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Shinto means:
Shinto comes from two Chinese words: shen (spirits) and dao (way), that is the “way of the spirits.”
gods or spirits which can become human and visa versa
Shinto and Buddhism adjusted to one another (date)
6th c. CE
in response to Western challenge, the Emperor Meiji reinterpreted Shinto (date)
19th c. :
the emperor Hirohito denied his divinity (after date)
after 1945
(712, “Chronicles of Ancient Events”). It is a complete history of the world from the creation down to the middle of the seventh century.
Izanagi and Izanami
male and female gods who invite. created islands and kami
Sun Goddess
Jimmu Tenno
(7th c. BCE), first human emperor of Japan. He was a human with a kami nature
What is the meaning of worship in Shinto?
. Worship is not so much a human attempt to obtain a special blessing. It is to share, through ritual, fellowship of life with the kami.
What is the relationship between Shinto and Buddhism?
People started merging beliefs from Mahayana Buddhism and Shintoism by viewing kami in both and adopting values from each. Buddhism was even made state religion and used to control the masses.
Bushido Code
(“military warrior-way”). It was a code of honor for Japanese warriors (bushi). It incorporated both Daoist and Zen Buddhist concepts. This code governed the samurai, the feudal military class. It emphasized absolute loyalty of the warrior to his lord. If the warrior failed in his mission, the code required that he commit hara-kiri, ritual suicide.
Motoori Norinaga
Tokugawa Era Scholar * He argued that Shinto surpassed all religions and encompassed all religions. * He declared that Buddha and Confucius are kami and that their ways are roads of the wide Way of Kami. * He taught that Japan was superior to other countries. Other countries should give allegiance to the Mikado, the Japanese emperor.
Meiji reforms
- ended the samurai era - ended state patronage of Buddhism - imposed a sharper division between the Shinto and Buddhist priesthoods. Buddhist priests could not teach that kami were really Buddhas. - restored to the emperor the title of head of state with a constitution and legislative body under him. - opened Japan to foreign trade - made Shinto a state religion separate from religious practice
State Shinto
- amplified the Japanese traditions of ancestor veneration - was identified with the emperor, the government, and patriotism. State Shinto affirmed the connection of the nation with ancestors, the will of the emperor, and the goddess. The individual belonged to the state. - included most of the Shinto shrines and rituals - placed all shrines under the control of a government Bureau of Shrines - all Japanese were required to register at a shrine - schools taught the sacredness and centrality of Japan - students bowed daily before a picture of the emperor - teachers had to take their students to Shinto shrines for festivals to teach them the reverence that is the foundation of national morality
Mt. Fuji
the worship of a mountain site such as the deity of Mt Fuji or Ontakekyo. The worshipers climb the sacred moutain as a spiritual exercise
Teaching of the Heavenly Reason, a spiritual group, formed around a peasant woman called Miki who healed her son and then others after experiencing the presence of the kami of Divine Reason. Miki’s teachings continue to thrive today in faith healings and voluntary work for public charity
Shinto can still be found in Japanese homes in the kami-dana, or spirit shelf, often next to the Buddhist family altar, which combines tablets memorializing the dead with scrolls or statues dedicated to a manifestation of the Buddha.
What is the Shinto worldview?
Japanese are potentially kami. They came from acts of kami, and by acting heroically, they can become kami. As do Confucians, Japanese look on humans as servants of family, state, and ancestors. An individual is never isolated. He or she is always part of an extended family and a national people. People are expected to do their best for all these groups.
The Grand Imperial Shrine of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu located at:

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