By Wil Deac Japan in the s was a nation caught in a cultural vise. Pressure on one side came from its hermit heritage, based on complex ancient religious, military and political ideas alien to the West. On the other side there was a strong urge to rapidly modernize. That squeeze, intensified by nationalism, led first to an internal clash between moderates and radicals and, ultimately, to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Yutateshinji ceremony performed at the Miwa Shrine Shinto religious expressions have been distinguished by scholars into a series of categories: It consists of taking part in worship practices and events at local shrines. Before the Meiji Restorationshrines were disorganized institutions usually attached to Buddhist temples ; in the Meiji Restoration, they were made independent systematized institutions.
The current successor to the imperial organization system, the Association of Shinto Shrinesoversees about 80, shrines nationwide. Practices include divinationspirit possessionand shamanic healing. Some of their practices come from BuddhismTaoism or Confucianismbut most come from ancient local traditions.
These communities originated especially in the Edo period. The basic difference between Shrine Shinto and Sect Shinto is that sects are a later development and grew self-consciously.
They can identify a founder, a formal set of teachings and even sacred scriptures. Sect Shinto groups are thirteen, and usually classified under five headings: It continues the restoration movement begun by Hirata Atsutane. Many other sects and schools can be distinguished.
Theology and cosmology[ edit ] Main article: Rocks, trees, rivers, animals, places, and even people can be said to possess the nature of kami. The concept of animism in Shinto is no longer current, however.
There is a phonetic variation, kamu, and a similar word in the Ainu languagekamui. An analogous word is mi-koto. There are natural places considered to have an unusually sacred spirit about them and are objects of worship. They are frequently mountains, trees, unusual rocks, rivers, waterfalls, and other natural things.
In most cases they are on or near a shrine grounds. The shrine is a building in which the kami is enshrined housed.
It is a sacred spacecreating a separation from the "ordinary" world. The kamidana is a household shrine that acts as a substitute for a large shrine on a daily basis. In each case the object of worship is considered a sacred space inside which the kami spirit actually dwells, being treated with the utmost respect.
The generation of the Japanese archipelago is expressed mythologically as the action of two gods: Izanagi "He-who-invites" and Izanami "She-who-is-invited". Izanagi-no-Mikoto male and Izanami-no-Mikoto female were called by all the myriad gods and asked to help each other to create a new land which was to become Japan.
They were given a spear with which they stirred the water, and when removed water dripped from the end, an island was created in the great nothingness. They lived on this island, and created a palace. Within the palace was a large pole.
When they wished to bear offspring, they performed a ritual each rounding a pole, male to the left and female to the right, the female greeting the male first. They had two children islands which turned out badly and they cast them out. They decided that the ritual had been done incorrectly the first time.
They repeated the ritual but according to the correct laws of nature, the male spoke first. They then gave birth to the eight perfect islands of the Japanese archipelago.
After the islands, they gave birth to the other Kami. Izanami-no-Mikoto died in childbirth, however, and Izanagi-no-Mikoto tried to revive her. His attempts to deny the laws of life and death have bad consequences. In the myth, the birth of the god of fire Kagu-Tsuchi causes the death of Izanami, who descends into Yomi-no-kunithe netherworld.
Izanagi chases her there, but runs away when he finds the dead figure of his spouse. Normal days are called "day" keand festive days are called "sunny" or, simply, "good" hare. They are done on a daily, weekly, seasonal, lunar, and annual basis.
These rituals are the lifeblood of the practice of Shinto.A Concise History of Japan (Cambridge Concise Histories) [Brett L.
Walker] on ashio-midori.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. To this day, Japan's modern ascendancy challenges many assumptions about world history, particularly theories regarding the rise of the west and why the modern world looks the way it does.
In this engaging new history. Global Opposition to U.S. Surveillance and Drones, but Limited Harm to America’s Image Chapter 4: How Asians View Each Other. Asia is a sprawling continent with a long, contentious history. The rise of militaristic nationalism led Japan down the road to Pearl Harbor and World War II.
By Wil Deac Japan in the s was a nation caught in a cult. A brief history of leaving China, becoming the other, and turning Japanese. A brief history of leaving China, becoming the other, and turning Japanese.
The rise of militaristic nationalism led Japan down the road to Pearl Harbor and World War II. By Wil Deac Japan in the s was a nation caught in a cultural vise. Pressure on one side came from its hermit heritage, based on complex ancient religious, military and political ideas alien to the West.