Shintō does not have a weekly religious service. People visit shrines at their convenience. Some may go to the shrines on the 1st and 15th of each month and on the occasions of rites or festivals (matsuri), which take place several times a year. Devotees, however, may pay respect to the shrine every morning.
The kami of extraordinary people are even enshrined at some shrines. The Sun Goddess Amaterasu is considered Shinto’s most important kami. Some prominent rocks are worshiped as kami. In contrast to many monotheistic religions, there are no absolutes in Shinto .
Specifically Shinto ethics are not based on a set of commandments or laws that tell the faithful how to behave, but on following the will of the kami. So a follower of Shinto will try to live in accordance with the way of the kami, and in such a way as to keep the relationship with the kami on a proper footing.
There are four affirmations in Shinto : tradition and family, love of nature, physical cleanliness, and matsuri (festivals in which worship and honor is given to the kami ). The family is seen as the main mechanism in preserving traditions.
Key Takeaways: Shinto Worship Impurity comes from everyday occurrences but can be cleansed through ritual. Visiting shrines, purification, reciting prayers, and giving offerings are essential Shinto practices . Funerals do not take place in Shinto shrines, as death is considered impure.
The holy books of Shinto are the Kojiki or ‘Records of Ancient Matters’ (712 CE) and the Nihon-gi or ‘Chronicles of Japan’ (720 CE). These books are compilations of ancient myths and traditional teachings that had previously been passed down orally.
Amaterasu is the goddess of the sun and the universe. She is sometimes considered the most important Shinto god.
Shinto belief includes several ideas of kami : while these are closely related, they are not completely interchangeable and reflect not only different ideas but different interpretations of the same idea. Kami can refer to beings or to a quality which beings possess. Not all kami are good – some are thoroughly evil .
Death & Mourning Shinto beliefs about death and the afterlife are often considered dark and negative. The old traditions describe death as a dark, underground realm with a river separating the living from the dead. The images are very similar to Greek mythology and the concept of hades.
Shinto is primarily found in Japan, where there are around 100,000 public shrines, although practitioners are also found abroad. Numerically, it is Japan’s largest religion, the second being Buddhism.
This was partly because of Buddhism, and partly because even the indigenous religion, Shinto, considered that eating the flesh of animals was unclean. But the rule extended only to meat from mammals, not seafood.
In the late 6th century AD the name Shinto was created for the native religion to distinguish it from Buddhism and Confucianism, which had been introduced from China. Buddhist priests became the custodians of Shinto shrines and introduced their own ornaments, images, and ritual.
There are many types of organized Buddhism whereas Shinto is whatever you want it to be. Buddhism has a clear doctrine and rules. Shinto is more ambiguous, with no religious texts or set doctrine. As a polytheistic religion , it allows more freedom for believers to worship the kami – or other deities – of their choosing
The core teaching of Shintoism is to worship the ancestors and forces of nature to achieve harmony in all dimensions.
Shinto and Buddhism are Japan’s two major religions. Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture , while Buddhism was imported from the mainland in the 6th century. Since then, the two religions have been co-existing relatively harmoniously and have even complemented each other to a certain degree.