Shintoism: Basic Terms and Concepts

Let us examine the brief history, core teachings, fundamental beliefs, practices, and related issues of Shintoism.

Shintoism: Basic Terms and Concepts
The following statements are worth knowing about Shintoism:
1. Shintoism’s concept of the divinity of the Emperor is usually misunderstood especially by Westerners.
Neither the Emperor nor most of Japanese people ever thought that the Emperor was a God in the sense of being a supernatural supreme being.
2. Collectively, the stories in Nihongi and the Kojiki are referred to as the ‘Kiki stories.’ (Read: What is the Kojiki (and its Difference from Nihongi)
3. Kami is the Japanese word for a divine being, god, deity, divinity, spirit, or an aspect of spirituality. (Read: What is Kami in Shintoism (and the Importance of Worshiping these)
The term has been used to describe mind, God, supreme being, one of the Shinto deities, an image, a principle, and anything that is worshipped.
4. The Nihongi focuses on the merits of the righteous rulers as well as the errors of the wicked rulers.
5. Shinto believers find it important to worship the kami also because of the assumed roles they play in the nature. The kami’s supposed primitive roles were as earth-based spirits, helping the early hunter-gatherer groups in their day-to-day lives, thus revered as gods of earth and sea.
6. For reasons mentioned, visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese Prime Ministers have been a cause of protest in Japan and abroad. The visits have long had diplomatic consequences.
7. Amaterasu is the Sun Goddess who was born from the left eye socket of a male creator kami named Izanagi.
8. In principle therefore, all—human beings, birds, animals, trees, plants, mountains, oceans—may be kami. Based on ancient usage, whatsoever seemed extraordinarily impressive, possessed the quality of excellence, or inspired a feeling of awe was called kami.
9. The core teaching of Shintoism is to worship the ancestors and forces of nature to achieve harmony in all dimensions.
10. Shintoism has no founder in the sense that Christianity or Buddhism has a founder, nor is there a person or group of persons who were responsible for developing Shinto as a religion ... continue reading

For other free lectures for students like this, visit Homepage: Introduction to World Religions and Belief Systems

Copyright © by Jens Micah De Guzman





Sponsored Links