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Shinto

Shinto s the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. It is a type of polytheism, and involves the worship of kami or spirits. Some kami are local and can be regarded as the spiritual being/spirit or genius of a particular place, but others represent major natural objects and processes: for example, Amaterasu, the Sun goddess, or Mount Fuji. Shinto is an animistic belief system. The word Shinto, from the original Chinese Shendao combines two kanji: "shin"(loanwords usually retain their Chinese pronunciation, hence shin not kami), meaning gods or spirits; and "tō" (道, "tō"?), meaning a philosophical way or path (originally from the Chinese word dao). As such, Shinto is commonly translated as "The Way of the Gods." Some differences exist between koshinto (the ancient Shintō) and the many types of Shinto taught and practiced today, showing the influences of Buddhism when it was introduced into Japan in the sixth century.[2]

After World War II, Shinto ceased to be Japan's state religion, although it continued to be considered the native religion of Japan. Some Shinto practices and teachings, once given a great deal of prominence during the war, are no longer taught or practiced today, while others still exist as commonplace activities such as omikuji (a form of fortune-telling) and the Japanese New Year to which few people give religious connotations. Important national ceremonies such as coronations and imperial marriages are conducted at the Three Palace Sanctuaries in Tokyo. Shinto and Buddhism Prince Shotoku brought Buddhism to Japan. The introductions of writing in the 5th century and Buddhism in the 6th century from the Korean Peninsula had a profound impact on the development of a unified system of Shinto beliefs. In the early Nara period the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki were written by compiling existing myths and legends into a unified account of Japanese mythology. These accounts were written with two...


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