Shinto in Japan
By Jacqueline J
- The emperors and all of the Japanese people are descendants of the kami.
- Ultimate reality includes the chaos from which the kami emerged, but the focus of it in relationship to humanity is earth.
- Everything is part of this world. There is no transcendental other world.
- However, there is an invisible world that acts as an extension to the everyday world.
- Kami reside in trees, rivers, streams, and mountains. They can also reside in sacred areas and, sometimes, humans.
- Kami are not divine, perfect, nor omnipotent. Kami are just a higher manifestation of the life energy.
- Human beings are basically good.
- Pollution and sin, known as tsumi, taint. This includes disease, disaster, death, and error.
- A person's purpose is to maintain the pure and natural state of existence.
- Suffering is not a form of punishment for human behavior; instead it is a natural element of human experience.
- The kami were both equally gentle and loving, and awesome and terrifying.
Known as the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu is the greatest of the kami.
Susanoo is the storm god or the kami of the wind. He causes and protects Japan from disasters.
Izanami and Izanagi
They are the two kami who gave birth to everything and created Japan.
- January 1: New Year (time to give thanks and ask for good fortune in the coming year)
- January 15: Adults' day (coming of age festival for everyone over 20)
- February 3: Rissun (bean-throwing festival to celebrate the beginning of spring)
- November 15: Shichigosan (7-5-3 festival to celebrate the children's healthy lives)
- November 23: Niinamesai (harvest festival to give thanks to a good crop yield)