Is the fundamental religion oldest of the Japan, dependant particularly on its mythology. The term Shintō appeared to differentiate this old religion from the Bouddhisme “imported” in Japan about the 6th century.
CharacteristicsShinto is a mixture of Animisme and Chamanisme melting a polytheism (subdivision ad infinitum of a cosmic force).
The major concept of Shinto is the crowned character of Nature. The deep respect while rising defines the place of the Man in the Universe: to be an element of the Great Whole. Thus, a river, a star, a charismatic character, a simple stone, or even of the abstract concepts as the Fertilité can be regarded as kami . With time, the original veneration for nature attenuated, without however never disappearing. The kami took more human forms, with a broad corpus of associated myths. (See: Japanese Mythology.)
Certain divinities ( kami ) have a local range and can be regarded as spirits or geniuses, but of others are symbols of the major natural elements, such as for example Amaterasu, the solar goddess. The kami represent cosmic flows of energy (the IQ Chinese of which description given by the Shamans is comparable, by its behavior and its form, with the physical electromagnetism of Clerk Maxwell and the animated or heart, heart, Latin courage psychic) which animates the Universe (cf the vital dash of Bergson). These flows are incarnated in the terrestrial elements (mineral, vegetable, animal) to insufflate the life there.
Thus, one finds this concept of flow of energy ( ki in Japanese; 気) in martial arts (Aikido, “Way of the meeting of Energies”), medicine ( byoki , patient, literally “faded energies”) or all the expressions meaning intellectual standpoint (“Ki nor suru”, affected being; “Ki wo tsukeru”, to take guard, etc).
Metaphysics and spiritualitiesResulting thus from the cosmic Unit, these flows melting the life are incarnated in a multitude of kami . The polytheism which emerges some is infinite, in the direction where each piece of life is crowned. Mythology shinto says that there exist 8 million kami ( Happyakuman , 八百万）, because the kanji are also read “Yaoyorozu”, meaning myriad i.e an infinity, an unquantifiable number). While going down on Earth to insufflate the life there, the kami created the Japanese archipelago.
The origin of the Man in this cosmogonic context is not clearly established. But the imperial family bases her charismatic legitimacy (within the meaning of max Weber) on her origin declared like divine (the first emperor Jimmu having been sent on Earth by the kami to found the Japanese nation).
The respect of the ancestors and the feeling of communion with the forces of the universe and the generations last are the spiritual bases of Shinto.
Morals and ethics
Four preceptsAlthough the shintoïsme does not comprise absolute commands for its members, except food " a simple life and harmonizes some with nature and the men " , it is considered that there exists " four préceptes" Shinto spirit:
Tradition and family: The family is regarded as the principal mechanism allowing the safeguarding of the traditions. Its principal events are the births and the marriages.
physical Cleanliness: The disciples of Shinto bathe, wash the hands, and rinse the mouth as often as possible.
Matsuri : to organize festivals dedicated to the kami . The matsuri are very numerous and their dates vary according to the places.
HistoryThe first writings relating to the shintoïsme are the Kojiki (712) and the Nihonshoki (720), compilations of Mythe S and Légende S. Through them, the imperial line is declared descent direct of the goddess Amaterasu, who empowered to him to control the Japan. Their drafting coincides with the appearance of the Bouddhisme on the archipelago, quite simply because the writing was not known of the Japanese until there.
With the arrival of Buddhism, the kami were compared to supernatural beings subjected to the life cycle, die and Réincarnation. Kûkai, on the contrary, sees the kamis like a direct demonstration of the Bouddha S.
During the Period Edo, various attempts take place to separate the “original” shintoïsme from its foreign influences like Buddhism and the Taoïsme.
Between the Restoration Meiji and the end of the second world war, the shintoïsme is promoted with the row of religion of State. The divinized emperor becomes Head of State and supreme commander of the Army and the Navy, and the activities of the other religions as Buddhism are limited. Consequently, and in particular at the time of the era Showa, the principles of Shinto and in particular the worship of Amaterasu are used as base with the expansion of the empire and the hakko ich' iu , the divine right of the “Nipponese race” to dominate Asia.
After the Japanese capitulation of the end of the Second world war, the emperor Hirohito gives up officially his statute of divinity with human form ( akitsumikami ) without giving up however his divine ascent.
Today, of many Japanese several religions embrace, for example dedicating a worship with the ancestral kami , marrying in a Christian church and being made bury according to the Buddhist rites. However, one can consider that the report/ratio maintained by the Japanese people in Shinto is about the cultural one, of the unconscious collective (within the meaning of Jung) more than of that of the monk.
Places of worshipThe shintoïsme is practiced in Sanctuaire S very stripped. A simple mirror, suspended in the sanctuary, comes to constitute the essence of furniture. The presence of this object is explained easily… When to request, you are held vis-a-vis the sanctuary, it is your own image which you see reflecting on dancing surface and thus, this act of faith is like the antique delphic injunction: “Know yourself”, in Greek: “gnôthi seauton” .
The presence of a mirror can also be put on the account of the imperial distinguished : according to the tradition, Amaterasu, divine ancestor of the imperial family, transmitted to its descendants three objects, which are the guarantors of the legitimacy of the capacity. These objects are the sword, the jewel and the mirror.
The Sanctuaire of Yasukuni is one of the most famous places of worship shinto, in particular because of the fact that war criminal condemned by the Tribunal of Tokyo are honoured there. The visits repeated with this sanctuary by the Prime Minister Koizumi caused the indignation of many countries of the Far East.
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