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Would you believe if I said there is no absolute right or wrong and that nobody is perfect and that all humans are thought to be fundamentally good? … No sounds too superb right. Well, in fact, shinto is not a religion of the westerly but rather a characteristic of Japanese life, but to completely understand this I have detected and evaluated Shintoism and its search for its significance.
Shinto or Shintoism is an immanent ancient Japanese polytheistic religion with over three million followers. The word Shinto means the “way of the kami”. Which refers to the Gods and spirits that are worshipped in the Shinto. It is believed that the world was created by two karmi who threw ‘a great spear into the ocean’ which then was pulled out, making water drip from the tip, and created the island, where they descended and gave birth to the other islands of Japan and the other kami.
One of the oldest sacred texts of Shinto describes the origin of japan to recognized as a divine country, as the lore states that all other countries were created by natural causes.
Although, Shinto having strong and concise mythology, it has little actual beliefs. Most of the moral rules are that Shinto followers believe in the explanation of mythology as their is no written law.
For example, Shinto believes in death and purity, and that death is seen as “unclean and impure.”While in many other religions death and purity are seen as a way to be closer to God(s). An example is seen in the mythology When When Izanami gives birth to the fire kami, she burns and dies. Izanagi goes to find her, in which he discovers her rotting and festering in hell. He then flees the in disgust, cleansing himself with salt water from the oceans.
kami, Is the supernatural beings of Japan, Which is the driving force of Shinto religion. There are kami for all aspects of life, such as landforms, tools, and other natural creations.
Kami are descendants of religion and exist in the natural world, they are not perfect as kami can make mistakes just as any human and be killed as well as any human.
Although Not all karmi can be gods some kami can be evil. The Shinto idea of kami displays both animistic and human-like aspects, meaning that there is no set way to perceive or understand these spirits. They have important roles in the Shinto faith, as their is no Shinto law or moral ethics, this means that all beliefs must be appropriated from mythology and the actions of important karmi, which makes Karmi are necessary to Shinto as they are divine beings. People should aspire to become rather than fear or just obey.
Festivals and rituals play an integral role in the Shinto religions and the Japanese culture, not only with the individual but also with the wider community.
At the festivals, ritual songs and dances are commemorated while, communities make offerings to the karmi in the form of food such as vegetables, fruit, fish, and rice, which they share in a feast, which gives them spiritual energy from the karmi, and brings the local community together.
Also Because death is seen as impure in Shinto beliefs, purification rituals are a central part of the Shinto lifestyle. This can be done at home, or more commonly, in a shrine. This is done with water, purifying the person of evil spirits. “Misogi” is another purification ritual, which involves the cleansing of the entire body. Every year, many groups travel to various spiritually connected waterfalls, lakes, and rivers to perform Misogi. Another way of purification is simply voiding taboo subjects. For example, ‘one may not visit a shrine’ if a family member has died recently. This is a way of keeping the community and individuals pure.
Shinto seeks to enlighten people to the spirits that pervade the natural world. The karmi are to be respected and worshipped. Shinto has a great influence on its society, as it pushes people to remember and follow the example of their ancestors through using rituals and festivals to unite a community, enlightening them to their environment and spirituality.
To sum up, I will end with relationships between Shinto and the sociaety. Shinto, is like the beliefs of the indigenous Australian’s, as it connects its believers to every aspect of the world around them. By integrating the spiritual, supernatural world with the natural one, as people can feel connected to the divine. This contributes to search for meaning, as Karmi can protect and banish evil from people’s lives, by worshipping and respecting the Karmi, people can feel as if they are expelling evil from their lives. People also feel as if there is meaning beyond their own life and existence.
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