Ancient and Indigenous Religions

Beliefs In Deities (Gods) And Spirits

The Shinto religion teaches that everything contains a spiritual force, or god, which are called kami. Every object, whether it be living or non-living, contains a kami. Therefore, there are an infinite number of kami in the universe. Despite the infinite amount of kami, specific kami are worshipped. The most worshipped of all kami is Amaterasu, the Goddess of the Sun. The picture on the right shows a shrine specifically devoted to Amaterasu, the previously mentioned Goddess of the Sun.

Sacred Stories And/Or Writings

The beginning of writing the Shinto religion had a deep impact on the development of a single system of religious beliefs. In the early Nara period (710 AD to 784 AD), the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki were written, which meant Japanese mythology was kept in records by gathering well-known fables and legends. The Kojiki, in greater detail, is a text which explains the creation of all the kami. The Nihon Shoki, like the Kojiki, begins with mythological tales, but extends into the modern events of the Shinto religion. The picture on the right shows an updated version of the Kojiki.

Join now!

Ritual, Worship And Festivals

Shinto, commonly referred to as a religion, is also the term given to the collection of rituals and methods which help retain the relationship between living humans and the kami. By performing rituals, this relationship is strengthened. Some rituals include impurity cleansing (cleansing your body to have peace of mind), purification dousing (cleansing of sins), and Kagura, an ancient dance which is believed to summon the kami.

Sacred Symbols

The most recognizable symbol of Shinto is the Torii Gate. These are found at the entry to a Shinto shrine. It has two upright supports and ...

This is a preview of the whole essay