Japanese Culture: The Shinto Myth

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There are many different versions of Japanese myth, I am most interested in the Shinto mythology side of the Japanese culture and how it has affected the growth and development of the world to date. The author of the translated version of the Kojiki, Donald L Philippi born in Los Angeles, Philippi studied at the University of Southern California before going to Japan in 1957 on a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Kokugakuin University. In Japan he became an expert in classical Japanese and Ainu. Philippi is known for his translation of the Kojiki. According to the Kojiki, Japanese folk religion can be traced back to at least the yayoi period (400 BC- 250 AD). The word Shinto is derived from two words: SHIN which is a generic term for god …show more content…

In various ways Shinto continues to be part of Japanese life, and folklore remains full of Shinto tales and gods. The Japanese love of nature and sense of closeness to it also derives strongly from Shinto concepts. Early Shinto focused around the animistic worship of natural occurrences--the sun, mountains, trees, water, rocks, and the whole process of fertility. Ancestors were also included among the kami, or deities, worshipped, and no line was drawn between man and nature. Gods were worshipped through offerings, prayers, and festivals at the many shrines. The shrines were made for the imperial ancestors, the god of rice, or the spirit of some remarkable event, such as a big mountain range, a beautiful waterfall, or simply an oddly shaped tree or rock. They did not think of ethics, beyond a hate of death and emphasis on ritual purity. According to Japan-guide.com Shinto is the oldest religion in Japan, practiced by only 11% of the population. I think this is because the fact that "Shinto" has different meanings in Japan: most of the Japanese attend Shinto shrines and beseech kami without belonging to an institution "Shinto" religion, and since there are no formal rituals to become a member of folk "Shinto", "Shinto membership" is often estimated counting those who join organized Shinto sects. Shinto has close to 100,000 shrines and almost as many as 20,000 priests in the

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