Thursday, December 9, 2010

Shinto-The Way of the Kami

For more than 25 centuries Shinto has been the main religion of the people of Nippon. Shinto is a nature religion in which the Kami are the Shinto deities and natural spirits.

This is a traditional Shinto Shrine Gate (or Torii in Japanese). These symbolize the transition from the day to day world to the entrance to the world of the sacred.
There are "Four Core Structures"in Shinto:

1-Tradition and the family: The family is the main structure by which traditions are preserved. Ancestors are deeply revered and worshipped.
2-Love of nature: Nature is sacred; to be in contact with nature is to be close to the Gods. Natural objects are worshipped as sacred spirits.
3-Physical cleanliness.
4-"Matsuri": The worship and honor given to the Kami and ancestral spirits.

Today most Shinto followers also hold strong Buddhist beliefs.

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