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Shinto Shrines

Shinto Shrines Author Joseph Cali
ISBN-10 UCLA:L0103975710
Release 2012-11
Pages 328
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Drawing on 30 years in Japan and deep personal interest in Shinto, the authors have put together a very useable guide to 66 of Japans most important Shinto shrines. Included in the book is a detailed and well-illustrated introductory essay on the history of Shinto, its rituals, beliefs, special celebrations, gods, and symbolism. Entries are organized by region and include thorough treatment of both the physical and spiritual features of each shrine, along with practical information on how to visit and best times to go. Also included is an extensive calendar of annual festivals at each shrine.

A New History of Shinto

A New History of Shinto Author John Breen
ISBN-10 9781444357684
Release 2011-09-13
Pages 280
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This accessible guide to the development of Japan’s indigenous religion from ancient times to the present day offers an illuminating introduction to the myths, sites and rituals of kami worship, and their role in Shinto’s enduring religious identity. Offers a unique new approach to Shinto history that combines critical analysis with original research Examines key evolutionary moments in the long history of Shinto, including the Meiji Revolution of 1868, and provides the first critical history in English or Japanese of the Hie shrine, one of the most important in all Japan Traces the development of various shrines, myths, and rituals through history as uniquely diverse phenomena, exploring how and when they merged into the modern notion of Shinto that exists in Japan today Challenges the historic stereotype of Shinto as the unchanging, all-defining core of Japanese culture


Shinto Author C. Scott Littleton
ISBN-10 UOM:39015060847541
Release 2002
Pages 112
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Filled with spectacular images from Japan, this thoughtful treatment of Japan's native religion and its close relationship to Buddhism traces the history of Shintoism while illuminating its most important rituals and beliefs.

The Sacred Science of Ancient Japan

The Sacred Science of Ancient Japan Author Avery Morrow
ISBN-10 9781591437505
Release 2014-01-24
Pages 224
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The first English translation and examination of secret Japanese writings dating from the paleolithic to classical eras • Examines four suppressed and secret texts to discover the deeper truths beneath Japanese mythology • Introduces evidence of ancient civilizations in Japan, the sacred geometry of primitive times, and claims of a non-Earthly origin of the Emperors • Explores how these texts convey the sacred spiritual science of Japan’s Golden Age with parallels in ancient India, Europe, and Egypt In Japan there are roughly two dozen secret manuscripts originally dating back to the paleolithic era, the age of heroes and gods, that have been handed down by the ruling families for centuries. Rejected by orthodox Japanese scholars and never before translated into English, these documents speak of primeval alphabets, lost languages, forgotten technologies, and the sacred spiritual science. Some even refer to UFOs, Atlantis, and Jesus coming to Japan. Translating directly from the original Japanese, Avery Morrow explores four of these manuscripts in full as well as reviewing the key stories of the other Golden Age chronicles. In the Kujiki manuscript Morrow uncovers the secret symbolism of a Buddhist saint and the origin of a modern prophecy of apocalypse. In the Hotsuma Tsutaye manuscript he reveals the exploits of a noble tribe who defeated a million-strong army without violence. In the Takenouchi Documents he shows us how the first Japanese emperor came from another world and ruled at a time when Atlantis and Mu still existed. And in the Katakamuna Documents the author unveils the sacred geometries of the universe from the symbolic songs of the 10,000-year-old Ashiya tribe. He also discusses the lost scripts known as the Kamiyo Moji and the magic spiritual science that underlies all of these texts, which enabled initiates to ascend to higher emotional states and increase their life force. Taking a spiritual approach à la Julius Evola to these “parahistorical” chronicles, Morrow shows how they access a higher order of knowledge and demonstrate direct parallels to many ancient texts of India, Europe, and Egypt.

The Invention of Religion in Japan

The Invention of Religion in Japan Author Jason Ananda Josephson
ISBN-10 9780226412351
Release 2012-10-03
Pages 404
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Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept of what we call “religion.” There was no corresponding Japanese word, nor anything close to its meaning. But when American warships appeared off the coast of Japan in 1853 and forced the Japanese government to sign treaties demanding, among other things, freedom of religion, the country had to contend with this Western idea. In this book, Jason Ananda Josephson reveals how Japanese officials invented religion in Japan and traces the sweeping intellectual, legal, and cultural changes that followed. More than a tale of oppression or hegemony, Josephson’s account demonstrates that the process of articulating religion offered the Japanese state a valuable opportunity. In addition to carving out space for belief in Christianity and certain forms of Buddhism, Japanese officials excluded Shinto from the category. Instead, they enshrined it as a national ideology while relegating the popular practices of indigenous shamans and female mediums to the category of “superstitions”—and thus beyond the sphere of tolerance. Josephson argues that the invention of religion in Japan was a politically charged, boundary-drawing exercise that not only extensively reclassified the inherited materials of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto to lasting effect, but also reshaped, in subtle but significant ways, our own formulation of the concept of religion today. This ambitious and wide-ranging book contributes an important perspective to broader debates on the nature of religion, the secular, science, and superstition.

A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine

A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine Author John K. Nelson
ISBN-10 0295975008
Release 1996
Pages 286
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What we today call Shinto has been at the heart of Japanese culture for almost as long as there has been a political entity distinguishing itself as Japan. A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine describes the ritual cycle at Suwa Shrine, Nagasaki's major Shinto shrine. Conversations with priests, other shrine personnel, and people attending shrine functions supplement John K. Nelson's observations of over fifty shrine rituals and festivals. He elicits their views on the meaning and personal relevance of the religious events and the place of Shinto and Suwa Shrine in Japanese society, culture, and politics. Nelson focuses on the very human side of an ancient institution and provides a detailed look at beliefs and practices that, although grounded in natural cycles, are nonetheless meaningful in late-twentieth-century Japanese society. Nelson explains the history of Suwa Shrine, basic Shinto concepts, and the Shinto worldview, including a discussion of the Kami, supernatural forces that pervade the universe. He explores the meaning of ritual in Japanese culture and society and examines the symbols, gestures, dances, and meanings of a typical shrine ceremony. He then describes the cycle of activities at the shrine during a calendar year: the seasonal rituals and festivals and the petitionary, propitiary, and rite-of-passage ceremonies performed for individuals and specific groups. Among them are the Dolls' Day festival, in which young women participate in a procession and worship service wearing Heian period costumes; the autumn Okunchi festival, which attracts participants from all over Japan and even brings emigrants home for a visit; the ritual invoking the blessing of the Kami for young children; and the ritual sanctifying the earth before a building is constructed. The author also describes the many roles women play in Shinto and includes an interview with a female priest. Shinto has always been attentive to the protection of communities from unpredictable human and divine forces and has imbued its ritual practices with techniques and strategies to aid human life. By observing the Nagasaki shrine's traditions and rituals, the people who make it work, and their interactions with the community at large, the author shows that cosmologies from the past are still very much a part of the cultural codes utilized by the nation and its people to meet the challenges of today.


Shinto Author Helen Hardacre
ISBN-10 9780190621711
Release 2016-12-01
Pages 720
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Distinguished scholar of Japanese religions and culture Helen Hardacre offers the first comprehensive history of Shinto, the ancient and vibrant tradition whose colorful rituals are still practiced today. Under the ideal of Shinto, a divinely descended emperor governs through rituals offered to deities called Kami. These rituals are practiced in innumerable shrines across the realm, so that local rites mirror the monarch's ceremonies. Through this theatre of state, it is thought, the human, natural, and supernatural worlds will align in harmony and prosper. Often called "the indigenous religion of Japan," Shinto's institutions, rituals, and symbols are omnipresent throughout the island nation. But, perhaps surprisingly, both its religiosity and its Japanese origins have been questioned. Hardacre investigates the claims about Shinto as the embodiment of indigenous tradition, and about its rightful place in the public realm. Shinto has often been represented in the West as the engine that drove Japanese military aggression. To this day, it is considered provocative for members of the government to visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors the Japanese war dead, and this features as a source of strain in Japan's relations with China and Korea. The Yasukuni Shrine is a debated issue in Japanese national politics and foreign relations and reliably attracts intensive media coverage. Hardacre contends, controversially, that it was the Allied Occupation that created this stereotype of Shinto as the religion of war, when in fact virtually all branches of Japanese religions were cheerleaders for the war and imperialism. The history and nature of Shinto are subjects of vital importance for understanding contemporary Japan, its politics, its international relations, and its society. Hardacre's magisterial work will stand as the definitive reference for years to come.

Religions of Japan in Practice

Religions of Japan in Practice Author George Joji Tanabe
ISBN-10 9780691057897
Release 1999-03-28
Pages 564
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Presents newly translated documents that reveal the teachings and practices of Japanese Buddhism, Shinto, and other faiths, and describes how they affect ethics, religious life, the state, and other aspects of life.

Enduring Identities

Enduring Identities Author John K. Nelson
ISBN-10 0824822595
Release 2000-01
Pages 324
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Annotation. Enduring Identities is an attempt to understand Shinto's continuing relevance to the cultural identity of contemporary Japanese. The enduring significance of this ancient yet innovative religion is evidenced each year by the millions of Japanese who visit its shrines. They might come merely seeking a park-like setting or to make a request of the shrine's deities, asking for a marriage partner, a baby, or success at school or work; or they might come to give thanks for benefits received through the intercession of deities or to legitimate and sacralize civic and political activities.Through an investigation of one of Japan's most important and venerated Shinto shrines, Kamo Wake Ikazuchi Jinja (more commonly Kamigamo Jinja), the book addresses what appears through Western and some Asian eyes to be an exotic and incongruous blend of superstition and reason as well as a photogenic juxtaposition of present and past. Combining theoretical sophistication with extensive field-work and a deep knowledge of Japan, John Nelson documents and interprets the ancient Kyoto shrine's yearly cycle of rituals and festivals, its sanctified landscapes, and the people who make it viable.At local and regional levels, Kamigamo Shrine's ritual traditions (such as the famous Hollyhock Festival) and the strategies for their perpetuation and implementation provide points of departure for issues that anthropologists, historians, and scholars of religion will recognize as central to their disciplines. These include the formation of social memory, the role of individual agency within institutional politics, religious practice and performance, the shaping of sacred space and place, ethnic versus culturalidentity, and the politics of historical representation and cultural nationalism. Nelson links these themes through a detailed ethnography about a significant place and institution, which, until now, has been largely closed to both Japanese and foreign scholars.

The Essence of Shinto

The Essence of Shinto Author Motohisa Yamakage
ISBN-10 4770030444
Release 2006-12-26
Pages 229
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Discusses the character and practices of Shinto. Reverence toward nature is the bedrock of Shinto, which otherwise has neither doctrine, commandments, gods, idols, nor organization. It does not use shrines, great and small, to center devotion, and the aim of the individual adherent is to purify thought, behavior, and person to live the Dao, or a moral life.

Pagan Ethics

Pagan Ethics Author Michael York
ISBN-10 9783319189239
Release 2015-08-05
Pages 435
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This book is the first comprehensive examination of the ethical parameters of paganism when considered as a world religion alongside Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. The issues of evil, value and idolatry from a pagan perspective are analyzed as part of the Western ethical tradition from the Sophists and Platonic schools through the philosophers Spinoza, Hume, Kant and Nietzsche to such contemporary thinkers as Grayling, Mackie, MacIntyre, Habermas, Levinas, Santayana, etc. From a more practical viewpoint, a delineation of applied pagan ethics is then presented in connection with current moral issues such as same-sex union, recreational drugs, environmental awareness, abortion and terrorism. Finally, overviews of sectarian pagan ethics (Shinto, Santeria, Heathenism, Druidry, Romuva, Slavic, Kemeticism, Classical and Wicca) provide both the general and pagan reader with an understanding of the provocative range and differentiation of pagan ethical thought. The book approaches the Western ethical tradition as an historical development and a continuing dialogue. The novelty of this approach lies in its consideration of paganism as a legitimate voice of religious spirituality rather than a satanic aberration or ridiculous childish behavior. The book is aimed at both the contemporary Western pagan and anyone with an interest in the moral dilemmas of our times and the desire to engage in the global ethical discussion. Among the more important features of the book are its presentation of a re-evaluation of idolatry, the notion of the virtue value, the richness of the pagan tradition, and the expansion of Western ethics beyond its Christian heritage.

CultureShock Japan

CultureShock  Japan Author Raina Ong
ISBN-10 9789814771641
Release 2017-02-15
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CultureShock! Japan will guide you through the confusion you will inevitably feel when moving to the Land of the Rising Sun. Peppered with personal anecdotes, this book gives practical advice on how to navigate Japan’s fascinating and complex culture with ease and what to expect at a typical izakaya with your fellow “salarymen” after a long day at work. Discover the best time to view sakura in full bloom in each prefecture and where the best ryokans are. Learn the do’s and don't’s when dining at someone’s home and the right way to eat sushi. So whether you require information on office etiquette or where to find a hot spring, CultureShock! Japan covers it all and help you enjoy your stay in the country. About the Series CultureShock! is a dynamic, comprehensive series of guides for travellers looking to truly understand the countries they are visiting, working in or moving to. Each title explains the country’s customs, traditions and social and business etiquette in a lively, informative style. CultureShock! authors, all of whom have experienced the joys and pitfalls of cultural adaptation, are ideally placed to provide warm and helpful advice to those who seek to integrate seamlessly into diverse cultures.

Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions

Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions Author Paul Loren Swanson
ISBN-10 0824830024
Release 2006
Pages 466
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The Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions has been prepared as an aid for students and scholars engaged in research on Japanese religions. It is the first resource guide to encompass the entire field of Japanese religions and provide tools for navigating it.

Shinto The ancient religion of Japan

Shinto  The ancient religion of Japan Author William George Aston
Release 2017-11-21
Pages 38
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Origins.—The Japanese are in the main a continental race. Their language and physical characteristics show conclusively that they come from Northern Asia, and geographical considerations indicate that Korea must have been their point of embarkation. Indeed a desultory emigration from Korea to Japan continued into historical times. When we say Northern Asia we exclude China. The racial affinity of the Japanese to the Chinese, of which we hear so often, really amounts to very little. It is not closer than that which unites the most distantly related members of the Indo-European family of nations. The Japanese themselves have no traditions of their origin, and it is now impossible to say what form of religion was professed by the earliest immigrants. No inference can be drawn from the circumstance that Sun-worship is common to them with many North-Asiatic races. The Sun is, or has been, worshipped almost everywhere. There is distinct evidence of a Korean element in Shinto, but, with the little that we know of the old native religion of that country, anything like a complete comparison is impossible. Some have recognised a resemblance between Shinto and the old state religion of China, and it is true that both consist largely of Nature-worship. But the two cults differ widely. The Japanese do not recognise Tien (Heaven), the chief Nature-deity of the Chinese, nor have they anything to correspond to their Shangti—a more personal ruler of the universe. The Sun is masculine in China, feminine in Japan. The Sun-goddess takes precedence of the Earth-god in Japan, while in China Heaven and Earth rank above the Sun and Moon. Some Chinese traits are to be found in the old Shinto documents, but they are of later origin, and are readily distinguishable from the native element. A few similarities exist between Shinto and the religion of the Ainus of Yezo, a savage race which once occupied the main island of Japan. But it is reasonable to suppose that in this case the less civilised nation has borrowed from its more civilised neighbour and conqueror rather than vice versa. It is significant that the Ainu words for God, prayer, and offering, are taken from the Japanese. If the Malay or Polynesian element, which some have recognised in the Japanese race, has any existence, it has left no trace in religion. Such coincidences as may be noted between Shinto and oceanic religions, myths and practices are attributable to the like action of common causes rather than to inter-communication. The old Shinto owes little to any outside source. It is, on the whole, an independent development of Japanese thought. Sources of Information.—The Japanese had no writing until the introduction of Chinese learning from Korea early in the fifth century of our era, and the first books which have come down to us date from the beginning of the eighth. One of these, called the Kojiki (712) is said to have been taken down from the lips of a man whose memory was well stored with the old myths and traditions of his country. He was perhaps one of the guild of ‘reciters,’ whose business it was to recite ‘ancient words’ at the ceremony which corresponds to our coronation. The Kojiki is a repertory of the old myths and legends, and, in the latter part, of the ancient history of Japan. The Nihongi, a work of similar scope, though based more on an existing written literature, was produced a few years later (720). It quotes numerous variants of the religious myths current at this time. There are voluminous and most learned commentaries on these two works written by Motoöri and Hirata in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For the ritual of Shinto our chief source of information is the Yengishiki, a compilation made early in the tenth century. To be continue in this ebook...

A Social History of the Ise Shrines

A Social History of the Ise Shrines Author Mark Teeuwen
ISBN-10 9781474272803
Release 2017-02-09
Pages 320
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The Ise shrine complex is among Japan's most enduring national symbols, and A Social History of the Ise Shrines: Divine Capital is the first book to trace the history of the shrines from their beginnings in the seventh century until the present day. Ise enshrines the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, the imperial ancestress and the most prominent among kami deities, and has played a vital role in Japan's social, political and religious history. The most popular pilgrims' attraction in the land from the sixteenth century onwards, in 2013 the Ise complex once again captured the nation's attention as it underwent its periodic rebuilding, performed once every twenty years. Mark Teeuwen and John Breen demonstrate that the Ise Shrines underwent drastic re-inventions as a result of on-going contestation between different groups of people in different historical periods. They focus on the agents responsible for these re-inventions, the nature of the economic, political and ideological measures they took, and the specific techniques they deployed to ensure that Ise survived one crisis after another in the course of its long history. This book questions major assumptions about Ise, notably the idea that Ise has always been defined by its imperial connections, and that it has always been a site of Shinto. Written by leading authorities in the field of Shinto studies, this is the essential history of Japan's most significant sacred site.

Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Religions

Handbook of Contemporary Japanese Religions Author Inken Prohl
ISBN-10 9789004234352
Release 2012-09-03
Pages 676
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Representing work by some of the leading scholars in the field, the chapters in this handbook survey the transformation and innovation of religious traditions and practices in contemporary Japan.

Mountain Mandalas

Mountain Mandalas Author Allan G. Grapard
ISBN-10 9781474249027
Release 2016-02-25
Pages 320
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In Mountain Mandalas Allan G. Grapard provides a thought-provoking history of one aspect of the Japanese Shugendo tradition in Kyushu, by focusing on three cultic systems: Mount Hiko, Usa-Hachiman, and the Kunisaki Peninsula. Grapard draws from a rich range of theorists from the disciplines of geography, history, anthropology, sociology, and humanistic geography and situates the historical terrain of his research within a much larger context. This book includes detailed analyses of the geography of sacred sites, translations from many original texts, and discussions on rituals and social practices. Grapard studies Mount Hiko and the Kunisaki Peninsula, which was very influential in Japanese cultural and religious history throughout the ages. We are introduced to important information on archaic social structures and their religious traditions; the development of the cult to the deity Hachiman; a history of the interactions between Buddhism and local cults in Japan; a history of the Shugendo tradition of mountain religious ascetics, and much more. Mountain Mandalas sheds light on important aspects of Japan's religion and culture, and will be of interest to all scholars of Shinto and Japanese religion. Extensive translations of source material can be found on the book's webpage.