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Lecture 10

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Religious Studies
RELG 253
Victor S?gen Hori

Shinto Introduction Supposed to be the indigenous religion of the nation Pronounced like "dao" So "shinto" is a Chinese word Means "the way of the God" God = kami Also used to talk about big beautiful things, like trees Ujigami = the god of a uji Shinto Shrines Natural wood Emphasis on natural Painted red sometimes Torii Gateways Look like arches Built on the road that leads to the shrine Kannushi Priest Miko Shrine maidens Characters are the same as the characters for "shaman" Recall "himiko" Born shinto, get married in a shinto temple, etc Shimenawa Sacred ropes Made from rice The area behind that rope is sacred Other uses On car hoods during New Year Gohei White streamers Cut to form a zigzag pattern Placed along the sacred ropes for the same purpose Precious articles Sword Mirror Bronze implement One side is flat and polished The other has some sort of artistic design Still some reflection Curved jewel "Magatama" An attempt to emulate the shape of a claw A bird's talon was associated with the shamans A bird claw was used in shamanistic rituals Ise Jingu Temple Amaterasu Omikami Sun Goddess "Shining in Heaven" Chigi Beams Cut horizontally = female divinity Cut vertically = male divinity Katsuogi Logs Even # = female divinity Odd # = male divinity Izumo Taisha Temple Northern Japan Facing Siberia To Okuninushi Great Lord of the Land Equivalent of a 13-story building The tallest posts are actually 3 huge trees put together Comparison to Other Religions Not institutionalized Local priest who one day declared himself to be the local shinto priest No doctrine No holy text Orthopraxy, not orthodoxy Aesthetic, not ethical Emphasis on what is dirty and what is clean, what is pretty and ugly No focus on rights and wrongs Three major foci Nature a
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