A Shinto shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house one or more kami. Its most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects, not for worship. Although only one word is used in English, in Japanese Shinto shrines may carry any one of many different, non-equivalent names like gongen, -gū, jingū, mori, myōjin, -sha, ubusuna or yashiro. Structurally, a Shinto shrine is characterized by the presence of a honden or sanctuary, where the kami is enshrined; the honden may however be absent, as for example when the shrine stands on a sacred mountain to which it is dedicated, and, worshiped directly. The honden may be missing when there are nearby altar-like structures called himorogi or objects believed capable of attracting spirits called yorishiro that can serve as a direct bond to a kami. There may be a haiden and other structures as well. However, a shrine's most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects rather than for worship. Miniature shrines can be found on roadsides.
Large shrines sometimes have on their precincts miniature shrines. The portable shrines which are carried on poles during festivals enshrine kami and are therefore true shrines. In 927 CE, the Engi-shiki was promulgated; this work listed all of the 2,861 Shinto shrines existing at the time, the 3,131 official-recognized and enshrined Kami. That number has grown and exceeded this figure through the following generations. In Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan placed the number of shrines at 79,467 affiliated with the Association of Shinto Shrines; some shrines, such as the Yasukuni Shrine are independent of any outside authority. The number of Shinto shrines in Japan is estimated to be around 100,000; this figure may, or may not, include private shrines in homes and owned by small groups, abandoned or derelict shrines, roadside Hokora. etc. Ancestors are kami to be worshiped. Yayoi-period village councils sought the advice of ancestors and other kami, developed instruments to evoke them. Yoshishiro means "approach substitute" and were conceived to attract the kami to allow them physical space, thus making kami accessible to human beings.
Village-council sessions were held in quiet spots in the mountains or in forests near great trees or other natural objects that served as yorishiro. These sacred places and their yorishiro evolved into today's shrines, whose origins can be still seen in the Japanese words for "mountain" and "forest", which can mean "shrine". Many shrines have on their grounds one of the original great yorishiro: a big tree, surrounded by a sacred rope called shimenawa; the first buildings at places dedicated to worship were huts built to house some yorishiro. A trace of this origin can be found in the term hokura, "deity storehouse", which evolved into hokora, is considered to be one of the first words for shrine. True shrines arose with the beginning of agriculture, when the need arose to attract kami to ensure good harvests; these were, just temporary structures built for a particular purpose, a tradition of which traces can be found in some rituals. Hints of the first shrines can still be found there. Ōmiwa Shrine in Nara, for example, contains no sacred images or objects because it is believed to serve the mountain on which it stands.
Those images or objects are therefore unnecessary. For the same reason, it has a worship hall but no place to house the kami. Archeology confirms that, during the Yayoi period, the most common shintai in the earliest shrines were nearby mountain peaks that supplied stream water to the plains where people lived. Besides the mentioned Ōmiwa Shrine, another important example is Mount Nantai, a phallus-shaped mountain in Nikko which constitutes Futarasan Shrine's shintai; the name Nantai means "man's body". The mountain not only provides water to the rice paddies below but has the shape of the phallic stone rods found in pre-agricultural Jōmon sites. In 905 CE, Emperor Daigo ordered a compilation of Shinto rules. Previous attempts at codification are known to have taken place, neither the Konin nor the Jogan Gishiki survive. Under the direction of Fujiwara no Tokihira, the project stalled at his death in April 909. Fujiwara no Tadahira, his brother, took charge and in 912 CE and in 927 CE the Engi-shiki was promulgated in fifty volumes.
This, the first formal codification of Shinto rites and Norito to survive, became the basis for all subsequent Shinto liturgical practice and efforts. In addition to the first ten volumes of this fifty volume work, sections in subsequent volumes addressing the Ministry of Ceremonies and the Ministry of the Imperial Household regulated Shinto worship and contained liturgical rites and regulation. Felicia Gressitt Brock published a two-volume annotated English language translation of the first ten volumes with an introduction entitled Engi-shiki; the arrival of Buddhism changed the situation, introducing to Japan the concept of the permanent shrine. A great number of Buddhist temples were built next to existing shrines in mixed complexes called jingū-ji (神宮寺, lit. shri
Shinto or kami-no-michi is the traditional religion of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to be carried out diligently to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written historical records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki in the 8th century. Still, these earliest Japanese writings do not refer to a unified religion, but rather to a collection of native beliefs and mythology. Shinto today is the religion of public shrines devoted to the worship of a multitude of "spirits", "essences" or "gods", suited to various purposes such as war memorials and harvest festivals, applies as well to various sectarian organizations. Practitioners express their diverse beliefs through a standard language and practice, adopting a similar style in dress and ritual, dating from around the time of the Nara and Heian periods; the word Shinto was adopted as Jindō or Shindō, from the written Chinese Shendao, combining two kanji: shin, meaning "spirit" or kami.
The oldest recorded usage of the word Shindo is from the second half of the 6th century. Kami is rendered in English as "spirits", "essences", or "gods", refers to the energy generating the phenomena. Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the singular divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms: rocks, rivers, objects and people can be said to possess the nature of kami. Kami and people are not separate; as much as nearly 80% of the population in Japan participates in Shinto practices or rituals, but only a small percentage of these identify themselves as "Shintoists" in surveys. This is. Most of the Japanese attend Shinto shrines and beseech kami without belonging to an institutional Shinto religion. There are no formal rituals to become a practitioner of "folk Shinto". Thus, "Shinto membership" is estimated counting only those who do join organised Shinto sects. Shinto has about 85,000 priests in the country. According to surveys carried out in 2006 and 2008, less than 40% of the population of Japan identifies with an organised religion: around 35% are Buddhists, 3% to 4% are members of Shinto sects and derived religions.
In 2008, 26% of the participants reported visiting Shinto shrines, while only 16.2% expressed belief in the existence of a god or gods in general. According to Inoue: "In modern scholarship, the term is used with reference to kami worship and related theologies and practices. In these contexts,'Shinto' takes on the meaning of'Japan's traditional religion', as opposed to foreign religions such as Christianity, Islam and so forth." Shinto religious expressions have been distinguished by scholars into a series of categories: Shrine Shinto, the main tradition of Shinto, has always been a part of Japan's history. It consists of taking part in worship events at local shrines. Before the Meiji Restoration, shrines were disorganized institutions attached to Buddhist temples; the current successor to the imperial organization system, the Association of Shinto Shrines, oversees about 80,000 shrines nationwide. Imperial Household Shinto are the religious rites performed by the imperial family at the three shrines on the imperial grounds, including the Ancestral Spirits Sanctuary and the Sanctuary of the Kami.
Folk Shinto includes the numerous folk beliefs in spirits. Practices include divination, spirit possession, shamanic healing; some of their practices come from Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism, but most come from ancient local traditions. Sect Shinto is a legal designation created in the 1890s to separate government-owned shrines from local organised religious communities; these communities originated in the Edo period. The basic difference between Shrine Shinto and Sect Shinto is that sects are a development and grew self-consciously, they can identify a founder, a formal set of teachings and sacred scriptures. Sect Shinto groups are thirteen, classified under five headings: pure Shinto sects, Confucian sects,mountain worship sects, purification sects, faith-healing sects (Kurozumikyo／黒住教, Konkokyo/金光教 and its branching Omotokyo/大本教 and Tenrikyo／天理教. Koshintō, literally'Old Shinto', is a reconstructed "Shinto from before the time of Buddhism", today based on Ainu religion and Ryukyuan practices.
It continues the restoration movement begun by Hirata Atsutane. Many other sects and schools can be distinguished. Faction Shinto is a grouping of Japanese new religions developed since the second half of the 20th century that have departed from traditional Shinto and are not always regarded as part of it. Kami, shin, or, jin is defined in English as "god", "spirit", or "spiritual essence", all these terms meaning "the energy generating a thing". Since the Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms. Rocks, rivers, objects, places
Kōjien is a single-volume Japanese dictionary first published by Iwanami Shoten in 1955. It is regarded as the most authoritative dictionary of Japanese, newspaper editorials cite its definitions; as of 2007, it had sold 11 million copies. Kōjien was the magnum opus of Shinmura Izuru, 1876–1967, a professor of linguistics and Japanese at Kyoto University, he was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture and graduated from the prestigious Tokyo University, where he was a student of Kazutoshi Ueda. After studying in Germany, Ueda taught comparative linguistics and edited foreign-language dictionaries in the latter part of the Meiji era. Through his tutelage, Shinmura became involved in Japanese language lexicography. Kōjien editions published after his death credit Shinmura as the chief editor; the predecessor of Kōjien originated during the Great Depression in East Asia. In 1930, the publisher Shigeo Oka wanted to create a Japanese dictionary for high school students, he asked his friend Shinmura to be chief editor, they chose the title Jien in a classical allusion to the Ziyuan Chinese dictionary.
Shinmura appointed his son Takeshi Shinmura as an editor, in 1935, Hakubunkan published the Jien dictionary. It contained some 160,000 headword entries of old and new Japanese vocabulary, as well as encyclopedic content, became a bestseller; the editors began working on a revised edition, but the 1945 Firebombing of Tokyo destroyed their work. After the war and his lexicographers began anew in September 1948. Iwanami Shoten published the first Kōjien in 1955, it included 200,000 headwords, about 40,000 more than the Jien. The 2nd edition deleted about 20,000 old entries and added about 20,000 new ones scientific terms. On December 1, 1976, a revised and expanded version of the 2nd edition was published; the 3rd edition added 12,000 entries, was published in CD-ROM format in 1987. Three major Japanese publishers released new dictionaries designed to compete with the Iwanami's popular and profitable Kōjien: Sanseidō's Daijirin, Shōgakukan's Daijisen, Kōdansha's Nihongo Daijiten. In response, the 4th edition Kōjien was a major revision that added some 15,000 entry words, bringing the total to over 220,000.
The CD-ROM version was published in 1993 and revised with color illustrations in 1996. In 1992, Iwanami published a useful Gyakubiki Kōjien; the 5th edition includes over 230,000 headwords, its 2996 pages contain an estimated total of 14 million characters. Iwanami Shoten publishes Kōjien in several printed and digital formats, sells dictionary subscription services for cell phone and Internet access. Various manufacturers of Japanese electronic dictionaries have licensed the digital Kōjien, it is the core dictionary in many models. Shinmura's preface to the 1st edition stated his hope that the Kōjien would become regarded as the standard by which other dictionaries would be measured; this has been fulfilled. It remains a bestseller in Japan. According to Iwanami, the 1st edition Kōjien sold over one million copies, the 5th edition brought cumulative total sales to over eleven million in 2000; the sixth edition was released on January 11, 2008, includes more than 10,000 new entries, bringing the total to 240,000.
It contains an additional 1,500 quotations. The seventh edition was released on January 12, 2018. Changes include 10,000 new words were added from 100,000 words collected by its editors firstly, including "apuri", "Isuramu-koku", LGBT, "hanii torappu", "jidori" and "diipu raningu". Other changes include citing available source literature for a given explanation of a term, listing changes of the usages of a term, addition of 140 pages without adding book thickness. However, the definition of LGBT in the edition was written as "individuals whose sexual orientation differs from the majority." Some netizens criticized that the definition only describes the "LGB" portion of the acronym which refers to sexual orientation, while the "T" refers to sexual identity. In addition, Taiwanese government objected the change of definition of Taiwan as'the 26th province of People's Republic of China'. Jien?th printing Kōjien 1st edition?th printing Kōjien 2nd edition?th printing Kōjien 2nd revised edition?th printing Kōjien 3rd edition:?th printing Kōjien 4th edition: Includes 220,000 entries, 2500 illustrations.
Regular edition:?th printing desktop edition: B5 page size.?th printing reverse index regular edition?th printing reverse index desktop edition: B5 page size.?th printing leather edition?th printing EPWING CD-ROM edition: CD-ROM includes 84 bird sounds, 234 colour samples, search engine.?th printing Electronic Kōjien 4th edition (
Misogi is a Japanese Shinto practice of ritual purification by washing the entire body. Misogi is related to another Shinto purification ritual called Harae – thus both being collectively referred to as Misogiharae. In Kyoto, people douse themselves under Kiyomizu Temple's Otowa no taki waterfall, although the majority of visitors drink from the waters rather than plunging into them; every year, many groups take pilgrimages to sacred waterfalls and rivers, either alone or in small groups, to perform misogi. Mount Ontake, the Kii mountain range and Mount Yoshino are but a few examples of ancient and well known areas for Misogi in Japan. In the United States misogi is performed at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America at the Konryu Myojin no Taki waterfall each morning. Before encountering misogi, members undergo some sort of preliminary purification; such things as prayers, fasting, or some sort of physical activity is common. Women put on a special white kimono and a headband and men put on a fundoshi and head band.
They begin furitama or "spirit shaking" by clenching their hands in front of the stomach and shaking them up and down, vibrating the upper torso. The purpose of this is to become aware of/unified with the spirit's presence within. Following this is a "warm-up" or calisthenics; these two aforementioned practices are sometimes accompanied by special incantations. After, the leader begins to speak out invocations/prayers; the followers speak along with them, thus affirming the potential for realizing one's own spirit, thus unifying them with the kami around them. The above exercises are done so participants raise their metabolism and some groups accompany this with deep breathing, they may be sprinkled with purifying salt and may be given sake to spit into the waterfall in three mouthfuls. Sometimes the participants are given salt to throw into the waterfall. In some groups, the leader counts to nine and cuts the air while shouting the word "yei!" to dispel this impurity. The participants enter the waterfall while continuously chanting the phrase harai tamae kiyome tamae rokkon shōjō.
This phrase asks the kami to wash away the impurity from the six elements that make up the human being, the five senses and the mind. The practice of this varies from group to group, each having their own methods. Misogi is used in some forms of martial arts aikido, to prepare the mind for training and to learn how to develop one's Dantian, or centre; the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba used this form of meditation to complement his training and search for perfection. The Sen Shin tei Misogi Well at Ki Society Headquarters in Japan is a well-known place for people performing misogi with cold water before sunrise. Baptism Ghusl Mikveh Temizuya, a pavilion for ritual purification at the entrance to Shinto shrines Fisher, Mary Pat. Living Religions, 5th ed. Prentice Hall
Glossary of Shinto
This is the glossary of Shinto, including major terms the casual reader might find useful in understanding articles on the subject. Words followed by an asterisk are illustrated by an image in one of the photo galleries. Within definitions, words set in boldface are defined elsewhere in the glossary. Aku - Evil; the term's meaning is however not limited to moral evil, includes misfortune and unhappiness. Amaterasu Ōmikami - The Sun Goddess, tutelary kami and ancestor of the Emperor, enshrined at Ise Shrine. An* - a small table or platform used during Shinto ceremonies to bear offerings, it may have eight or sixteen legs. Anzen - Safety safety at work requested from a kami, in fact corporations have a tutelary shrine to ensure their business prospers. Aramitama - The rough and violent side of a spirit. Bekkū or betsugū - Subsidiary shrine next to the honden, which may however enshrine an important kami. Benzaiten - Originally a Vedic goddess Sarasvati, now a syncretic goddess member of the seven lucky gods.
Her Shinto name is Ichikishima-hime-no-mikoto. Bettō - before the shinbutsu bunri, when the Meiji period law forbade the mixing of Shinto and Buddhism, a bettō was a monk who performed Buddhist rites at a Shinto shrine. Bishamonten - Syncretic deity of Buddhist origin part of the Seven Lucky Gods. A symbol of authority, he protects warriors. Bon Matsuri - a festival celebrated around July 15 in order to console the spirits of the dead. In theory a Buddhist in practice an ancestor and family festival part of Shinto. Bosatsu - Bodhisattva. Term of Buddhist origin which however was and is used for deities of mixed Buddhist/Shinto ancestry like Benzaiten and Jizō, kami like Hachiman and deified human beings like Tokugawa Ieyasu. Buden - see kaguraden. Bunrei - process of division of a kami producing two complete copies of the original, one of, transferred to a new shrine through a process called kanjō. Bunsha - Shrine part of a network headed by a famous shrine, from whence its kami was transferred through an operation called kanjō.
Butsudan - Buddhist altar found in Japanese homes enshrining a family's ancestors. Chigi* - Forked decorations common at the ends of the roof of shrines. Chinju - the tutelary kami or tutelary shrine of a certain area or Buddhist temple. Chinjusha* - a small shrine dedicated to the tutelary kami of an area or building. Chōchin - paper lanterns always present at Shinto festivals chōzuya - see temizuya. Daijōsai - Ceremony marking the beginning of an Emperor's reign in which he offers first fruits to ancestors, including Amaterasu; the Emperor shares a meal with the goddess. Dai-gongen - see gongen. Daikokuten - syncretic god part of the seven lucky gods fusing Buddhist god Mahakala and kami Ōkuninushi. Dōsojin - group of kami and Buddhist gods protectors of roads and other places of transition. Ebisu - god of prosperity found at both temples and shrines. One of the Seven Lucky Gods. ema* - small wooden plaques on which worshipers at shrines, as well as Buddhist temples, write their prayers or wishes.
Fox - See kitsune. Fuji - The most famous among Japan's sacred mountains, it is inhabited by a kami called Konohanasakuya-hime. Fukkō Shintō - name synonymous with kokugaku. Go-hei* - called onbe or heisoku. A wooden wand decorated with two shide and used in Shinto rituals as a yorishiro. Gongen A Buddhist god that chooses to appear as a Japanese kami to take the Japanese to spiritual salvation. Name sometimes used for shrines before the shinbutsu bunri. Gongen-zukuri - a shrine structure in which the haiden, the heiden and the honden are interconnected under the same roof in the shape of an H.* Goryō - A soul, angry for having died violently or unhappy, which needs to be pacified through Buddhist rites or enshrinement, like Sugawara no Michizane. Goshintai - see shintai. Gozu-tennō - Buddhist name of kami Susanoo, considered an avatar of Yakushi Nyorai. -gū - suffix of certain shrine names indicating it enshrines a member of the imperial family. Hachiman-gū shrines, for instance, enshrine Emperor Ojin.
Hachiman - Popular syncretic kami tutelary god of the warrior class. First enshrined at Usa Hachiman-gū, it consists of three separate figures, Emperor Ōjin, his mother and his wife Himegami. Hachiman-zukuri - Shinto architectural style in which two parallel structures with gabled roofs are interconnected on the non-gabled side forming a single building which, when seen from the side, gives the impression of two. Haibutsu kishaku - Literally "Destroy Buddha, kill Shakyamuni", it was the slogan of a Meiji period anti-Buddhist movement responsible for the destruction of thousands of Buddhist temples. Haiden* - "hall of prayer". A shrine building dedicated to prayer, the only one of a shrine open to laity. Hakusan - collective name given to three mountains worshiped as kami and sacred to the Shugendō. Hakusan shrines are common all over Japan. Hamaya - Literally "evil breaking arrow". Arrows kept at home all year. Han-honji suijaku - theory initiated by Yoshida Kanetomo which reversed the standard honji suijaku theory, asserting Buddhist gods were just avatars of Japanese kami. haraegushi - an ōnusa having an hexagonal or octagonal wand. harae - general term for rituals of purification in Shinto.
Hassoku-an - See an. Hatsumōde - the first shrine visit of the New Year; some shrines, for example Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, see millions of visitors in just a few days. Heiden - a section of a shrine where offerings are presented to the gods. Heihaku - see
A kannushi called shinshoku, is the person responsible for the maintenance of a Shinto shrine as well as for leading worship of a given kami. The characters for kannushi are sometimes read jinshu with the same meaning; the kannushi were intermediaries between kami and could transmit their will to common humans. A kannushi was a man capable of miracles or a holy man who, because of his practice of purificatory rites, was able to work as a medium for a kami; the term evolved to being synonymous with shinshoku, that is, a man who works at a shrine and holds religious ceremonies there. In ancient times, because of the overlap of political and religious power within a clan, it was the head of the clan who led the clansmen during religious functions, or else it could be another official; the role evolved into a separate and more specialized form. The term appears in both the Nihon Shoki. In them Empress Jingū and Emperor Sujin became kannushi. Within the same shrine, for example at Ise Jingū or Ōmiwa Shrine, there can be different types of kannushi at the same time called for example Ō-kannushi, Sō-kannushi, or Gon-kannushi.
Kannushi can marry and their children inherit their position. Although this hereditary status is no longer granted, it continues in practice; the clothes they wear, for example the jōe, the eboshi and the kariginu, do not have any special religious significance, but are official garments used in the past by the Imperial court. This detail reveals the figure of the Emperor. Other implements used by kannushi include a baton called shaku and a wand decorated with white paper streamers called ōnusa. Kannushi are assisted in their religious or clerical work by women called miko. To become a kannushi, a novice must study at a university approved by the Association of Shinto Shrines Tokyo's Kokugakuin University or Ise's Kogakkan University, or pass an exam that will certify his qualification. Women can become kannushi and widows can succeed their husbands in their job. Miko, female equivalent Norito Kannushi, Encyclopedia of Shinto
Hatsumōde is the first Shinto shrine visit of the Japanese New Year. Some people visit a Buddhist temple instead. Many visit on the first, second, or third day of the year as most are off work on those days. Wishes for the new year are made, new omamori are bought, the old ones are returned to the shrine so they can be burned. There are long lines at major shrines throughout Japan. Most of the people in Japan are off work from December 29 until January 3 of every year, it is during this time that the house is cleaned, debts are paid and family are visited and gifts are exchanged. It would be customary to spend the early morning of New Year's Day in domestic worship, followed by sake—often containing edible gold flakes—and special celebration food. During the hatsumōde, it is common for men to wear a full kimono—one of the rare chances to see them doing so across a year; the act of worship is quite brief and individual and may involve queuing at popular shrines. The o-mamori vary in price; some shrines and temples have millions of visitors over the three days.
Meiji Shrine for example had 3.45 million visitors in 1998, in the first three days of January 2010, 3.2 million people visited Meiji Jingū, 2.98 million Narita-san, 2.96 million Kawasaki Daishi, 2.7 million Fushimi Inari-taisha, 2.6 million Sumiyoshi Taisha. Other popular destinations include Atsuta Jingū, Tsurugaoka Hachimangū, Dazaifu Tenman-gū, Hikawa Shrine. A common custom during hatsumōde is to buy a written oracle called omikuji. If your omikuji predicts bad luck you can tie it onto a tree on the shrine grounds, in the hope that its prediction will not come true; the omikuji goes into detail, tells you how you will do in various areas in your life, such as business and love, for that year. A good-luck charm comes with the omikuji when you buy it, believed to summon good luck and money your way