By Seth Randell

What is Shintoism?

Shintoism or Shinto is one of the most well known and practiced religions in Japan. Shinto means "Way of the gods" and has been around since some time near 1000 B.C, but is still practiced today by about 5 Million people. Shintoism believes in the spiritual power of other objects . Shintoism also believes that spirits, also known as kami, live in objects. Such as plants, rocks, animals, etc.

Where did Shintoism originate from?

Shintoism originated in prehistoric times, and occupied a strong national position over the region for an extended period of time, particularly recent times. Shintoism was mainly popular in Japan, and adjacent countries. Shintoism soon spread through different types of diffusion, and became hard to pinpoint due to Shintoism not having any official documents other then sacred texts such as the "Kojiki"

Diffusion of Shintoism?

Shintoism mainly diffuses wherever there is a group of followers as they can spread the religion throughout regions, but since Buddhism was (and is) labeled as one of the main religions in the area. Buddhism eventually overwhelmed Shintoism, and became the main religion of Japan and other countries soon followed. Shintoism spread through the common folk of people as they relocated to other areas. You could also consider Hierarchical diffusion took place as Shintoism had been written by emperors and promoted the religion to their followers. Therefore passed down from the top of the chain to the bottom.

Cultural Landscape of Shintoism

Shintoism is represented mainly through religious architecture such as shrines. Shines are used to create a "link" to religions and people considered sacred to the religion. There have been over 80,000 shrines built by religious followers. These shrines help define the religion, and show people how the architecture defines Shinto. Shrines have been burned by Buddhist followers to promote Buddhism, which kind of defeats their principle of peace.

Territorial Conflicts with Shintoism

Shintoism was appointed as the nation's religion for a long time until it was realized that the country's principle was causing conflict between other religions such as Buddhism. The post-war constitution of 1946 declared equality to all religions and denounced Shintoism as the country's religion. This caused trouble for religious sites such as the "Yasukuni Shrine" which commemorated the soldiers who lost their lives during the war. Buddhists wanted to convert the shrine into a national institution. This caused a lot of controversy between the two religions, and their need for the land.

Magazine Article

Magazine Cover

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Article (Scholary Article)

This article describes the impact of Shintoism on the people, and how it correlates with Buddhism. As said in the article, the author believes that Shintoism forced followers to "become Japanese, and support the culture" (Toshio 2), by this I believe the author was trying to say that the religious values of Shinto had brought followers to the point that their morals and understanding of what and how they perceive things had been changed due to religion. The author believed that Shinto had been influenced by Buddhism and that it acts a branch as it borrows similar values from the religion. A lot of people are willing to argue this, but it does make a point. A religion so great and popular would be able to popularize a similar religion, but altered to fit the needs of other people. For now people won't have the sufficient evidence and reasoning to support Toshio's beliefs, and how Shintoism influenced the culture of Japan to become what it is today.

This basic summary of a Scholary article explains the impact of Shintoism to its followers and how came to be one of the most popular religions in the world. It tries to help define and help people comprehend Shintoism and the attributes it has to effect a body of people, and as well a country.

Timeline of Shintoism (Smore crashed and didn't save all of timeline) FIX LATER

708 CE - 714 CE: The Kojiki is written, the book contains an abundant amount of myths and stories, which began to build the basis of Shintoism.

Founder of Shintoism

Shintoism doesn't have a direct founder, no official sacred pieces of literature, and no formalized system of doctrine. Shintoism had been popularized through the various different texts written by different followers. Shinto documents had been destroyed due to Mongol raids, and others have been lost. This has made it very difficult for historians to piece together the mysterious religion, Shintoism.

Charts and Graphs

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The Photo shows the popularity of Shintoism in the country of Japan

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Buddhism VS Shintoism


- "Religion Project: Shintoism." N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2015. <>.

- "Cultural Landscape of Shintoism." Shintoism. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2015. <>.

- "Religion and Conflict in Japan with Special Reference to Shinto and Yasukuni Shrine." Religion and Conflict in Japan with Special Reference to Shinto and Yasukuni Shrine. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2015. <>.

- "Shinto Timeline." Shinto Timeline. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2015. <>.

- "Library." Shinto Origins, Shinto History, Shinto Beliefs. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. <>.

- "Review: New Studies on the History of Japanese Folk Religion." Asian Folklore Studies 22.No. (1963): 385-86. Shinto in the History of Japanese Religion. Web. 14 Dec. 2015. <>.