The Japanese Shinto Faith – Learn Something Interesting


The Japanese Shinto religion translates to mean “way of the gods” in Japanese and primarily focuses upon ancestors and nature, with practitioners believing that every aspect of the universe has a deity (e.g. rivers have a god, mountains have a god, soil has a god etc.) with ancestors believed to have created the world for the current generation living within it. Japanese architecture is an excellent example of Shintoism as Shinto shrines are left in a minimalist state of color and simplicity, unlike contemporary Chinese architecture which is highly colorful and decorative. Shinto shrines never depict imagery of deities as the wood of the architecture itself is representative of nature, and from that simplicity and minimalism. This is also because it is believed that so many gods exist within nature that it would be foolish to only highlight a few in particular. Practitioners of Shinto observe festivals and holidays but no particular day of prayer, unlike monotheistic religions (e.g. Sunday for Christianity, Friday for Islam and Judaism etc.). There is no mainstay scripture of morality or ethical system attached to Shintoism. In Shintoism, old shrines are dismantled and moved for new shrines to be erected every 20 years. The 3 main elements of Shintoism are the mirror, precious stones, and wood



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