The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Toho Co. Ltd. is a Japanese film, theater production, distribution company. It has its headquarters in Yūrakuchō, Tokyo, is one of the core companies of the Hankyu Hanshin Toho Group. Outside Japan, it is best known as the producer and distributor of many kaiju and tokusatsu films, the Chouseishin tokusatsu superhero television franchise, the films of Akira Kurosawa, the anime films of Studio Ghibli and TMS Entertainment. Other famous directors, including Yasujirō Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi, Masaki Kobayashi, Mikio Naruse directed films for Toho. Toho's most famous creation is Godzilla, featured in 33 of the company's films. Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah and Mechagodzilla are described as Toho's Big Five because of the monsters' numerous appearances in all three eras of the franchise, as well as spin-offs. Toho has been involved in the production of numerous anime titles, its subdivisions are Toho-Towa Distribution, Toho Pictures Incorporated, Toho International Company Limited, Toho E. B. Company Limited, Toho Music Corporation & Toho Costume Company Limited.
The company is the largest shareholder of Fuji Media Holdings Inc. Toho is a member of the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, is one of Japan's Big Four film studios. Toho was created by the founder of Hankyu Railway, Ichizō Kobayashi, in 1932 as the Tokyo-Takarazuka Theater Company, it managed much of the kabuki in Tokyo and, among other properties, the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater and the Imperial Garden Theater in Tokyo. Toho and Shochiku competed with the influx of Hollywood films and boosted the film industry by focusing on new directors of the likes of Akira Kurosawa, Ichikawa Kon, Kinoshita Keisuke and Shindo Kaneto. After several successful film exports to the United States during the 1950s through Henry G. Saperstein, Toho took over the La Brea Theatre in Los Angeles to show its own films without the need to sell them to a distributor, it was known as the Toho Theatre from the late 1960s until the 1970s. Toho had a theater in San Francisco and opened a theater in New York City in 1963.
The Shintoho Company, which existed until 1961, was named New Toho because it broke off from the original company. Toho has contributed to the production of some American films, including Sam Raimi's 1998 film, A Simple Plan. Ike! Godman Warrior Of Love: Rainbowman Zone Fighter Ike! Greenman Warrior Of Light: Diamond Eye Flying Saucer War Bankid Megaloman Electronic Brain Police Cybercop Seven Stars Fighting God Guyferd Stickin' Around Godzilla Island Chouseishin Gransazer Genseishin Justirisers Chousei Kantai Sazer-X Kawaii! Jenny Belle and Sebastian Igano Kabamaru Touch Kimagure Orange Road Midori Days Psycho-Pass Yowamushi Pedal Haikyū!! Blood Blockade Battlefront My Hero Academia Three Leaves, Three Colors FLCL Progressive FLCL Alternative Dr. Stone Cliff HangerIn more recent years and for a period, they have produced video games. One of their first video game was the 1990 NES game titled Circus Caper, they followed with a series of games based on Godzilla and a 1992 game called Serizawa Nobuo no Birdy Try.
It published games such as Super Aleste. They worked with Bandai on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, released in Japan in 1988 and in the United States in 1989. Toho's headquarters, the Toho Hibiya Building, are in Yūrakuchō, Tokyo; the company moved into its current headquarters in April 2005. TohoScope Tomisaburo Wakayama Tsuburaya Productions Toho Studios Daiei Film Nikkatsu Toei Company Studio Ponoc OLM, Inc. Studio Ghibli Telecom Animation Film Shochiku Shintoho Kadokawa Pictures Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda, Peter H. Brothers; the Toho Studios Story: A History and Complete Filmography, Stuart Galbraith IV Official website Official website Official Toho's YouTube channel. Toho Pictures official website TOHO-TOWA Company, Limited official website TOWA PICTURES Company, Ltd. official website Toho Company on IMDb Toho at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
Remaster refers to changing the quality of the sound or of the image, or both, of created recordings, either audiophonic, cinematic, or videographic. A pyramid of copies would be made from a single original "master" recording, which might itself be based on previous recordings. For example, sound effects might have been added from copies of sound effect tapes similar to modern sampling to make a radio play for broadcast. A master is the recording which experts state will be the definitive copy, duplicated for the end user into other formats i.e. LP records, CDs, DVDs etc. Problematically, several different levels of masters exist for any one audio release; as an example, examine the way a typical music album from the 1960s was created. Musicians and vocalists were recorded on multi-track tape; this tape was mixed to create a mono master. A further master tape would be created from this original master recording consisting of equalization and other adjustments and improvements to the audio to make it sound better on record players for example.
More master recordings would be duplicated from the equalized master for regional copying purposes. Pressing masters for vinyl recordings would be created; these interim recordings were referred to as Mother Tapes. All vinyl records would derive from one of the master recordings. Thus, mastering refers to the process of creating a master; this might be as simple as copying a tape for further duplication purposes, or might include the actual equalization and processing steps used to fine-tune material for release. The latter example requires the work of mastering engineers. With the advent of digital recording in the late 1970s, many mastering ideas changed. Creating new masters meant incurring an analogue generational loss; this means how much of the original intended "good" information is recorded against faults added to the recording as a result of the technical limitations of the equipment used. Although noise reduction techniques exist, they increase other audio distortions such as azimuth shift and flutter, print-through and stereo image shift.
With digital recording, masters could be created and duplicated without incurring the usual generational loss. As CDs were a digital format, digital masters created from original analog recordings became a necessity. Remastering is the process of making a new master for film, or any other creation, it tends to refer to the process of porting a recording from an analogue medium to a digital one, but this is not always the case. For example, a vinyl LP -- pressed from a worn-out pressing master many tape generations removed from the "original" master recording -- could be remastered and re-pressed from a better-condition tape. All CDs created from analogue sources are technically digitally remastered; the process of creating a digital transfer of an analogue tape remasters the material in the digital domain if no equalization, compression, or other processing is done to the material. Ideally, because of their high resolution, a CD or DVD release should come from the best source possible, with the most care taken during its transfer.
Additionally, the earliest days of the CD era found digital technology in its infancy, which sometimes resulted in poor-sounding digital transfers. The earliest days of the DVD era were not much different, with early DVD copies of films being produced from worn prints, with low bitrates and muffled audio; when the first CD remasters turned out to be bestsellers, companies soon realized that new editions of back-catalogue items could compete with new releases as a source of revenue. Back-catalogue values skyrocketed, today it is not unusual to see expanded and remastered editions of modern albums. Master tapes, or something close to them, can be used to make CD releases. Better processing choices can be used. Better prints can be utilized, with sound elements remixed to 5.1 surround sound and obvious print flaws digitally corrected. The modern era gives publishers unlimited ways to touch up, "improve" their media, as each release promises improved sound, video and others, producers hope these upgrades will entice people into making a purchase.
Remastering music for CD or digital distribution first starts from locating the original analog version. The next step tracks so it can be edited using a computer; the track order is chosen. This is something engineers worry about because if the track order is not right, it may seem sonically unbalanced; when the remastering starts, engineers use software tools such as a limiter, an equaliser, a compressor. The compressor and limiters are ways of controlling the loudness of a track. However, this is not to be confused with the volume of a track, controlled by the listener during playback; the dynamic range of an audio track is measured by calculating the variation between the loudest and the quietest part of a track. In recording studios the loudness is measured with negative decibels, zero designates the loudest recordable sound. A limiter works by having a certain cap on the loudest parts and if that cap is exceeded, it is automatically lowered by a ratio preset by the engineer. Remastered audio has been the subject of criticism.
Many remastered CDs from the late 1990s onwards have been affected by the "loudness war", where the average volume of the recording is increased and dynamic range is compresse
Hepburn romanization is a system for the romanization of Japanese that uses the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Latin alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, other information such as train tables, road signs, official communications with foreign countries. Based on English writing conventions, consonants correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation; the Hepburn style was developed in the late 19th century by an international commission, formed to develop a unified system of romanization. The commission's romanization scheme was popularized by the wide dissemination of a Japanese–English dictionary by commission member and American missionary James Curtis Hepburn, published in 1886; the "modified Hepburn system" known as the "standard system", was published in 1908 with revisions by Kanō Jigorō and the Society for the Propagation of Romanization.
Although Kunrei romanization is favored by the Japanese government today, Hepburn romanization is still in use and remains the worldwide standard. The Hepburn style is regarded as the best way to render Japanese pronunciation for Westerners. Since it is based on English and Italian pronunciations, people who speak English or Romance languages will be more accurate in pronouncing unfamiliar Japanese words romanized in the Hepburn style compared to Nihon-shiki romanization and Kunrei-shiki romanization. Hepburn is based on English phonology and has competed with the alternative Nihon-shiki romanization, developed in Japan as a replacement of the Japanese script. In 1930 a Special Romanization Study Commission was appointed to compare the two; the Commission decided in favor of a slightly-modified version of Nihon-shiki, proclaimed to be Japan's official romanization for all purposes by a September 21, 1937, cabinet ordinance. The ordinance was temporarily overturned by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers during the Occupation of Japan, but it was reissued with slight revisions in 1954.
In 1972 a revised version of Hepburn was codified as ANSI standard Z39.11-1972. It was proposed in 1989 as a draft for ISO 3602 but rejected in favor of the Kunrei-shiki romanization; the ANSI Z39.11-1972 standard was deprecated on October 6, 1994. As of 1978 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, many other official organizations used Hepburn instead of Kunrei-shiki. In addition The Japan Times, the Japan Travel Bureau, many other private organizations used Hepburn instead of Kunrei-shiki; the National Diet Library used Kunrei-shiki. Although Hepburn is not a government standard, some government agencies mandate it. For example, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires the use of Hepburn on passports, the Ministry of Land and Transport requires the use of Hepburn on transport signs, including road signs and railway station signs. In many other areas that it lacks de jure status, Hepburn remains the de facto standard. Signs and notices in city offices and police stations and at shrines and attractions use it.
English-language newspapers and media use the simplified form of Hepburn. Cities and prefectures use it in information for English-speaking residents and visitors, English-language publications by the Japanese Foreign Ministry use simplified Hepburn as well. Official tourism information put out by the government uses it, as do guidebooks, both local and foreign, on Japan. Many students of Japanese as a foreign language learn Hepburn. There are many variants of the Hepburn romanization; the two most common styles are as follows: The Traditional Hepburn, as defined in various editions of Hepburn's dictionary, with the third edition considered authoritative. It is characterized by the rendering of syllabic n as m before the consonants b, m and p: Shimbashi for 新橋. Modified Hepburn known as Revised Hepburn, in which the rendering of syllabic n as m before certain consonants is no longer used: Shinbashi for 新橋; the style was introduced in the third edition of Kenkyūsha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, was adopted by the Library of Congress as one of its ALA-LC romanizations, is the most common version of the system today.
In Japan itself, there are some variants mandated for various uses: Railway Standard, which follows the Hyōjun-shiki Rōmaji. All Japan Rail and other major railways use it for station names. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism Standard, how to spell Roman letters of road signs, which follows the modified Hepburn style, it is used for road signs. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Passport Standard, a permissive standard, which explicitly allows the use of "non-Hepburn romaji" in personal names, notably for passports. In particular, it renders the syllabic n as m before b, m and p, romanizes long o as oh, oo or ou. Details of the variants can be found below; the romanizations set out in the first and second versions of Hepburn's dictionary are of historical interest. Notable differences from the third and versions include: エ and ヱ were written as ye: Yedo ズ and ヅ were written as dzu: kudzu, tsudzuku キャ, キョ, キュ were written as kiya, kiy
GAINAX Co. Ltd. is a Japanese anime studio famous for productions such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Royal Space Force, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Kare Kano, FLCL, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Gurren Lagann, which have garnered critical acclaim and been commercially successful. Evangelion has grossed over 150 billion yen, or 1.2 billion USD. In a discussion at the 2006 Tekkoshocon, Matt Greenfield claimed Evangelion had grossed over 2 billion USD; the company is headquartered in Tokyo. Until Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gainax worked on stories created in-house, but the studio has developed anime adaptations of existing manga like Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou and Mahoromatic. Series produced by Gainax are known for their controversial twist endings; the Animage Anime Grand Prix has been awarded to Gainax for Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water in 1991, Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1995 and 1996, The End of Evangelion in 1997. The studio was formed in the early 1980s as Daicon Film by university students Hideaki Anno, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Hiroyuki Yamaga, Takami Akai, Toshio Okada, Yasuhiro Takeda and Shinji Higuchi.
Their first project was an animated short for the 20th Annual Japan National SF Convention known as Daicon III, held in 1981 in Osaka, Japan. The short film is about a girl who fights monsters and spaceships from early science fiction TV shows and films until she reaches a desert plain and pours a glass of water on a dried-out daikon radish, which resurrects itself, grows into a huge spaceship, beams her aboard. Though the short had an ambitious scope, the animation was low-quality; the group made a much bigger splash with the short they produced for the 22nd Annual Japan National SF Convention, Daicon IV, in 1983. Starting with a better animated recap of their original 1981 short, the short moves to the girl as a grown woman, wearing a bunny suit and fighting an wider range of science fiction creatures while surfing through the sky on the sword Stormbringer; the action was all set to the Electric Light Orchestra song "Twilight", though the group's failure to properly license the song would prevent the short's official release on DVD.
The Daicon IV short established Daicon Film as a talented new anime studio. The studio changed its name to Gainax in 1985, basing the term "Gainax" on an obscure Tottori Prefecture term for "giant", with the English suffix -x added because it sounded "good and was international". Gainax's first work as a commercial entity was Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, released in 1987. Honneamise was critically acclaimed and a classic anime movie; the next release, the 1988 OVA Gunbuster, was a commercial success and put Gainax on a stabler footing to produce works like Nadia and Otaku no Video. During this period, Gainax produced a number of items such as garage kit and adult video games. In 1995, Gainax produced their best known series, the commercially successful and critically lauded Neon Genesis Evangelion. In the wake of Evangelion's success, Gainax was audited by the National Tax Agency at the urging of the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau on suspicion of committing tax evasion on the massive profits accruing from various Evangelion properties.
It was revealed that Gainax had concealed 1.56 billion yen worth of income which it had earned between the release of Evangelion and July 1997 by paying related companies various large fees, ostensibly to pay for animation expenses, but immediately withdrawing 90% of the sums from the other company's accounts as cash and storing it in safe deposit boxes. Gainax president Takeshi Sawamura and tax accountant Yoshikatsu Iwasaki were arrested on July 13, 1999 and jailed for accounting fraud. Yasuhiro Takeda defended Sawamura's actions as being a reaction to Gainax's perpetually precarious finances and the shaky accounting procedures internally: "Sawamura understood our financial situation better than anyone, so when Evangelion took off and the money started rolling in, he saw it as our one and only opportunity to set something aside for the future. I guess he was vulnerable to temptation at that point, because no one knew how long the Evangelion goose would keep laying golden eggs. I don't think he purposely set out with the goal of evading taxes.
It was more that our level of accounting knowledge wasn't up to the task of dealing with revenues on such a large scale." In 2004, Gainax marked their 20th anniversary with the production of Diebuster, the sequel to Gunbuster. Gainax's most recent successes on television have been the popular anime series Gurren Lagann and Pant
Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan. The word anime is the Japanese term for animation. Outside Japan, anime refers to animation from Japan or as a Japanese-disseminated animation style characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters and fantastical themes; the culturally abstract approach to the word's meaning may open up the possibility of anime produced in countries other than Japan. For simplicity, many Westerners view anime as a Japanese animation product; some scholars suggest defining anime as or quintessentially Japanese may be related to a new form of Orientalism. The earliest commercial Japanese animation dates to 1917, Japanese anime production has since continued to increase steadily; the characteristic anime art style emerged in the 1960s with the works of Osamu Tezuka and spread internationally in the late twentieth century, developing a large domestic and international audience. Anime is distributed theatrically, by way of television broadcasts, directly to home media, over the Internet.
It is classified into numerous genres targeting diverse broad and niche audiences. Anime is a diverse art form with distinctive production methods and techniques that have been adapted over time in response to emergent technologies, it consists of an ideal story-telling mechanism, combining graphic art, characterization and other forms of imaginative and individualistic techniques. The production of anime focuses less on the animation of movement and more on the realism of settings as well as the use of camera effects, including panning and angle shots. Being hand-drawn, anime is separated from reality by a crucial gap of fiction that provides an ideal path for escapism that audiences can immerse themselves into with relative ease. Diverse art styles are used and character proportions and features can be quite varied, including characteristically large emotive or realistically sized eyes; the anime industry consists of over 430 production studios, including major names like Studio Ghibli and Toei Animation.
Despite comprising only a fraction of Japan's domestic film market, anime makes up a majority of Japanese DVD sales. It has seen international success after the rise of English-dubbed programming; this rise in international popularity has resulted in non-Japanese productions using the anime art style. Whether these works are anime-influenced animation or proper anime is a subject for debate amongst fans. Japanese anime accounts for 60% of the world's animated cartoon television shows, as of 2016. Anime is an art form animation, that includes all genres found in cinema, but it can be mistakenly classified as a genre. In Japanese, the term anime is used as a blanket term to refer to all forms of animation from around the world. In English, anime is more restrictively used to denote a "Japanese-style animated film or television entertainment" or as "a style of animation created in Japan"; the etymology of the word anime is disputed. The English term "animation" is written in Japanese katakana as アニメーション and is アニメ in its shortened form.
The pronunciation of anime in Japanese differs from pronunciations in other languages such as Standard English, which has different vowels and stress with regards to Japanese, where each mora carries equal stress. As with a few other Japanese words such as saké, Pokémon, Kobo Abé, English-language texts sometimes spell anime as animé, with an acute accent over the final e, to cue the reader to pronounce the letter, not to leave it silent as Standard English orthography may suggest; some sources claim that anime derives from the French term for animation dessin animé, but others believe this to be a myth derived from the French popularity of the medium in the late 1970s and 1980s. In English, anime—when used as a common noun—normally functions as a mass noun. Prior to the widespread use of anime, the term Japanimation was prevalent throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In the mid-1980s, the term anime began to supplant Japanimation. In general, the latter term now only appears in period works where it is used to distinguish and identify Japanese animation.
The word anime has been criticised, e.g. in 1987, when Hayao Miyazaki stated that he despised the truncated word anime because to him it represented the desolation of the Japanese animation industry. He equated the desolation with animators lacking motivation and with mass-produced, overly expressionistic products relying upon a fixed iconography of facial expressions and protracted and exaggerated action scenes but lacking depth and sophistication in that they do not attempt to convey emotion or thought; the first format of anime was theatrical viewing which began with commercial productions in 1917. The animated flips were crude and required played musical components before adding sound and vocal components to the production. On July 14, 1958, Nippon Television aired Mogura no Abanchūru, both the first televised and first color anime to debut, it wasn't until the 1960s when the first televised series were broadcast and it has remained a popular medium since. Works released in a direct to video format are called "original video animation" or "original animation video".
The emergence of the Internet has led some animators to distribute works online in a format called "original net anime". The home distribution of anime releases were
Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, worldviews, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements. However, there is no scholarly consensus over what constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain various elements ranging from the divine, sacred things, faith, a supernatural being or supernatural beings or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life". Religious practices may include rituals, commemoration or veneration, festivals, trances, funerary services, matrimonial services, prayer, art, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, symbols and holy places, that aim to give a meaning to life. Religions may contain symbolic stories, which are sometimes said by followers to be true, that have the side purpose of explaining the origin of life, the universe, other things.
Traditionally, faith, in addition to reason, has been considered a source of religious beliefs. There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion; the religiously unaffiliated demographic includes those who do not identify with any particular religion and agnostics. While the religiously unaffiliated have grown globally, many of the religiously unaffiliated still have various religious beliefs; the study of religion encompasses a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, comparative religion and social scientific studies. Theories of religion offer various explanations for the origins and workings of religion, including the ontological foundations of religious being and belief. Religion is derived from the ultimate origins of which are obscure. One possible interpretation traced to Cicero, connects lego read, i.e. re with lego in the sense of choose, go over again or consider carefully.
The definition of religio by Cicero is cultum deorum, "the proper performance of rites in veneration of the gods." Julius Caesar used religio to mean "obligation of an oath" when discussing captured soldiers making an oath to their captors. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder used the term religio on elephants in that they venerate the sun and the moon. Modern scholars such as Tom Harpur and Joseph Campbell favor the derivation from ligare bind, connect from a prefixed re-ligare, i.e. re + ligare or to reconnect, made prominent by St. Augustine, following the interpretation given by Lactantius in Divinae institutiones, IV, 28; the medieval usage alternates with order in designating bonded communities like those of monastic orders: "we hear of the'religion' of the Golden Fleece, of a knight'of the religion of Avys'". In the ancient and medieval world, the etymological Latin root religio was understood as an individual virtue of worship in mundane contexts. In general, religio referred to broad social obligations towards anything including family, neighbors and towards God.
Religio was most used by the ancient Romans not in the context of a relation towards gods, but as a range of general emotions such as hesitation, anxiety, fear. The term was closely related to other terms like scrupulus which meant "very precisely" and some Roman authors related the term superstitio, which meant too much fear or anxiety or shame, to religio at times; when religio came into English around the 1200s as religion, it took the meaning of "life bound by monastic vows" or monastic orders. The compartmentalized concept of religion, where religious things were separated from worldly things, was not used before the 1500s; the concept of religion was first used in the 1500s to distinguish the domain of the church and the domain of civil authorities. In the ancient Greece, the Greek term threskeia was loosely translated into Latin as religio in late antiquity; the term was sparsely used in classical Greece but became more used in the writings of Josephus in the first century CE. It was used in mundane contexts and could mean multiple things from respectful fear to excessive or harmfully distracting practices of others.
It was contrasted with the Greek word deisidaimonia which meant too much fear. The modern concept of religion, as an abstraction that entails distinct sets of beliefs or doctrines, is a recent invention in the English language; such usage began with texts from the 17th century due to events such the splitting of Christendom during the Protestant Reformation and globalization in the age of exploration, which involved contact with numerous foreign cultures with non-European languages. Some argue that regardless of its definition, it is not appropriate to apply the term religion to non-Western cultures. Others argue that using religion on non-western cultures distorts what people believe; the concept of religion was formed in the 16th and 17th centuries, despite the fact that ancient sacred texts like the Bible, the Quran, others did not have a word or a concept of religion in the original languages and neither did the peopl