by Pierce, James and Shashwath


Shinto has no one founder of the religion. Shinto was formed from many cults that resided in Japan that came together and formed Shinto.


  • Shinto is often considered a part of Japanese life because of the fact that it is based on rituals instead of beliefs and this is why Buddhism can safely coexist with Shinto in Japan for over 1000 years.
  • Shinto regards everything as part of a single unified creation.
  • The invisible world is regarded as an extension of everyday world.
  • Is classified as an ethnic religion.


  • The largest is Jinja, or shrine. It is the oldest form of Shintoism and closely resembles the ancient version.
  • The newest form of shintoism is Kyoha. It currently has thirteen heterogenous sections, all with slightly different takes on Shintoism.
  • The third branch is Folk Shinto, which the traditional Shinto practiced by ordinary Japanese people.

Holy Texts

  • The holy books of Shinto are the Kojiki or Records of Ancient Matters and the Nihon-gi or Chronicles of Japan.
  • These texts give divine authority to the ruling classes of Japan, and to some extent to establish the political supremacy of the Yamato clan over the Izumo clan
  • Explains the mutualistic relationship between kami and humans and define the importance of purity of a person.

Impact on Cultural Beliefs and Expectations

  1. Do not transgress the will of the gods.
  2. Do not forget your obligations to ancestors.
  3. Do not offend by violating the decrees of the State.
  4. Do not forget the profound goodness of the, gods, through which calamity and misfortunes are averted and sickness is healed.
  5. Do not forget that the world is one great family.
  6. Do not forget the limitations of your own person.
  7. Do not become angry even though others become angry.
  8. Do not be sluggish in your work.
  9. Do not bring blame to the teaching.
  10. Do not be carried away by foreign teaching.

Impact on social and family structures

  1. The family, according to Shinto religion, is very important to preserve values and traditions. Child birth and marriage are considered two of the most important celebrations in the religion as they are both related to the institution of family.
  2. When making origami (paper art) they will not cut the paper out of respect for the tree spirit that lived in the tree the paper is from.
  3. Cars are blessed in a ritual by a Shinto priest.

Location and Diffusion

  • The religion is completely exclusive to the Japanese culture and society.
  • The religion was created by the Jomon clan.
  • It began to become the dominant religion of the entire nation
  • Shintoism was established as the state religion of Japan, although it was also heavily influenced by Buddhism.
  • Once Japan began to expand and take over territories in East Asia, Shintoism also went with them, an example of relocation diffusion.
  • Today there is a small area in Southeast Asia (Thailand/Cambodia) that still practice a form of the religion, and other followers are also found throughout the East/Southeast Asian Region, just not near as densely as Japan.

Essential Question

What contributes to the isolation and clustering of a religion?
Shinto Project