Shinto Religion in Japan


ShintoReligion in Japan

ShintoReligion in Japan

Shintois one of the notable religions in Japan alongside Buddhism(Ellwood, 2005). Shinto is professed by the Japanese as an indigenous religion thathas been in place for centuries. Historians say Shinto is as old asJapan. Shinto differs from other religions such as Christianity,Buddhism, Islam, and others in terms of doctrine and beliefs. It alsodoes not have a specific founder whose teachings are attributable asthe foundation of the religion. Shinto does not have referentialscriptures or writings. However, the religion is intertwined with theculture and traditions of the Japanese people. Believers of Shintoprofess ‘Shinto gods’. They refer to the gods as kami(Ellwood, 2007).Thekamiarebelieved to be sacred spirits that exist in the reincarnation ofphysical things and phenomena such as wind, rain, rivers, trees, andmountains. The spirits also take the form of abstract things such asfertility and other concepts that contribute to life on earth.

Whenhuman beings die, believers consider them kami.Thus, extraordinary people in the Japanese society are enshrined. Forexample, the Sun goddess Amaterasu is one of the prominent who had ashrine built in their honor(Smith &amp Marranca, 2009).The shrines become places of worship where Shinto priests live andperform different rituals. Today, the Shinto religion is an importantbasis for prayers in homes and alters or by spending some time nearshrines. People still believe that the religion is a determinant offortune or good luck on road safety, safe childbirth, excelling inexam performance and prosperity in business. Shinto is fundamentallytied to the Japanese culture hence, its practices are also apreservation of a culture that has been in existence for hundreds ofyears.


Ellwood,R. S. (2005). Japanesereligion: A cultural perspective.Prentice Hall.

Ellwood,R. S. (2007). IntroducingJapanese Religion.Routledge.

Smith,H., &amp Marranca, R. (2009). Theworld`s religions.New York: HarperOne.

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