by: Miika Jarvela, Raghav Kotha, and Chaitanya Kalathuru
Basic Religious Beliefs
- all branches of Shintoism include the beliefs of impurity, purification, and afterlife
- each branch has more of their own basic beliefs.
- Shrine Shinto (the modern type of Shintoism, includes summer festivals and good luck charms)
- Imperial Household Shinto (type of Shintoism that only the imperial family follows. They worship three shrines)
- Folk Shinto (many fragmented folk beliefs put together. Ex include shaman healing, and belief in spirit)
- Sect Shinto (Sect Shinto is a type of Shintoism broken into sect that worship government owned shrines)
- Koshinto (the old Shinto, which includes beliefs Ainu religion)
How the Religion Diffused
- relocation diffusion (uncommon):
like folk culture
only spread when people move and take with them
- throughout Japan, it diffused orally from generation to generation
- hierarchical diffusion:
first emperor, then high classes, middle, and finally, lower classes
Number of Followers
- millions of followers
- inclusive religion:
hard to document adherents
- estimate range from 3 to 4 million up to 100 million and above
3 to 4 million is reasonable
- 10 million Japanese participate in festivals
Map Illiustrating Distribution of Followers
Key Figures & Important People
- there are no key figures who helped create Shintoism.
- they are two important people with the name of Izanagi and Izanami who are significant in the creation of Japan
- Izanagi and Izanami were given the task to create the world
- Izanagi and Izanami are two people from an Shintoism myth
- it is believed by the followers of Shintoism that Izanagi lowered his magical spear from the bridge of heaven to the waters of Earth.
- the spear caused the creation of the country Japan.
- Shintoism has no holy texts
- there is a book about the major accounts of the Shinto cosmogony:
- 2 important religious symbols:
the red dot on the Japanese flag or "The Land of the Rising Sun"
- Torii is a religious symbol which marks the entrance to the sacred space
- it represents the transition between the real word to the world of the gods
- the red dot on the Japanese flag or "The Land of the Rising Sun" is Amaterasu's symbol
- Amaterasu is the sun goddess
- she is an important goddess in Shintoism
Torii Gate: Miyajima Torii
Place of Worship
- the place of worship is a shrine because the shrine is the dwelling of the gods or “kami”
- the shrine is called the mija or jinja
- it is a simple and austere wooden structure
- the sacred objects that represents god are hidden in the innermost chambers hidden from the sight of people
- Shinto shrines are dedicated to different gods or kami
Impact on Social and Family Structure
- world is one great family
- pay obligations to your ancestors
- not much impact on family structure
- teaching of living like gods
- no beliefs, idea, or teaching which models family structure
What is Shinto?
How did the Emporer of the Japanese influence the Shintoist beliefs in Japan?