The History Of Shintoism

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I. Who is their God?
Like many eastern religions Shintoism does not have one God, rather they are a polytheistic sect that believe in many gods and spirits. The term “god” in the world of Shinto really means separation of the divine and humanity (Hartz). While there are some gods, most of the deities are spirits manifested natural world know as kami (Deal). Kami spirits are often considered animated incarnations of the forces of nature and life (Hay 291). There are what the Japanese often refer to as “a million million” Kami in Japan and around the world, meaning that there are far too many to count (Deal). Kami include the Gods who created the universe, but they also include elements in nature and some humans after death (Religion: Shinto).
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Japan is a isolationist society, this means that the Japanese keep to themselves and do not communicate with other countries or cultures. Only within the past century, after the fall of imperial japan, have the Japanese began to communicate with other countries and open themselves up to the rest of the world. Likewise, their culture is very diverse from that of the rest of the world and is lacking in any kind of Christian movement. Furthermore, due to this lack of communication Shinto is completely void of any type of Christ, and because of this lack of a Christ figure Shinto also has no set beliefs in reference to an attainable…show more content…
However, many scholars and Shintoists believe that two books greatly influence Shintoism as a whole. These two books include the Ko-ji-ki and the Nihon-gi (McDowell 115). Firstly, the Ko-Ji-Ki or the “records of ancient matters” was compiled in 712 ad and is the oldest written text record in Japanese (McDowell 115). The Ko-Ji-Ki Contains over one hundred and eighty short stories and chapter that detail the mythology and ancient customs of Japan (Terry 17). The Ko-ji-Ki is the closest thing to an authoritative text as many of the customs and legends taught in the book are still devoutly followed to this day (Terry 16). Second, the Nihon-gi or the "Chronicles of Japan" was compiled around 720 ad and is a much larger collection of similar myths and legends to the Ko-ji-ki. However, the Nihon-gi gives no mention of the previous writing despite detailing many of the same stories (Terry 16). Despite not being divinely written and are not considered authoritative, both books are still regarded as influential and important to

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