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CajunLady
April 23rd, 2005, 01:39 PM
Does anyone have any information they want to share bout Shinto? Maybe websites or books or any information. I'm looking for more information on Shintoism and not sure where to start!!

MoonKnight
April 23rd, 2005, 01:57 PM
http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/#shinto

AlAskendir
April 23rd, 2005, 04:15 PM
http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/#shinto


Thanks, but....I didn't find this all that helpful.

Where would I go to find out what Shintoists believe?

I'm sure these things are sacred to them and filled with a meaning that I cannot, now, see. But I wouldn't send someone who wanted to understand Christianity to the beginning of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, there are basic precepts I would discuss first (the idea of sin, forgiveness, sacrifice, etc).

What are the precepts of Shinto?

Thanx

MoonKnight
April 23rd, 2005, 04:53 PM
Thanks, but....I didn't find this all that helpful.

No problem. But she asked for "websites or books or any information" and from the picture of the torii in her sig, I assumed she already had a basic understanding of Shinto.

Here's a link explaining Shinto:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto

Paracelsus
April 23rd, 2005, 05:26 PM
You might also want to check out articles and books by Brian Bocking - particulalry his "Dictionary of Shinto". He teaches at SOAS.

Sage Rainsong
April 23rd, 2005, 05:37 PM
try here:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/shinto.htm
http://www.trincoll.edu/zines/tj/tj4.4.96/articles/cover.html

IvyWitch
April 23rd, 2005, 06:05 PM
And, not to hijack, but I was wondering if those of you who knew about it knew whether or not it's an applicable practice outsdie of Japan....from what I've read I get the distinct impression that the practice of it would loose meaning outside of the country. (But I'm hoping I'm wrong)

IvyWitch
April 23rd, 2005, 11:38 PM
a great site to visit is the Tsubaki Grand Shrine (http://www.tsubakishrine.com/test/home.asp) which is a Shinto temple in Washington. It's got a lot of great information, and if you live near that area would be a great place to visit (I'd like to go myself).

Aidron
April 24th, 2005, 12:25 AM
And, not to hijack, but I was wondering if those of you who knew about it knew whether or not it's an applicable practice outsdie of Japan....from what I've read I get the distinct impression that the practice of it would loose meaning outside of the country. (But I'm hoping I'm wrong)


This can be true for all cultural faiths. Is Hellenism any less valid outside of Greece? Is Druidry any less valid outside of Ireland and the surrounding areas? Shintoism's creation stories focus on the archapelogos that is Japan, thus it is interwoven into Japan's very core and will naturally have more prominence and meaning there for some.

However, it's basic principals as with all cultural faiths I see no reason to isolate to its place of birth. In Shintoism human beings are viewed as inherently good and only become evil or bad through corruption and taint from spirits and other malevolent forces. One of the main reasons Buddhism prevails with Shintoism in Japan is the fact that in Shintoism death is viewed as unclean and a source of taint, thus all funeral rites are looked after by the Buddhists.

Shintoism honors many divinities, known as kami, some of which are what we would define as gods (Amaterasu being chief among them) and others being ancestral spirits. According to its philosophy each person who dies (and I've drawn the conclusion from my research that this excludes those who remain on earth as tormented souls and the like) becomes a divine being in its own right in some form or another. Ancestral reverence is naturally very important within the faith.

It's a very optimistic faith in my opinion and one that focuses on cleansing yourself of the taint you encounter to let the good within radiate. Quite similar to many neo-pagan ideas of cleansing areas, people and objects of the negativity they acquire through various means.

A basic practice of Shintoism is to wash your hands and face, especially before entering sacred temples and before rites of worship. This is one more facet showcasing the great desire to achieve cleanliness and purity and is also probably the very foundation of why Japanese society is so hygienic compared to the rest of the world.

Nantonos
April 24th, 2005, 08:53 PM
Where would I go to find out what Shintoists believe?

I'm sure these things are sacred to them and filled with a meaning that I cannot, now, see. But I wouldn't send someone who wanted to understand Christianity to the beginning of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, there are basic precepts I would discuss first (the idea of sin, forgiveness, sacrifice, etc).


Presumably you missed the link on that page described as

a highly readable history of Shinto in Japan, and its interaction with Buddhism and Christianity; highly recommended for outsiders who want to understand the Japanese sprit and culture
http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/jai/index.htm

Nantonos
April 24th, 2005, 09:32 PM
Useful introductory work:

Native roots and foreign influence
http://www.sg.emb-japan.go.jp/JapanAccess/religion.htm

a little more in-depth:

RELIGION AND RITUAL IN JAPAN
The Dance of Shinto and Buddhism
http://www.thelema.net/hml/00Shinto/intro.html

Pol
April 24th, 2005, 11:44 PM
I've studied Shinto quite a bit.

I must say that I do not think it right to follow it as a religion. Applicable outside of Japan? Some of it. To be Japanese is to be Shinto. And not spiritually or religiously particularly, but culturally. Japanese and Shinto are hand in hand. Shinto as a religion developed soley as a Japanese religion (regardless of later influences). Before other religions were introduced to Japan, it wasn't even a religion per se but a lifestyle. A lot of Japanese culture itself is intwined with Shinto.

However, I see absolutely nothing wrong with letting it influence your own ideas on life. I know that my studying of Shinto has given a lot to my own faith, especially how the Japanese view nature and kami.

I think the best way to find if it's okay if you practice shinto outside of Japan and as a non-Japanese person is to ask the Japanese Shinto people.

The Japanese, believe it or not, could be called racist in many aspects and Shinto is one of those aspects. Consider that shinto became State Shinto at the same time that Japan became a world power and some of the people doing the hatemongering leading up to the second world war were Shinto scholars.

Consider that one of the main reasons Shinto texts were written and the main reason it was made State Shinto was because it taught the veneration of the Emperor. That aspect alone sends echoes all the way through Japanese culture, dealing with loyalty and honour.
The Japanese turn to Buddhism and other religions for what we consider Religion. They turn to Shinto because of culture. The two are so strongly intwined that to seperate one from the other would make either of them pointless.

shari
April 30th, 2005, 12:26 AM
You said you were interested in books, and I read a really, really neat book on Shintoism back in high school called A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine. I don't remember the author; I'm sure you can look it up at amazon. My local library had it. :)

Cerulean_damselfly
February 21st, 2006, 02:06 AM
A little of West Coast U.S. Shintoism

1.I went to the Tsubaki shrine in Washington state and the general Shinto information given to me in late 2005 is similar to this online translation of text--it's in English:

http://www.jinja.or.jp/english/s-0.html

2. In terms of what I remember:
When we were young in Southern California, the community center and churches (both Buddhist and Christian) had sports and community-oriented language and heritage displays and some seasonal events, such as making mochi (rice cakes pounded) before New Year, an 0-bon (dancing and kind of day-of-the-dead honoring with taiko drumming and kids/usually women's groups) costumed dancers. This would be folk Shinto and families would have, according to their adopted/choice, a family shrine of sorts. Since my folks were aware of budgets, etc., it was as simple as pictures, small dishes and even a tiny birthday cake candle in a tiny saucer being lit for thanksgiving to forebearers. My maternal family's eldest son wrote down all the names of the forebearers that could be remembered in Japanese pictographs and we all received copies.

The language, dancing, costuming, etc., were done mainly for grandparents who were first-generation throughout the 1940's-2000. Heritage festivals as well as growing participation among the young are still active around community centers, so a type of folk/community Shinto is observed.

It's about family, elders, respect for nature...in this day and age, if you are interested, I think the first link that I gave will give a general overview and that the Washington State shrine link below will give a kindly link to someone in the U.S.

3. I believe in the 21st century, I've heard of a few instances of reviving interest in Shintoism in the U.S.--

a. the Washington state Tsubaki shrine, with Rev. Barrish, who studied in Japan--I'm on the email list and he is great at reminding me of seasonal times of year, to do more for my 'wheel of the year';

http://www.tsubakishrine.com/test/home.asp

b. New York shrine, which I know nothing about:

http://www.shinto.org/isf/eng/newyork-e.html

c. by word of mouth, I heard that a shinto priest was working with indigenous peoples in Southern California as a kind of interfaith outreach. There is not a temple, just an outreach that might just be beginning? But I do not know of the people personally, have to research this.

Best regards,

Cerulean_damselfly

Cerulean_damselfly
April 12th, 2006, 11:49 PM
Just an update...

I'd like to suggest for folk Shinto:

Japanese Touch for All Seasons.
A Japanese Touch for the Seasons (Hardcover)
by Kunio Ekiguchi, Ruth S. McCready, Ruth McCreery

...it's starting at five dollars on Amazon.com..

Seasons, Japanese festivals, times that follow the rice harvest and spirit celebrations, plants, colors, crafts, and pictures of decorations, toys/games. I was thinking of getting a second one to make my Eastern 'heritage book' of shadows...

Shinto Norito: A Book of Prayers (Paperback)
by Ann Llewellyn Evans

The prayers are a lovely start to explore concepts...for me, I can take some words or ideas and then use them to start the 'google-oracle' to supplement ideas--usually I'll hit upon a Japanese-English website that will explain the concepts and ideas in a way that echo and resonate and expand on little bits and pieces floating in this mixed brain of mine...

Those two above are my most used Shinto resources available commercially...if one is interested, I know booksellers that specialize in Japanese heritage or imports...and would enjoy adding recipe books that I find wonderful....of course it's all about the rice...which I eat very sparingly these days...but I still try to have some and put a little aside on the first/fifteenth of each month for ancestor remembering...

Hoping it's a shared joy--I could buzz about this way too much!

Cerulean_Damselfly