Shinto 07

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Information about Shinto 07

Published on March 11, 2008

Author: Perrin



Slide1:  By Gabelan Satchithanantham Maria Menegakis Hussan Syed Origin :  Origin Shinto was a religion that originated in Japan over 2500 years ago (500B.C). In Chinese it means "The Way of the Gods" Key Founders and Figures:  Key Founders and Figures Shinto does not have an official founder however there are two very important figures. Izanagi and Izanami were given the honorable task of creating our world. It is said that Izanagi lowered his magical spear from the bridge of heaven into the water below. Once he took it out, the dripping water of the spear formed the first island of Japan. Izanagi and Izanami eventually married and their off springs were also deities like their parents. Izanagi Izanami Magical Spear Slide4:  The Kami are the Shinto deities. The word "Kami" is generally translated "god" or "gods." However, the Kami bear little resemblance to the gods of monotheistic religions. There are no concepts which compare to the Christian beliefs in the wrath of God, his power and omni-presence, or the separation of God from humanity due to sin. There are numerous other deities who are conceptualized in many forms: Those related to natural objects and creatures, from "food to rivers to rocks." Guardian Kami of particular areas and clans Exceptional people, including all but the last of the emperors. And abstract creative forces About 84% of the population of Japan follow two religions: both Shinto and Buddhism. As in much of Asia, Christianity is very much a minority religion. Slide5:  Shinto recognizes many sacred places: mountains, springs, etc. There are shrines and each shrine is dedicated to a specific Kami who has a divine personality and responds to sincere prayers of the faith. When entering a shrine, one passes through a Tori a special gateway for the Gods. It marks the demarcation between the finite world and the infinite world of the Gods. There are also Shrine ceremonies, which include cleansing, offerings, prayers, and dances that are directed to the Kami. One set of dances are known as the Kagura which are ritual dances accompanied by ancient musical instruments. The dances are performed by skilled and trained dancers. They consist of young virgin girls, a group of men, or a single man. Other Gods:  Other Gods There were other gods who descended from Izanagi. Some examples: Homu-subi : god of fire Susano-o: goddess of the sea and storms Tsuki-Yomi: moon god Amaterasu: sun goddess Susano-o Amaterasu Symbols:  Symbols There aren’t many symbols in Shinto, however the few that it has are very important. Some examples would be: - The grand shrine (Naiku) Believed to enshrine Amaterasu. Torri Gate: - A Gate found at entrances of holy temples and shrines. Illustrates a “bird dwelling” because it looks like a bird spreading its wings. Kami: - The spirits that are believed to exist in everything that makes up this world. The red dot which is Amaterasu’s symbol is on the Japanese flag. Slide8:  Number of Adherents Slide9:  Shinto is the major religion of Japan and has not spread from Japan to such great extent ( recorded from a census, only about 60,000 adherents are thought to live outside of Japan). Shinto is consisted of almost 75 to 90% of the Japanese population It is difficult for a foreigner to embrace Shintoism because it is transmitted from generation to generation by experiencing the rituals together as  a group. Adherent counts for this religion are problematic and often misunderstood because many adherents of Shinto are also adherents of Buddhism making it difficult to find out who is who. One source estimates that there are 1000 followers of Shinto in North America and only 445 in Canada have been recorded. Overall, the total numbers of Shinto living in the world are from 2.8 to 3.2 million people. Slide10:  Shintos RULE! Slide11:  Cultural Significance Slide12:  Shinto has been called "the religion of Japan" and even though the culture is no longer practiced as strictly as before World War II, Shintoism still impacts the tradition and culture of Japan.  A cultural significance of Shinto is the importance of ceremonies. One of them includes Marriages which are performed as Shinto rituals, reflecting the traditional beliefs of the followers. One of the biggest festivals of Japan includes the “New year’s festival” where thousands of people join to be a part of it. Believers typically visit Shinto shrines to wish for good luck and other personal desires.  A more explicit link to Shinto is seen in sumo wrestling, where, even in the modern version of the sport, many Shinto-inspired ceremonies must be performed before a bout, such as purifying the wrestling arena by sprinkling it with salt.  Many Japanese cultural customs, like using wooden chopsticks and removing shoes before entering a building, have their origin in Shinto beliefs and practices. Slide13:  As in much of Asia, Christianity is very much a minority religion. The religious doctrine behind Shinto creates a flexibility to suit many types of individuals and reflects on the needs of the agricultural days. Known as the doctrine of Yorozu-yomi, there are gods for everything and anything, from food to rivers to rocks. One can choose to worship any god in any region. Golden Temple Score:  Score

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