Religions - Shintoism



Shintoism began around 1000-500 BC.


Each of the thirteen ancient sects has its own founder.


Kokiji (Record of Ancient Things), Nikong, (Chronicles of Japan), a later work, Yengishiki (Institutes of the priod of Yengi), and the Collections of 10,000 Leaves are the primary works, but are not regarded as revealed scripture.


Estimated at 30 million, mostly in Japan. Most are also Buddhists.


There are two main divisions. One is the thirteen ancient sects, all very similar. The second is known as State Shinto, and is a later synthesis finding its highest expression in the worship of the Emperor and loyalty to the State and family. Sinto, (from the Chinese characters Shin and Tao, signify the "Way of the Spirits") is called Kmi-no-michi in its native Japan. In the shrines no images are worshiped, rather it is considered that the Kami themselves are there. Fresh foods, water, incense, etc., are offered daily upon the altar. There is an inward belief in the sacredness of the whole of the universe that man can be in tune with this sacredness. Stress is place on truthfulness and purification through which man may remove the "dust" which conceals his inherently divine nature and thus receive the guidance and blessings of Kami.

The Shintoist's ardent love of the motherland has found unique expression in the loyalty and devotion of the Japanese people to their state institutions.

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