Animism is the religious belief that objects and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Animism perceives all things—animals, rocks, weather systems, human handiwork and even words—as animated and alive. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous peoples in contrast to the more recent development of organised religions. Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives; the animistic perspective is so held and inherent to most indigenous peoples that they do not have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism". Due to such ethnolinguistic and cultural discrepancies, opinion has differed on whether animism refers to an ancestral mode of experience common to indigenous peoples around the world, or to a full-fledged religion in its own right; the accepted definition of animism was only developed in the late 19th century by Sir Edward Tylor, who created it as "one of anthropology's earliest concepts, if not the first".
Animism encompasses the beliefs that all material phenomena have agency, that there exists no hard and fast distinction between the spiritual and physical world and that soul or spirit or sentience exists not only in humans, but in other animals, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder and shadows. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names or metaphors in mythology; some members of the non-tribal world consider themselves animists. Earlier anthropological perspectives, which have since been termed the "old animism", were concerned with knowledge on what is alive and what factors make something alive; the "old animism" assumed that animists were individuals who were unable to understand the difference between persons and things. Critics of the "old animism" have accused it of preserving "colonialist and dualist worldviews and rhetoric"; the idea of animism was developed by the anthropologist Sir Edward Tylor in his 1871 book Primitive Culture, in which he defined it as "the general doctrine of souls and other spiritual beings in general".
According to Tylor, animism includes "an idea of pervading life and will in nature". That formulation was little different from that proposed by Auguste Comte as "fetishism", but the terms now have distinct meanings. For Tylor, animism represented the earliest form of religion, being situated within an evolutionary framework of religion which has developed in stages and which will lead to humanity rejecting religion altogether in favor of scientific rationality. Thus, for Tylor, animism was fundamentally seen as a mistake, a basic error from which all religion grew, he did not believe that animism was inherently illogical, but he suggested that it arose from early humans' dreams and visions and thus was a rational system. However, it was based on unscientific observations about the nature of reality. Stringer notes that his reading of Primitive Culture led him to believe that Tylor was far more sympathetic in regard to "primitive" populations than many of his contemporaries and that Tylor expressed no belief that there was any difference between the intellectual capabilities of "savage" people and Westerners.
Tylor had wanted to describe the phenomenon as "spiritualism" but realised that would cause confusion with the modern religion of Spiritualism, prevalent across Western nations. He adopted the term "animism" from the writings of the German scientist Georg Ernst Stahl, who, in 1708, had developed the term animismus as a biological theory that souls formed the vital principle and that the normal phenomena of life and the abnormal phenomena of disease could be traced to spiritual causes; the first known usage in English appeared in 1819. The idea that there had once been "one universal form of primitive religion" has been dismissed as "unsophisticated" and "erroneous" by the archaeologist Timothy Insoll, who stated that "it removes complexity, a precondition of religion now, in all its variants". Tylor's definition of animism was a part of a growing international debate on the nature of "primitive society" by lawyers and philologists; the debate defined the field of research of a new science: anthropology.
By the end of the 19th century, an orthodoxy on "primitive society" had emerged, but few anthropologists still would accept that definition. The "19th-century armchair anthropologists" argued "primitive society" was ordered by kinship and was divided into exogamous descent groups related by a series of marriage exchanges, their religion was the belief that natural species and objects had souls. With the development of private property, the descent groups were displaced by the emergence of the territorial state; these rituals and beliefs evolved over time into the vast array of "developed" religions. According to Tylor, the more scientifically advanced a society became, the fewer members of that society believed in animism. However, any remnant ideologies of souls or spirits, to Tylor, represented "survivals" of the original animism of early humanity. In 1869, the Edinburgh lawyer
Modern system of ranked Shinto shrines
The modern system of ranked Shinto shrines was an organizational aspect of the establishment of Japanese State Shinto. This system classified Shinto shrines as "other" shrines; the official shrines were divided into Imperial shrines, which are parsed into minor, medium, or major sub-categories. Some shrines are the "first shrines" called ichinomiya that have the highest rank in their respective provinces of Japan; the Ise Grand Shrine stood at the top of all shrines and thus was outside the classification. In 1871, an Imperial decree established a hierarchic ranking of Shinto shrines; these rankings were set aside in 1946, when such rankings were deemed "State Shinto" by the Occupation Shinto Directive. The Jinja Honcho has a different List of Special Shrines. In 1871, the Kanpei-sha identified the hierarchy of government-supported shrines most associated with the imperial family; the kampeisha were shrines venerated by the imperial family. This category encompasses those sanctuaries enshrining emperors, imperial family members, or meritorious retainers of the Imperial family.
The most ranked Imperial shrines or Kanpei-taisha encompassed 67 sanctuaries. The mid-range of ranked Imperial shrines or Kanpei-chūsha included 23 sanctuaries; the lowest ranked among the Imperial shrines or Kanpei-shōsha were five sanctuaries. In addition to the ranked Imperial shrines, there were other shrines at which the kami of emperors were venerated; the Kokuhei-sha identified the hierarchy of government-supported shrines with national significance. The kokuheisha enshrined kami considered beneficial to more local areas; the most ranked, nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Taisha were six sanctuaries. The mid-range of ranked, nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Chūsha encompassed 47 sanctuaries; the lowest ranked, nationally significant shrines or Kokuhei Shōsha includes 50 sanctuaries. List of Shinto shrines Twenty-Two Shrines Setsumatsusha
Edo Neo-Confucianism, known in Japanese as Shushi-Gaku, refers to the schools of Neo-Confucian philosophy that developed in Japan during the Edo period. Neo-Confucianism reached Japan during the Kamakura period; the philosophy can be characterized as humanistic and rationalistic, with the belief that the universe could be understood through human reason, that it was up to man to create a harmonious relationship between the universe and the individual. The 17th-century Tokugawa shogunate adopted Neo-Confucianism as the principle of controlling people and Confucian philosophy took hold. Neo-Confucians such as Hayashi Razan and Arai Hakuseki were instrumental in the formulation of Japan's dominant early modern political philosophy. Neo-Confucianism has its origins in the Chinese Tang Dynasty; the Song Dynasty philosopher Zhou Dunyi is seen as the first true "pioneer" of Neo-Confucianism, using Daoist metaphysics as a framework for his ethical philosophy. Neo-Confucianism developed both as a renaissance of traditional Confucian ideas, as a reaction to the ideas of Buddhism and religious Daoism.
Although the Neo-Confucianists denounced Buddhist metaphysics, Neo-Confucianism did borrow Daoist and Buddhist terminology and concepts. Neo-Confucianism was brought to Japan during the late Kamakura period, it was spread as basic education for monks in training and others of the Five Mountain System network of Zen temples while its theory was completed by annotations brought by the monk Yishan Yining, who visited Japan in 1299 from the Yuan Dynasty, in the form of the Cheng-Zhu school of Neo-Confucianism. Moreover, Neo-Confucianist thought derived from the works of Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao, Zhu Xi, the then-orthodox ideology of China and Korea; the rise of Neo-Confucianism in Japan was aided by state support from the Tokugawa government, who encouraged the establishment of national secular ideology as a method of strengthening political rule over the country. The philosophy had arrived earlier in the 14th century, but knowledge of it was limited to Zen monasteries, who saw Confucianism as intellectually interesting, but secondary to Zen, some schools like the Ashikaga Gakko.
The pioneering Japanese Neo-Confucian was Fujiwara Seika, a former Zen practitioner interested in Confucian thought, who rejected Zen ideas to become one of Neo-Confucianism's foremost advocates in Japan. Fujiwara's student, Hayashi Razan, served the Tokugawa shōguns, through state patronage was able to establish the Shoheiko academy. After the Kansei Edict established Neo-Confucianism as Japan's official ideology, the Shoheiko academy became the premier authority on Confucian orthodoxy. Although heterodox schools of Neo-Confucianism were banned, the schools still persisted in Japan; the Japanese philosopher Toju Nakae is one such case, more influenced by the heterodox Wang Yang-ming than he was by the orthodox Zhu Xi. The influence of Neo-Confucianism was challenged by the rise of the Kokugaku philosophical school in the 17th and 18th centuries. Kokugaku advocates argued that the ancient Japanese were better representatives of Confucian virtues than the ancient Chinese were, that there should be more intellectual focus on ancient Japanese classics and the indigenous religion of Shinto.
Although philosophical competitors and Neo-Confucianism would co-exist as the dominant philosophical thought of Japan until the arrival of Western philosophy during the Meiji period. Like Chinese and Korean Confucianism, Edo Neo-Confucianism is a social and ethical philosophy based on metaphysical ideas; the philosophy can be characterized as humanistic and rationalistic, with the belief that the universe could be understood through human reason, that it was up to man to create a harmonious relationship between the universe and the individual. The rationalism of Neo-Confucianism is in contrast to the mysticism of the dominant Zen Buddhism in Japan. Unlike the Buddhists, the Neo-Confucians believed that reality existed, could be understood by mankind if the interpretations of reality were different depending on the school of Neo-Confucianism, but the spirit of Neo-Confucian rationalism is diametrically opposed to that of Buddhist mysticism. Whereas Buddhism insisted on the unreality of things, Neo-Confucianism stressed their reality.
Buddhism and Taoism asserted that existence came out of, returned to, non-existence. Buddhists, to some degree, Taoists as well, relied on meditation and insight to achieve supreme reason; the social aspects of the philosophy are hierarchical with a focus on filial piety. This created a Confucian social stratification in Edo society that had not existed, dividing Japanese society into four main classes: the samurai, seen as the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese scholar-bureaucrats, at the top of the social hierarchy the farmers and merchants; the samurai were avid readers and teachers of Confucian thought in Japan, establishing many Confucian academies. Neo-Confucianism introduced elements of ethnocentrism into Japan; as the Chinese Neo-Confucians had regarded their own culture as the center of the world, the Japanese Neo-Confucians developed a similar national pride. This national pride would evolve into the philosophical school of Kokugaku, which would challenge Neo-Confucianism, its perceived foreign Chinese origins, as the dominant philosophy of Japan.
Fujiwara Seika Hayashi Razan Nakai Tōju Yamazaki Ansai Kumazawa Banzan Kinoshita J
Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto is the goddess of dawn and revelry in the Shinto religion of Japan, the wife of fellow-god Sarutahiko Ōkami. She famously relates to the tale of Amaterasu Omikami, her name can be pronounced as Ama-no-Uzume. She is known as Ōmiyanome-no-ōkami, an inari kami due to her relationship with her husband. Amaterasu's brother, the storm god Susano'o, had vandalized her rice fields, threw a flayed horse at her loom, brutally killed one of her maidens due to a quarrel between them. In turn, Amaterasu retreated into the Heavenly Rock Cave, Amano-Iwato; the world, without the illumination of the sun, became dark and the gods could not lure Amaterasu out of her hiding place. The clever Uzume overturned a tub near the cave entrance and began a dance on it, tearing off her clothing in front of the other deities, they considered this so comical. This dance is said to have founded Kagura. Uzume had hung a beautiful jewel of polished jade. Amaterasu heard them, peered out to see what all the fuss was about.
When she opened the cave, she saw the jewel and her glorious reflection in a mirror which Uzume had placed on a tree, came out from her clever hiding spot. At that moment, the god Ame-no-Tajikarawo-no-mikoto dashed forth and closed the cave behind her, refusing to budge so that she could no longer retreat. Another god tied a magic shimenawa across the entrance; the deities Ame-no-Koyane-no-mikoto and Ame-no-Futodama-no-mikoto asked Amaterasu to rejoin the divine. She agreed, light was restored to the earth. Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is still worshiped today as a Shinto kami, spirits indigenous to Japan, she is known as Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, The Great Persuader, The Heavenly Alarming Female. She is depicted in kyōgen farce as a woman who revels in her sensuality. According to Michael Witzel, Uzume is most related to the Vedic goddess Ushas, a descendant of the Proto-Indo-European goddess Hausos. Both goddesses share many similarities such as the cave and the exposure of breasts as a sign of friendship.
Witzel proposed that the Japanese and Vedic religions are much more related compared to other mythologies under what he calls Laurasian mythology, that the two myths may go back to the Indo-Iranian period, around 2000 BCE. Music, Ame-no-Uzume op. 4 composed by Hiroaki Zakōji In Lewis Libby’s The Apprentice, Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is praised at the novel’s climax as “the goddess who brought laughter to the heavens and coaxed the sun from its cave”, while mocked by the novel’s narrator as a “false goddess” who merits her ceremonial murder at the novel’s climax by a figure leaping from the back of the stage. After her death, various successors take up her powers, regaining control of the novel’s youthful protagonist. Ame-no-Uzume appears in the second season of American Gods, played by actress Uni Park. Littleton, C. Scott. Mythology: The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling. London: Duncan Baird Publishers. Pp. 464–467. A substantial article on this subject Amaterasu and Uzume, Goddesses of Japan, at Goddess Gift A one-paragraph glossary entry in Italian
Tsukuyomi-no-mikoto or Tsukuyomi, is the moon god in Shinto and Japanese mythology. The -no-mikoto ending is a common honorific suffix for the names of gods, of similar meaning to "the grand, the great, the exalted"; the name "Tsukuyomi" is a compound of yomi. The Nihon Shoki mentions this name spelled as Tsukuyumi, but this yumi is a variation in pronunciation of yomi. An alternate interpretation is that his name is a combination of mi. "Yomi" may refer to the Japanese underworld, though this interpretation is unlikely. Unlike the myths of ancient Greece or Rome, the Japanese moon deity is male; this is clear in the earliest mentions in sources such as the Kojiki and the Man'yōshū, where Tsukuyomi's name is sometimes rendered as Tsukuyomi Otoko or as Tsukihito Otoko. Tsukuyomi was the second of the "three noble children" born when Izanagi-no-Mikoto, the god who created the first land of Onogoro-shima, was cleansing himself of his sins while bathing after escaping the underworld and the clutches of his enraged dead wife, Izanami-no-Mikoto.
Tsukuyomi was born. However, in an alternate story, Tsukuyomi was born from a mirror made of white copper in Izanagi's right hand. After climbing a celestial ladder, Tsukuyomi lived in the heavens known as Takamagahara, with his sister Amaterasu Ōmikami, the sun goddess, who later became his wife. Tsukuyomi angered Amaterasu when he killed the goddess of food. Amaterasu once sent Tsukuyomi to represent her at a feast presented by Uke Mochi; the goddess created the food by turning to the ocean and spitting out a fish facing a forest and spitting out game, turning to a rice paddy and coughing up a bowl of rice. Tsukuyomi was utterly disgusted by the fact that, although it looked exquisite, the meal was made in a disgusting manner, so he killed her. Soon, Amaterasu learned what happened and she was so angry that she refused to look at Tsukuyomi again, forever moving to another part of the sky; this is the reason that night are never together. In versions of this story, Uke Mochi is killed by Susanoo instead.
Media related to Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto at Wikimedia Commons
Kanji are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside katakana; the Japanese term kanji for the Chinese characters means "Han characters". It is written with the same characters in the Chinese language to refer to the character writing system, hanzi. Chinese characters first came to Japan on official seals, swords, coins and other decorative items imported from China; the earliest known instance of such an import was the King of Na gold seal given by Emperor Guangwu of Han to a Yamato emissary in 57 AD. Chinese coins from the first century AD have been found in Yayoi period archaeological sites. However, the Japanese of that era had no comprehension of the script, would remain illiterate until the fifth century AD. According to the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki, a semi-legendary scholar called Wani was dispatched to Japan by the Kingdom of Baekje during the reign of Emperor Ōjin in the early fifth century, bringing with him knowledge of Confucianism and Chinese characters.
The earliest Japanese documents were written by bilingual Chinese or Korean officials employed at the Yamato court. For example, the diplomatic correspondence from King Bu of Wa to Emperor Shun of Liu Song in 478 has been praised for its skillful use of allusion. Groups of people called fuhito were organized under the monarch to read and write Classical Chinese. During the reign of Empress Suiko, the Yamato court began sending full-scale diplomatic missions to China, which resulted in a large increase in Chinese literacy at the Japanese court. In ancient times paper was so rare that people stenciled kanji onto thin, rectangular strips of wood; these wooden boards were used for communication between government offices, tags for goods transported between various countries, the practice of writing. The oldest written kanji in Japan discovered so far was written in ink on wood as a wooden strip dated to the 7th century, it is a record of trading for salt. The Japanese language had no written form at the time Chinese characters were introduced, texts were written and read only in Chinese.
During the Heian period, however, a system known as kanbun emerged, which involved using Chinese text with diacritical marks to allow Japanese speakers to restructure and read Chinese sentences, by changing word order and adding particles and verb endings, in accordance with the rules of Japanese grammar. Chinese characters came to be used to write Japanese words, resulting in the modern kana syllabaries. Around 650 AD, a writing system called man'yōgana evolved that used a number of Chinese characters for their sound, rather than for their meaning. Man'yōgana written in cursive style evolved into hiragana, or onna-de, that is, "ladies' hand," a writing system, accessible to women. Major works of Heian-era literature by women were written in hiragana. Katakana emerged via a parallel path: monastery students simplified man'yōgana to a single constituent element, thus the two other writing systems and katakana, referred to collectively as kana, are descended from kanji. In comparison to kana kanji are called mana.
In modern Japanese, kanji are used to write parts of the language such as nouns, adjective stems, verb stems, while hiragana are used to write inflected verb and adjective endings and as phonetic complements to disambiguate readings and miscellaneous words which have no kanji or whose kanji is considered obscure or too difficult to read or remember. Katakana are used for representing onomatopoeia, non-Japanese loanwords, the names of plants and animals, for emphasis on certain words. In 1946, after World War II and under the Allied Occupation of Japan, the Japanese government, guided by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, instituted a series of orthographic reforms, to help children learn and to simplify kanji use in literature and periodicals; the number of characters in circulation was reduced, formal lists of characters to be learned during each grade of school were established. Some characters were given simplified glyphs, called shinjitai. Many variant forms of characters and obscure alternatives for common characters were discouraged.
These are guidelines, so many characters outside these standards are still known and used. The kyōiku kanji are 1,006 characters; the list only contained 881 characters. This was expanded to 996 characters in 1977, it was not until 1982 the list was expanded to its current size. The grade-level breakdown of these kanji is known as the gakunen-betsu kanji haitōhyō, or the gakushū kanji; the jōyō kanji are 2,136 characters consisting of all the Kyōiku kanji, plus 1,130 additional kanji taught in junior high and high school. In publishing, characters outside this category are given furigana; the jōyō kanji were introduced in 1981, replacing an older list of 1,850 characters known as the tōyō kanji, introduced in 1946. Numbering 1,945 characters, the jōyō kanji list was extended to 2,136 in 2010; some of the new characters were Jinmeiyō kanji. Since September 27, 2004, the jinmeiyō k
Fudoki are ancient reports on provincial culture and oral tradition presented to the reigning monarchs of Japan known as local gazetteers. They contain agricultural and historical records as well as mythology and folklore. Fudoki manuscripts document local myths and poems that are not mentioned in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki chronicles, which are the most important literature of the ancient national mythology and history. In the course of national unification, the imperial court enacted a series of criminal and administrative codes called ritsuryō and surveyed the provinces established by such codes to exert greater control over them. In the narrower sense, Fudoki refer to the oldest records written in the Nara period called Kofudoki. Compilation of Kofudoki was completed over a 20-year period. Following the Taika Reform in 646 and the Code of Taihō enacted in 701, there was need to centralize and solidify the power of the imperial court; this included accounting for lands under its control.
According to the Shoku Nihongi, Empress Genmei issued a decree in 713 ordering each provincial government to collect and report the following information: Names of districts and townships Natural resources and living things Land fertility Etymology of names for geographic features, such as mountains and rivers Myths and folktales told orally by old people Empress Genmei ordered in 713 that place names in the provinces and townships should be written in two kanji characters with positive connotations. This required name changes. For example, Hayatsuhime became Ishinashi no Oki became Ishii. At least 48 of the Gokishichidō provinces contributed to their records but only that of Izumo remains nearly complete. Partial records of Hizen, Bungo and Hitachi remain and a few passages from various volumes remain scattered throughout various books; those of Harima and Hizen are designated National Treasures. Below is a list of scattered passages. In 1966 the Agency for Cultural Affairs called on the prefectural governments to build open-air museums and parks called Fudoki no Oka near historic sites such as tombs and provincial temples.
These archaeological museums preserve and exhibit cultural properties to enhance public understanding of provincial history and culture. Japanese Historical Text Initiative Akimoto, Kichirō. Nihon Koten Bungaku Taikei 2: Fudoki. Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 4-00-060002-8. Sakamoto, Masaru. Zusetsu Chizu to Arasuji de Wakaru! Fudoki. Seishun Publishing. ISBN 978-4-413-04301-4. Kojima, Noriyuki. Nihon no Koten wo Yomu 3 Nihon Shoki Ge • Fudoki. Shogakukan. ISBN 978-4-09-362173-1. 風土記 texts of the remaining Fudoki & scattered passages in other books. Manuscript scans at Waseda University Library: Hizen, 1800,Bungo, 1800, unknown Tsukamoto, Tetsuzō. Kojiki, Fudoki. Yūhōdō Shoten. Pp. 383–586. Scan at the Internet Archive. 風土記 国土としての始原史～風土記逸文