6. SHINTO OR SYNTOISM

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Estimated year of creation: 600 BC

Main Goddess: Amaterasu Omikami (天 照 大 御 神), the goddess of the Sun.

Headquarters / Capital in the world: Japan.

Number of faithful around the world: 108 million.

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Main symbol of Shintoism: The Torii.

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Main books of Shintoism:

 

The mythical chronicles Kojiki and Nihon Shoki or Nihongi: a series of descriptions that are compiled from 712 and 720 AD These texts have a series of descriptions about the genealogy of the gods from the creation of Japan by the first couple of the Kami, the male figure Izanagi, and the female figure Izanami.

 

In addition to this, they provide the genealogical tree in which the emperors from Amaterasu, goddess of the Sun are found. It is believed that their compilation was mainly due to legitimize the divine right with respect to the imperial family of Japan.

 

It is important to mention that in these texts there are also a series of descriptions in relation to the practice of the ceremonies, as well as the ancient prayers that are called norito, which are used during liturgical acts.

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The Engi Shiki: it is believed that it was written between the years 905 and 927 AD This text has a series of governmental regulations, as well as descriptions and details about the practice of the rites that are performed in the temples and shrines of Shintoism , in addition to other important elements on the foundations of religion. Thus, it is considered one of the most important sacred texts for followers of Shinto.

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Shinto Gobusho: these texts refer to the so-called Five Books of Shintoism, which were compiled during the 13th century at the hands of Shinto priests. The texts present a series of sources of information, which is why only the older priests had access to them and only by them could they be read.

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Kojiki: within mythology this text also appears with a strong power over the foundations of religion, since it narrates the period of The Creation, until reaching the Jinmu, which would be the first figure to become the Emperor of Japan, in addition to be considered a supposed ancestor of the current emperor of the country.

Shinto gods:

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Some of the gods of Shintoism are related to aspects of Buddhism, and some to Confucianism.

Thus are the following gods within this religion:

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Inari: it is the symbol of rice and one of the most venerated figures within Shinto temples. However, over time it has undergone variations, which is why it is currently considered the pattern of business at a general level, which is why it is not only dedicated to the prosperity of agricultural businesses. He is also known as the god of fertility.

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Amaterasu: is a female deity that symbolizes the Sun. She is often related to the heavenly Buddha Vairocana and the emperor of Japan is considered to be his direct descendant.

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Hotei: in Shintoism he is the god of joy, but he is also considered the god of satisfaction.

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Aizen: He is identified as the god of love, but he is also related as the god of singers, musicians and prostitutes.

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Izanagi and Izanami: as we knew them in the Shinto cosmogony, they are the protagonists of the creation myth, because due to their work they are the procreators of the population in Japan.

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Tsukuyomi: He is the god of the moon, as well as being one of the three direct descendants of Izanagi.

 

Kagutsuchi: he is one of the direct children of Izanagi and Izanami, being the god of fire.

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Susanoo: he is the god of the sea, but he is also associated as the god of storms.

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Ama no Uzume: she is the goddess who forces Amaterasu to come out of her cave. This goddess is the representation of fertility, happiness and dance.

Basic principles of Shinto:

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1. To be grateful for the blessings of the kami and the advantages of the ancestors, one must be diligent in the observance of Shinto rituals, being applied with sincerity, joy and purity of heart.

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2. In order to be beneficial to another and in the world of direct deeds to be great, one must serve without the thought of reward, and seek the advancement of the world as the will of the kami.

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3. To tie yourself with others, in harmonious recognition of the emperor's will, pray that the country may prosper and that other people may also live in peace and prosperity.

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The history of the Shinto chapel cannot be summarized as all chapels have their own peculiar history, legends, ritual calendar, kami and associated beliefs. Some chapels are very old, existing before any written record, while some of the most famous chapels have been built 150 years ago. The chapels are built in a variety of architectural styles, from the simplicity of the wood and straw of the Ise Jingu, to the richly ornate chapel of Gongensilios in Nikko.

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The symbol of the Shinto shrine is the universal torii or portal that marks the approach to a shrine. The Torii are of different sizes and styles, and the chapels vary substantially in layout and appearance, reflecting the era in which they were built or rebuilt, the character of the surrounding district, or the characteristics of the natural landscape. Most shrines have at least one honden, a hall in which the kami symbol is laid out.

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The largest chapels have a heiden or hall of offerings, where devotees make ritual offerings to the chapel, and a haiden or hall of worship. While some of the larger chapels receive a more or less constant stream of visitors, most of the smaller chapels are only used occasionally, mainly during festivals.

Short description of Shintoism.

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In the Shinto Japanese language, Shinto - (神道) means "the way of the gods" , a religion that is not based on any sacred text. Their beliefs are based on four ancient books, the most important of which is the Kojiki (古 事 記).

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It is characterized by being a peaceful and benevolent religion, it is not usually preached about it or religious advertising is done to attract new faithful. Practicing almost exclusively in Japan, it is a religion deeply rooted in the customs of the population. Although many Japanese today do not deeply believe in the kami, they do continue to worship and make offerings in their shrines, and in fact a large number of weddings in Japan are celebrated by the Shinto cult.

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It is a religion that lives in harmony with other cults and that believes in the intrinsic good of humanity, so the objective of Shinto rituals is usually to ward off evil spirits that make us commit evil through purification rituals, prayers. and offerings.

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Shinto shrines usually have an arched door called a torii (鳥 居) at their entrance, a bit far from the sanctuary, so this door and the path that follows it separates the sacred space of the temple from the outside. Near the door there is a fountain to clean your hands and mouth to purify yourself before entering the sanctuary. Each temple welcomes one or more kamis (with symbols that represent them, such as a mirror) to which offerings and prayers are made. In Shinto precincts there are usually always statues of dogs or foxes protecting the gods, as well as paper figures made with origami hung around the shrine.

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Reference:

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https://religionesenelmundo.com/creencias/shinto-o-sintoismo/

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https://www.ecured.cu/Sinto%C3%ADsmo

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https://www.espaiwabisabi.com/sintoismo-camino-los-dioses/?v=0b98720dcb2c#:~:text=La%20diosa%20m%C3%A1s%20importante%20del,es%20el%20Emperador%20de% 20Jap% C3% B3n.

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