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Origins of Shintoism and its Impacts on Pre-Modern Japan Essay Example

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Origins of Shintoism and its Impacts on Pre-Modern Japan

Shintoism as a religion worships spirits called "Kami" which may be anything out of the ordinary, may possess the superior power or just anything that may be awe-inspiring. This definition of "kami" or spirits to be worshiped played a vast influence in the set of loyalties that the nation had at the time. The followers of Shintoism generally worship nature that ranges from rocks, rivers, waterfalls, moon and so forth. Shintoism also worships charismatic people, commonly defined as the emperor, and lastly, they also worship abstract concepts like fertility and growth. The followers of Shintoism are expected to follow four affirmations in their everyday lives and in their ways of thinking. These affirmations are to the family, cleanliness, nature worship and matsuri which pertains to fiestas and festivals dedicated to the spirits "kami".  Ancient Japan is well known for images of geishas, samurais and great battles were better known as the Tokugawa period. However, Classical Japan, also known as the Heian era, is more peaceful in comparison. The capital of Japan moved to Heian-Kyo in 796, which translates to the “capital of peace and tranquility” which will, later on, be known as Kyoto. Emperors were strong during the early parts of this period and had a continuing relationship with China. (1)  In 894, the communications between Japan and China ceased to non-existent and Chinese influence to the Japanese nation gravely declined. It is then that the nation truly developed its own culture and society. The Heian era is a period known for the manifestation of great arts and music like “gagaku” which is an imperial court music and poetry. Gagaku was a tradition introduced by China which was then performed during special occasions. (2) The great influence of Shintoism will be seen through the unsparing ritual feasts which have started to take place in temples and have been recorded in various diaries and novels.  

Bibliography

GC Hurst. 1976. “Insei: abdicated sovereigns in the politics of late Heian Japan”. The University Press Group Ltd.

Grapard, Allan G. 1988. ”Institution, ritual, and ideology: The twenty-two shrine-temple multiplexes of Heian Japan”.

"Samurai" from Calliope World History Magazine for Young People, Volume Three, No. 3, Jan./Feb., 1993

JP Mass. 1974. “Warrior Government in Early Medieval Japan: A Study of the Kamakura Bakufu, Shugo, and Jitao”

HP Varley. 1971.“Imperial restoration in medieval Japan”. Columbia UP.

Borton, Hugh. 1968. “Peasant uprisings in Japan of the Tokugawa period”. New York: Paragon Books Reprint Corp.

preview essay on Origins of Shintoism and its Impacts on Pre-Modern Japan
  • Pages: 5 (1250 words)
  • Document Type: Research Paper
  • Subject: Religion and Theology
  • Level: College
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