of other religions as well. Two decades ago, Kasulis' Zen Action/Zen Person brought an innovative understanding to the ideas and practices of Zen Buddhism, an understanding influential in the ensuing decades of philosophical Zen studies. Shinto: The Way Home promises to do the same for future Shinto studies.
A comprehensive glossary and reference work with more than a thousand entries on Shinto ranging from brief definitions and Japanese terms to short essays dealing with aspects of Shinto practice, belief and institutions from early times up to the present day.
Origins.—The Japanese are in the main a continental race. Their language and physical characteristics show conclusively that they come from Northern Asia, and geographical considerations indicate that Korea must have been their point of embarkation. Indeed a desultory emigration from Korea to Japan continued into historical times. When we say Northern Asia we exclude China. The racial affinity of the Japanese to the Chinese, of which we hear so often, really amounts to very little. It is not closer than that which unites the most distantly related members of the Indo-European family of nations. The Japanese themselves have no traditions of their origin, and it is now impossible to say what form of religion was professed by the earliest immigrants. No inference can be drawn from the circumstance that Sun-worship is common to them with many North-Asiatic races. The Sun is, or has been, worshipped almost everywhere. There is distinct evidence of a Korean element in Shinto, but, with the little that we know of the old native religion of that country, anything like a complete comparison is impossible. Some have recognised a resemblance between Shinto and the old state religion of China, and it is true that both consist largely of Nature-worship. But the two cults differ widely. The Japanese do not recognise Tien (Heaven), the chief Nature-deity of the Chinese, nor have they anything to correspond to their Shangti—a more personal ruler of the universe. The Sun is masculine in China, feminine in Japan. The Sun-goddess takes precedence of the Earth-god in Japan, while in China Heaven and Earth rank above the Sun and Moon. Some Chinese traits are to be found in the old Shinto documents, but they are of later origin, and are readily distinguishable from the native element. A few similarities exist between Shinto and the religion of the Ainus of Yezo, a savage race which once occupied the main island of Japan. But it is reasonable to suppose that in this case the less civilised nation has borrowed from its more civilised neighbour and conqueror rather than vice versa. It is significant that the Ainu words for God, prayer, and offering, are taken from the Japanese. If the Malay or Polynesian element, which some have recognised in the Japanese race, has any existence, it has left no trace in religion. Such coincidences as may be noted between Shinto and oceanic religions, myths and practices are attributable to the like action of common causes rather than to inter-communication. The old Shinto owes little to any outside source. It is, on the whole, an independent development of Japanese thought. Sources of Information.—The Japanese had no writing until the introduction of Chinese learning from Korea early in the fifth century of our era, and the first books which have come down to us date from the beginning of the eighth. One of these, called the Kojiki (712) is said to have been taken down from the lips of a man whose memory was well stored with the old myths and traditions of his country. He was perhaps one of the guild of ‘reciters,’ whose business it was to recite ‘ancient words’ at the ceremony which corresponds to our coronation. The Kojiki is a repertory of the old myths and legends, and, in the latter part, of the ancient history of Japan. The Nihongi, a work of similar scope, though based more on an existing written literature, was produced a few years later (720). It quotes numerous variants of the religious myths current at this time. There are voluminous and most learned commentaries on these two works written by Motoöri and Hirata in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For the ritual of Shinto our chief source of information is the Yengishiki, a compilation made early in the tenth century. To be continue in this ebook...
Zen and Shinto
Author: Chikao Fujisawa
Publisher: Open Road Media
How do the Japanese talk about their native philosophy, Shinto, a decade and a half after the Western Allies abolished it as a state religion? What is its relationship to Buddhism, and particularly to Zen? How modern can this very ancient creed ever be? These are some of the questions considered in this study by Dr. Chikao Fujisawa, who specialized in the study of traditional Japanese philosophy and its effect on modern society. Zen and Shinto is a strong plea to rectify the steps taken to eradicate Shinto, the very substance of Japanese life and thought. At the same time, it offers new insight into the amazing adaptability of the Japanese psyche—its depth, vitality and universality—and its remarkable capacity to assimilate foreign thought and ideas, and thus contribute to the world’s hope for permanent peace.
Author: Percival Lowell
Author: Joseph Cali, John Dougill
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Drawing on 30 years in Japan and deep personal interest in Shinto, the authors have put together a very useable guide to 66 of Japans most important Shinto shrines. Included in the book is a detailed and well-illustrated introductory essay on the history of Shinto, its rituals, beliefs, special celebrations, gods, and symbolism. Entries are organized by region and include thorough treatment of both the physical and spiritual features of each shrine, along with practical information on how to visit and best times to go. Also included is an extensive calendar of annual festivals at each shrine.
Author: Helen Hardacre
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Distinguished scholar of Japanese religions and culture Helen Hardacre offers the first comprehensive history of Shinto, the ancient and vibrant tradition whose colorful rituals are still practiced today. Under the ideal of Shinto, a divinely descended emperor governs through rituals offered to deities called Kami. These rituals are practiced in innumerable shrines across the realm, so that local rites mirror the monarch's ceremonies. Through this theatre of state, it is thought, the human, natural, and supernatural worlds will align in harmony and prosper. Often called "the indigenous religion of Japan," Shinto's institutions, rituals, and symbols are omnipresent throughout the island nation. But, perhaps surprisingly, both its religiosity and its Japanese origins have been questioned. Hardacre investigates the claims about Shinto as the embodiment of indigenous tradition, and about its rightful place in the public realm. Shinto has often been represented in the West as the engine that drove Japanese military aggression. To this day, it is considered provocative for members of the government to visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors the Japanese war dead, and this features as a source of strain in Japan's relations with China and Korea. The Yasukuni Shrine is a debated issue in Japanese national politics and foreign relations and reliably attracts intensive media coverage. Hardacre contends, controversially, that it was the Allied Occupation that created this stereotype of Shinto as the religion of war, when in fact virtually all branches of Japanese religions were cheerleaders for the war and imperialism. The history and nature of Shinto are subjects of vital importance for understanding contemporary Japan, its politics, its international relations, and its society. Hardacre's magisterial work will stand as the definitive reference for years to come.
Author: Jess Hoda
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
The Shinto kami are the spirits or phenomena that are worshipped in the religion of Shinto. They are elements in nature, animals, creationary forces in the universe, as well as spirits of the revered deceased. Many Kami are considered the ancient ancestors of entire clans, and some ancestors became Kami upon their death if they were able to embody the values and virtues of Kami in life. Traditionally, great or charismatic leaders like the Emperor could be kami.