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Pól Mac an Gabhain
13 Jun 2013, 07:57
http://www.sengu.info/pdf/soul-of-japan.pdf

Ise Jingu just recently released a pamphlet with the intention of making Shinto as well known as Ninja and Samurai. It covers the basics of Shinto and shrine etiquette.

If anyone has an interest in Shinto and do not have the money to get your hands on a book then this is a good place to start. This might take a while to load by the way.

Dez
18 Jun 2013, 09:24
Ooooh....I'm going to need to read that later...thank you!

toxicyarnglare
19 Jun 2013, 21:08
I've always been interested in shinto, in fact it's philosophies greatly influence my worldview on spiritual subjects, but I feel it's hard to get into without knowing japanese. Pol Mac, since your profile suggests you're shinto, what would you suggest for someone in a similar place like me, with the language barrier?

Pól Mac an Gabhain
04 Jul 2013, 04:16
I've always been interested in shinto, in fact it's philosophies greatly influence my worldview on spiritual subjects, but I feel it's hard to get into without knowing japanese. Pol Mac, since your profile suggests you're shinto, what would you suggest for someone in a similar place like me, with the language barrier?

Encyclopedia of Shinto is a fantastic website which covers everything for you.

Maria de Luna
04 Jul 2013, 04:18
Oooooh new reads this morning! fantastic! is there a web address for it? or a link (I am fairly certain you have a high enough post count.)

Pól Mac an Gabhain
17 Jul 2013, 08:55
Oooooh new reads this morning! fantastic! is there a web address for it? or a link (I am fairly certain you have a high enough post count.)

I believe I posted a link in the OP.

Jembru
19 Jul 2013, 20:59
I know this isn't an 'ask a' thread, but as we haven't got one for Shinto, I hope I can be forgiven for putting this here.

My understanding of Shinto is limited, but what I have come across, I've liked the sound of. Anyway, I've heard that some people consider it a pagan path but I've also come across people almost recoil in horror at the very suggestion. I'm curious then, as to what people here think. Does Shinto count as pagan and if not, why not? When I lived in Japan, as an uneducated observer of these traditions, it all looked very pagan to me, or at least, how I personally defined paganism at the time.

I did try to work with Shinto deities but for some reason, I felt a very strong sense that they weren't interested in working with me. You know when you walk into a bar you've never been in and the locals all stop talking normally and start whispering. You get that cold chill and know that you can't just walk out of there, but you should leave as soon as you down the small drink you've ordered to keep face? Well, that is the best way I can describe the feeling I got. I also don't think I personally could feel connected to those deities outside of Japan. Probably because I work with local deities so in my mind, these beings belong to the land itself (isn't that actually a Shinto belief? I'm not sure how those who practice outside of Japan reconcile that).

However, I'm more than happy to learn customs from my Japanese friends, give them a more local twist and incorporate them into my own practice. I'm particulary interested in the little 'spells' (I guess charm would be a better word) that children do. For example, I recently learnt about the custom of making a teruterubouzu to ward off rain. It's like a little ghost that kids make then hang in the window when want fine weather. I think it's time to take mine down now though. lol.

I have said for ages that I want to make my own daruma some time too. These are such a cute idea (but give me the creeps: I want to make mine all girly and pretty). You buy them without their eyes painted (I've seen them with just one blank eye too) and you paint one eye and make a wish. When your wish comes true, you paint the other eye. I hear they're popular with high school students when they are taking entrance exams for uni. It's the little things like that, that I like. From what I can tell, these customs seem to be almost exclusively a kids thing these days, but I bet they were done by adults too in Japanes more superstitious past.

turningtides
04 Aug 2013, 20:59
I know it's been a while since this thread was moving, but I did want to add that I've experienced some of the same standoffish-ness that Jembru spoke about. When I was teaching in Japan, I did visit different temples and shrines, often as a tourist. But I would stop and greet the guardians of the shrine, and ask their blessing. The most contact I've ever gotten was a neutral "..." from the deities.

As for belief among the Japanese, the small town I lived in put together a festival for the nature spirits in the moutain. When I asked what and why we were having it (it was the first I'd seen of it, living there for four years), my friend said that there had been a death on the mountain side after the town had NOT had a town festival. So having it again was a way to acknowledge the mountain spirit and set things to rights. I wish I had learned more before I left!

toxicyarnglare
04 Aug 2013, 21:11
The standoff-ishness could always be because the way they worship is very, very different than the rest of paganism. Not to mention most of the kami are probably local spirits, and as far as my limited knowledge goes, it may be a different ballgame trying to appease them than deities that most western pagans worship.

Riothamus12
04 Aug 2013, 21:33
I am a little confused.As far as I know Shinto does not really proselytize. I know the wisdom of the Gods is not restricted, but as far as I know, Shinto does not take "converts" the same way other religions do.