Shinto: Origins, Rituals, Festivals, Spirits, Sacred Places
In Japan, two religions predominate--Buddhism and Shintoism--and the Japanese people see no contradiction in practicing both: worshipping Buddha even as they revere the kami, the divine beings that populate the country and define the indigenous faith of Shintoism.
In Shintoism and the Religions of Japan, C. Scott Littleton illuminates this unusual spiritual pluralism and shows how it has fertilized a vast and varied religious landscape. Littleton describes the origins and development of Shinto (or Kami no Michi, "Way of the Gods"), the introduction of Buddhism a millennium and a half ago, the rise of various sects of Buddhism (some indigenous to Japan), and the role of the imperial court and the shogunate in the nation's religious life. Here too is a clear and succinct summary of Shintoism's teeming pantheon of spiritual figures, the holy writings of Shintoism, and the islands' landscape of holy sanctuaries. Littleton explains how Buddhism has been reinterpreted in light of Japan's indigenous traditions (some monumental statues of the Buddha are worshipped as manifestations of kami), and describes the "new religions" that flourished during the Meiji period of the late nineteenth century, after Japan once again opened up to the outside world. Writing with grace and clarity, he captures the essential features of Japanese religious life, including the countless local festivals and rituals, the importance of harmony and enlightenment, and concepts of death and salvation.
Lavishly illustrated with some thirty color photographs, sprinkled with boxed features that focus on fascinating issues, this volume offers a marvelous tour of Japan's distinctive spiritual experience.
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according to Shinto afterlife Amaterasu ancient Shinto bosatsu Buddhist century chaos Chinese Chronicles cited in Sources clan Columbia University Press Confucian cult Daoism dead deities descendant edited by Tsunoda enshrined EXTRACT AND COMMENTARY faith festival gods guji heaven Heavenly Heian Hirata Atsutane Honinigi imperial line important Shinto island Izanagi Izanagi and Izanami Izumo Japan Jimmu Tenno kamidana kannushi Kingdom of Wei known Kojiki London major matsuri Meiji restoration mikoshi mikoshi portable shrine Mikoto modern Motoori Norinaga mountain Naiku Nara period neighborhood Nihongi Nihonshoki obake Okuninushi ol Japanese Tradition otera Pure Land purification realm religion revered rice rites role Rusaku sacred Second World sects Shinko Shukyo Shinto belief Shinto jinja Shinto kami Shinto priests Shinto revival Shinto ritual Shinto scholar Shinto shrine souls Sources of Japanese Sources ol sun goddess Amaterasu Susano tama temples Tenrikyo Toju Toju Nakae Tokugawa shogunate torii women worship Yamato Yamato-hime Yasukuni Yomi