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Shintoism in Japan

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D and by the end of the sixth century Mahayana Buddhism had become the staple religion of Japan. The term ‘Shinto’ was established by believers during this period so as to distinguish the indigenous Japanese religion from the new Chinese religion. As time passed the religious walls between Buddhism and Shintoism were gradually being blurred and enjoined. It was and is not considered a conflict of beliefs to be both Buddhist and Shinto. The Japanese rely on Buddhist teachings to explain the afterlife and Shinto as a guide to living.

Throughout the centuries, dstinct types of Buddhism such as Zen and Nichiren were being developed by the Japanese while the formal religion Shinto almost vanished as a viable religion. It was rejuvenated in the seventeenth century by a heroic and patriotic minded military hierarchy. They formed the warrior code of Bushido with a mixture of Confucianism and Shinto which evolved into the honorable precepts of loyalty, curage, jstice and truthfulness, aongst others, fr the samurai knight. This code was held to the highest of importance, een more so the individual’s life.

For example, fr many centuries suicide was often encouraged in Japan to avoid dishonor or as a method of protest. The Bushido warrior was a concept that all Japanese military personnel, een through the Second World War, ahered to. When dishonored, te warrior is expected to kill himself by means of self disembowelment with a sword (hara-kiri). Tere are three main groupings of Shinto factions. There are those that place spiritual prominence on nature, ohers who stress shamanism and faith healing, ad a third group that ancient Shinto, sressing purification rituals and other practices comparable to the Hindu Yoga sects (Sprunger, 1999).

Ulike other religions, Sinto has no recognized founder, witten scriptures, witten spiritual law and a less than organized priesthood. The Shinto religion places an enormous significance on being in harmony with nature and in tranquility of the soul. Purity, te sense of public guilt and cleanliness is a main feature of Shinto as the gods are considered as detesting dishonesty and chaos (Yamada, 1996). Shintoism has no clear-cut set of beliefs or a of morality apart from having enduring loyal to the Emperor.

Morality and theology are naturalistic. One of the principal historians of Shintoism, Mtoori. ..

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