Skye, or the Isle of Skye, is the largest and northernmost of the major islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The island's peninsulas radiate from a mountainous centre dominated by the Cuillin, the rocky slopes of which provide some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the country. Although it has been suggested that the Gaelic Sgitheanach describes a winged shape there is no definitive agreement as to the name's origins; the island has been occupied since the Mesolithic period, its history includes a time of Norse rule and a long period of domination by Clan MacLeod and Clan Donald. The 18th century Jacobite risings led to the breaking up of the clan system and subsequent Clearances that replaced entire communities with sheep farms, some of which involved forced emigrations to distant lands. Resident numbers declined from over 20,000 in the early 19th century to just under 9,000 by the closing decade of the 20th century. Skye's population increased by 4 per cent between 1991 and 2001.
About a third of the residents were Gaelic speakers in 2001, although their numbers are in decline, this aspect of island culture remains important. The main industries are tourism, agriculture and forestry. Skye is part of the Highland Council local government area; the island's largest settlement is Portree, its capital, known for its picturesque harbour. There are links to various nearby islands by ferry and, since 1995, to the mainland by a road bridge; the climate is mild and windy. The abundant wildlife includes red deer and Atlantic salmon; the local flora are dominated by heather moor, there are nationally important invertebrate populations on the surrounding sea bed. Skye has provided the locations for various novels and feature films and is celebrated in poetry and song; the first written references to the island are Roman sources such as the Ravenna Cosmography, which refers to Scitis and Scetis, which can be found on a map by Ptolemy. One possible derivation comes from skitis, an early Celtic word for winged, which may describe how the island's peninsulas radiate out from a mountainous centre.
Subsequent Gaelic-, Norse- and English-speaking peoples have influenced the history of Skye. Various etymologies have been proposed, such as the "winged isle" or "the notched isle" but no definitive solution has been found to date. In the Norse sagas Skye is called Skíð, for example in the Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar and a skaldic poem in the Heimskringla from c. 1230 contains a line that translates as "the hunger battle-birds were filled in Skye with blood of foemen killed". The island was referred to by the Norse as Skuy, Skýey or Skuyö; the traditional Gaelic name is An t-Eilean Sgitheanach, An t-Eilean Sgiathanach being a more recent and less common spelling. In 1549 Donald Munro, High Dean of the Isles, wrote of "Sky": "This Ile is callit Ellan Skiannach in Irish, to say in Inglish the wyngit Ile, be reason it has mony wyngis and pointis lyand furth fra it, throw the dividing of thir foirsaid Lochis." But the meaning of this Gaelic name is unclear. Eilean a' Cheò, which means island of the mist, is a poetic Gaelic name for the island.
At 1,656 square kilometres, Skye is the second-largest island in Scotland after Harris. The coastline of Skye is a series of peninsulas and bays radiating out from a centre dominated by the Cuillin hills. Malcolm Slesser suggested that its shape "sticks out of the west coast of northern Scotland like a lobster's claw ready to snap at the fish bone of Harris and Lewis" and W. H. Murray, commenting on its irregular coastline, stated that "Skye is sixty miles long, but what might be its breadth is beyond the ingenuity of man to state". Martin Martin, a native of the island, reported on it at length in a 1703 publication, his geological observations included a note that: There are marcasites black and white, resembling silver ore, near the village Sartle: there are in the same place several stones, which in bigness, shape, &c. resemble nutmegs, many rivulets here afford variegated stones of all colours. The Applesglen near Loch-Fallart has agate growing in it of different colours. Stones of a purple colour flow down the rivulets here after great rains.
The Black Cuillin, which are composed of basalt and gabbro, include twelve Munros and provide some of the most dramatic and challenging mountain terrain in Scotland. The ascent of Sgùrr a' Ghreadaidh is one of the longest rock climbs in Britain and the Inaccessible Pinnacle is the only peak in Scotland that requires technical climbing skills to reach the summit; these hills make demands of the hill walker that exceed any others found in Scotland and a full traverse of the Cuillin ridge may take 15–20 hours. The Red Hills to the south are known as the Red Cuillin, they are composed of granite that has weathered into more rounded hills with many long scree slopes on their flanks. The highest point of these hills is one of only two Corbetts on Skye; the northern peninsula of Trotternish is underlain by basalt, which provides rich soils and a variety of unusual rock features. The Kilt Rock is named after the tartan-like patterns in the 105 metres cliffs; the Quiraing is a spectacular series of rock pinnacles on the eastern side of th
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
Herring are forage fish belonging to the family Clupeidae. Herring move in large schools around fishing banks and near the coast; the most abundant and commercially important species belong to the genus Clupea, found in shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans, including the Baltic Sea, as well as off the west coast of South America. Three species of Clupea are recognised, provide about 90% of all herrings captured in fisheries. Most abundant of all is the Atlantic herring. Fishes called herring are found in the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal. Herring played a pivotal role in the history of marine fisheries in Europe, early in the 20th century, their study was fundamental to the evolution of fisheries science; these oily fish have a long history as an important food fish, are salted, smoked, or pickled. A number of different species, most belonging to the family Clupeidae, are referred to as herrings; the origins of the term "herring" is somewhat unclear, though it may derive from the Old High German heri meaning a "host, multitude", in reference to the large schools they form.
The type genus of the herring family Clupeidae is Clupea. Clupea contains three species: the Atlantic herring found in the north Atlantic, the Pacific herring found in the north Pacific, the Araucanian herring found off the coast of Chile. Subspecific divisions have been suggested for both the Atlantic and Pacific herrings, but their biological basis remains unclear. In addition, a number of related species, all in the Clupeidae, are referred to as herrings; the table below includes those members of the family Clupeidae referred to by FishBase as herrings which have been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A number of other species are called herrings, which may be related to clupeids or just share some characteristics of herrings. Just which of these species are called herrings can vary with locality, so what might be called a herring in one locality might be called something else in another locality; some examples: The species of Clupea belong to the larger family Clupeidae, which comprises some 200 species that share similar features.
These silvery-coloured fish have a single dorsal fin, soft, without spines. They have a protruding lower jaw, their size varies between subspecies: the Baltic herring is small, 14 to 18 cm. At least one stock of Atlantic herring spawns in every month of the year; each spawns at place. Greenland populations spawn in 0–5 m of water, while North Sea herrings spawn at down to 200 m in autumn. Eggs are laid on the sea bed, on rock, gravel, sand or beds of algae. Females may deposit from 20,000 to 40,000 eggs, according to age and size, averaging about 30,000. In sexually mature herring, the genital organs grow before spawning, reaching about one-fifth of its total weight; the eggs sink to the bottom, where they stick in layers or clumps to gravel, seaweed, or stones, by means of their mucous coating, or to any other objects on which they chance to settle. If the egg layers are too thick they suffer from oxygen depletion and die, entangled in a maze of mucus, they need substantial water microturbulence provided by wave action or coastal currents.
Survival is highest in crevices and behind solid structures, because predators feast on exposed eggs. The individual eggs are 1 to 1.4 mm in diameter, depending on the size of the parent fish and on the local race. Incubation time is about 40 days at 3 °C, 15 days at 7 °C, or 11 days at 10 °C. Eggs die at temperatures above 19 °C; the larvae are 5 to 6 mm long at hatching, with a small yolk sac, absorbed by the time the larvae reach 10 mm. Only the eyes are well pigmented; the rest of the body is nearly transparent invisible under water and in natural lighting conditions. The dorsal fin forms at 15 to 17 mm, the anal fin at about 30 mm —the ventral fins are visible and the tail becomes well forked at 30 to 35 mm — at about 40 mm, the larva begins to look like a herring; the larvae are slender and can be distinguished from all other young fish of their range by the location of the vent, which lies close to the base of the tail, but distinguishing clupeoids one from another in their early stages requires critical examination telling herring from sprats.
At one year, they are about 10 cm long, they first spawn at three years. Herrings consume copepods, arrow worms, pelagic amphipods and krill in the pelagic zone. Conversely, they are a central prey forage fish for higher trophic levels; the reasons for this success is still enigmatic. Herring feed on phytoplankton, as they mature, they start to consume larger organisms, they feed on zooplankton, tiny animals found in oceanic surface waters, small fish and fish larvae. Copepods and other tiny crustaceans are the most common zooplankton eaten by herring. During daylight, herring stay in the safety of deep water, feeding at the surface only at night when the chance of being seen by predators is less, they swim along with their mouths open, fi
Kyoto Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. It is best known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. In Japanese, Kyoto was called Kyō, Miyako, or Kyō no Miyako. In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto, from the Chinese calligraphic, jingdu. After the city of Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868, the seat of the Emperor was moved there, Kyoto was for a short time known as Saikyō. Kyoto is sometimes called the thousand-year capital; the National Diet never passed any law designating a capital. Foreign spellings for the city's name have included Kioto and Meaco, utilised by Dutch cartographers. Another term used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi, meaning "urba" or "capital". Ample archaeological evidence suggests human settlement in Kyoto began as early as the Paleolithic period, although not much published material is retained about human activity in the area before the 6th century, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established.
During the 8th century, when powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government, Emperor Kanmu chose to relocate the capital in order to distance it from the clerical establishment in Nara. His last choice for the site was the village of Uda, in the Kadono district of Yamashiro Province; the new city, Heian-kyō, a scaled replica of the Tang capital Chang'an, became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Although military rulers established their governments either in Kyoto or in other cities such as Kamakura and Edo, Kyoto remained Japan's capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Tokyo in 1869 at the time of the Imperial Restoration; the city suffered extensive destruction in the Ōnin War of 1467–1477, did not recover until the mid-16th century. During the Ōnin War, the shugo collapsed, power was divided among the military families. Battles between samurai factions spilled into the streets, came to involve the court nobility and religious factions as well.
Nobles' mansions were transformed into fortresses, deep trenches dug throughout the city for defense and as firebreaks, numerous buildings burned. The city has not seen such widespread destruction since. In the late 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi reconstructed the city by building new streets to double the number of north-south streets in central Kyoto, creating rectangle blocks superseding ancient square blocks. Hideyoshi built earthwork walls called odoi encircling the city. Teramachi Street in central Kyoto is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city. Throughout the Edo period, the economy of the city flourished as one of three major cities in Japan, the others being Osaka and Edo; the Hamaguri rebellion of 1864 burnt down 28,000 houses in the city which showed the rebels' dissatisfaction towards the Tokugawa Shogunate. The subsequent move of the Emperor to Tokyo in 1869 weakened the economy; the modern city of Kyoto was formed on April 1, 1889. The construction of Lake Biwa Canal in 1890 was one measure taken to revive the city.
The population of the city exceeded one million in 1932. There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to persuade the emperor to surrender. In the end, at the insistence of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the city was removed from the list of targets and replaced by Nagasaki; the city was spared from conventional bombing as well, although small-scale air raids did result in casualties. As a result, the Imperial City of Kyoto is one of the few Japanese cities that still have an abundance of prewar buildings, such as the traditional townhouses known as machiya. However, modernization is continually breaking down the traditional Kyoto in favor of newer architecture, such as the Kyōto Station complex. Kyoto became a city designated by government ordinance on September 1, 1956. In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference.
Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The Yamashiro Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama and Nishiyama, with a height just above 1,000 metres above sea level; this interior positioning results in cold winters. There are three rivers in the basin, the Ujigawa to the south, the Katsuragawa to the west, the Kamogawa to the east. Kyoto City takes up 17.9% of the land in the prefecture with an area of 827.9 square kilometres. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an; the Imperial Palace faced south. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyō, Shimogyō, Kamigyō-ku still follow a grid pattern. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a fa
Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text, it encompasses the religion and culture of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. Judaism encompasses a wide body of texts, theological positions, forms of organization; the Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, supplemental oral tradition represented by texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world. Within Judaism there are a variety of movements, most of which emerged from Rabbinic Judaism, which holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah; this assertion was challenged by various groups such as the Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period.
Modern branches of Judaism such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic. Today, the largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism. Major sources of difference between these groups are their approaches to Jewish law, the authority of the Rabbinic tradition, the significance of the State of Israel. Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin and unalterable, that they should be followed. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism promoting a more traditionalist interpretation of Judaism's requirements than Reform Judaism. A typical Reform position is that Jewish law should be viewed as a set of general guidelines rather than as a set of restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews. Special courts enforced Jewish law. Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and the rabbis and scholars who interpret them.
The history of Judaism spans more than 3,000 years. Judaism has its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Judaism is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions; the Hebrews and Israelites were referred to as "Jews" in books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title "Children of Israel". Judaism's texts and values influenced Abrahamic religions, including Christianity and the Baha'i Faith. Many aspects of Judaism have directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law. Hebraism was just as important a factor in the ancient era development of Western civilization as Hellenism, Judaism, as the background of Christianity, has shaped Western ideals and morality since Early Christianity. Jews are an ethnoreligious group including those born Jewish, in addition to converts to Judaism. In 2015, the world Jewish population was estimated at about 14.3 million, or 0.2% of the total world population. About 43% of all Jews reside in Israel and another 43% reside in the United States and Canada, with most of the remainder living in Europe, other minority groups spread throughout Latin America, Asia and Australia.
Unlike other ancient Near Eastern gods, the Hebrew God is portrayed as solitary. Judaism thus begins with ethical monotheism: the belief that God is one and is concerned with the actions of mankind. According to the Tanakh, God promised Abraham to make of his offspring a great nation. Many generations he commanded the nation of Israel to love and worship only one God, he commanded the Jewish people to love one another. These commandments are but two of a large corpus of commandments and laws that constitute this covenant, the substance of Judaism. Thus, although there is an esoteric tradition in Judaism, Rabbinic scholar Max Kadushin has characterized normative Judaism as "normal mysticism", because it involves everyday personal experiences of God through ways or modes that are common to all Jews; this is played out through the observance of the Halakha and given verbal expression in the Birkat Ha-Mizvot, the short blessings that are spoken every time a positive commandment is to be fulfilled.
The ordinary, everyday things and occurrences we have, constitute occasions for the experience of God. Such things as one's daily sustenance, the day itself, are felt as manifestations of God's loving-kindness, calling for the Berakhot. Kedushah, nothing else than the imitation of God, is concerned with daily conduct, with being gracious and merciful, with keeping oneself from defilement by idolatry and the shedding of blood; the Birkat Ha-Mitzwot evokes the consciousness of holiness at a rabbinic rite, but the objects employed in the majority of these rites are non-holy and of general character, while the several holy objects are non-theurgic. And not only do ordinary things and occurrences bring with them the experience of God. Everything that happens to a man evokes that exp
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