Art of Asia
- Introduction to Japan
- Buddhism in Japan
- Zen Buddhism
- A brief history of the arts of Japan: the Jomon to Heian periods
- A brief history of the arts of Japan: the Kamakura to Azuchi-Momoyama periods
- A brief history of the arts of Japan: the Edo period
- A brief history of the arts of Japan: the Meiji to Reiwa periods
- Japanese art: the formats of two-dimensional works
An introduction to Shinto, one of Japan's earliest belief systems. Created by Asian Art Museum.
Want to join the conversation?
- what does a dragon represent(12 votes)
- A dragon in Eastern culture is a symbol of light, eternal change, wisdom and knowledge. It represents the highest level of spiritual power, of the supernatural, of the endless, it is a spirit of changes. It reflects nature's rhythms, the laws of existence, supernatural wisdom and strength. A dragon is the Sun, the light, the life, it represents the heavens, sovereignty, masculine power - the Yang principle.(11 votes)
- What are the major festivals called and what do they mean?(7 votes)
- some of the major festivals are-
daijosai- great food festival
dosojin matsuri- japan's popular fire festivals
hatsumode- new year's shrine visit
harai-Purification ceremonies for cars, airplanes, etc.
but there are more- search Shinto festivals and you'll surely find them!(11 votes)
- Does Korea do the same(5 votes)
- Actually, Korea and Japan have the same stance on their indigenous religions. None of them would actually proclaim themselves as believers of any religion because it would mean that they are advocates for it. Korean indigenous religion is a kind of shamanistic religion known as either Muism or Sinism in Western sources. In modern times, in both countries, both Shinto and Muism are regarded as tradition much more than they are thought of as religion. So I believe that Korea and Japan share the same viewpoint on festivals and religion in modern times.(3 votes)
- Are there any major Shinto shrines in Japan?(3 votes)
- There is imperial shrines such as the Ise Shrines, Izumo Shrine and Atsuta Shrine, and a number of shrines newly built during the Meiji Period, such as Tokyo's Meiji Shrine and Kyoto's Heian Shrine.(3 votes)
- As time goes by, do Japanese Shinto believers create new gods , goddesses,and new belief and customs?(2 votes)
- what do budhists actually believe?(1 vote)
- Buddhists believe that all people feel joy and sadness, pain and pleasure. They believe that by meditation, you can live a life of peace without pain or suffering. No god(s) if that is the question(3 votes)
- At the beginning (0:15) they make reference to Kami. I'd heard of this as animism before and am thinking now that animism is just the generic term for that type of worship. Am I understanding this correctly?(2 votes)
- I'm no expert, but I have researched Kami before, and they do seem to fit the label of animism rather well, so I think your reasoning is sound.(1 vote)
- 2:06I've always wondered two things, one when they make swords and it glows due to the heat, is the sword made of metal or stone, or could it go either way (What glows and what doesn't). Two, would that glow, glow in the dark?(1 vote)
- Is Shinto seperated from Budhism or they are infiltrated into each other in Japan, just like the Buddhism and Daoist in China?(1 vote)
- Find out here. There's a nice essay http://www.japanspecialist.co.uk/travel-tips/shinto-buddhism/(2 votes)
Shinto is Japan's earliest religion. Its followers respect and hold rituals for kami, formless invisible spirits that animate all things and all life. Natural phenomena, humans, and inanimate objects can be vessels for kami. Shinto began its development more than 2,000 years ago. It consisted of rituals for the well-being of the community. Shinto shrines are everywhere in Japan. They range from small household altars to large complexes. Some are found at rural sites, while others are part of the urban landscape. A shrine building is thought to be a temporary residence for the kami, represented by a sacred object hidden from view inside the inner sanctuary. Visitors to a Shinto shrine enter through an archway called a torii. The torii separates everyday space from sacred space. Visitors purify themselves by rinsing their hands and mouths with water from a basin. In front of the shrine, they call for the kami's attention. It might petition for a healthy child or success in college entrance exams. Good luck charms are for sale, and visitors can leave written petitions on special plaques or strips of white paper that will later be used in a ritual by the priests. Kami are occasionally represented in human form, such as these two artworks in the museum. However, many traditional arts, like sword making, are connected with Shinto practice. Most Japanese mark important personal moments at shrines, such as coming-of-age ceremonies and weddings, Though its roots are ancient, Shinto practice is part of contemporary life. At the many annual Shinto festivals, kami are asked to bless the community and its economic livelihood. The kami are jostled in their portable shrines as a way to entertain them during their visit. Purification rites are prominent in Shinto rituals. Water and even fire are used. People visit shrines in large numbers at New Years to seek good fortune in the coming year. These Shinto practices have developed and adapted to changing lifestyles in Japan for hundreds of years, and surely will continue to evolve in the future.