Religious beliefs of Shintoism in Japan

Essay by yazzyUniversity, Bachelor'sB, November 2014

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Research Paper

Religious beliefs of Shintoism in Japan

Yasamine Rezai-Ganzagh

Anthropology of Culture 203

Professor Sima Aprahamian

Student ID#: 6643043

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Religion is a compound part of the human experience and differs per person. Even in modern secularized societies, worship has persisted and still exerts a great influence in the lives of individual's worldwide. In Japan, two of their most influential religions are Shinto and Buddhism which have helped shaped Japanese values and traditions. Shinto is the native religion of the indigenous as we all as the practices and beliefs of the people in Japan. The early belief systems were fragmented from region to region across Japan and throughout the centuries until writing was introduced in Japan in the 5th century and Buddhism in the 6th century. Numerous similarities and differences run between both religions; nonetheless, the Japanese often believe in more than one religion at the same time.

This might be possibly due to the polytheistic nature of most popular religions in Japan. The following research paper will explore the history of Shinto including the transmission of Buddhism into Shintoism and a look into the fundamental beliefs of Shintoism.

II. History of Shinto

As with many indigenous traditions, a clear picture of how Shinto might have originated and developed has been rather difficult to achieve. The earliest origins of this uniquely Japanese religion are unknown and unlike monotheistic religions Shintoism has no sacred text as well as no formalized system of doctrine and even a name. Firstly, during this earliest period Shinto was the main religion among the indigenous Japanese people. This religion was also developed among the Japanese people. Shintoism bases were first established during the Yayoi era (300 B.C.E -300 C.E) as highly characterized largely through the combination of many tribe religions under...