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Silver Wind
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Join date : 2007-07-18
Age : 36
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PostSubject: Shinto   Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:33 pm

Shinto is an ancient Japanese religion. Starting about 500 BCE (or earlier) it was originally "an amorphous mix of nature worship, fertility cults, divination techniques, hero worship, and shamanism." 4 Its name was derived from the Chinese words "shin tao" ("The Way of the Gods")
Unlike most other religions, Shinto has no real founder, no written scriptures, no body of religious law, and only a very loosely-organized priesthood.

Shinto creation stories tell of the history and lives of the "Kami" (deities). Among them was a divine couple, Izanagi-no-mikoto and Izanami-no-mikoto, who gave birth to the Japanese islands. Their children became the deities of the various Japanese clans. Amaterasu Omikami (Sun Goddess) was one of their daughters. She is the ancestress of the Imperial Family and is regarded as the chief deity. Her shrine is at Ise. Her descendants unified the country. Her brother, Susano came down from heaven and roamed throughout the earth. He is famous for killing a great evil serpent

The Kami are the Shinto deities. The word "Kami" is generally translated "god" or "gods."

There are numerous other deities who are conceptualized in many forms: Those related to natural objects and creatures, from food to rivers to rocks
Guardian Kami of particular areas and clans
Exceptional people, including all but the last of the emperors.
Abstract creative forces

They are seen as generally benign; they sustain and protect the people

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