Class Notes (807,075)
Canada (492,584)
History (1,237)
HIST 2070 (5)

Essay 1

4 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Guelph
HIST 2070
Norman Smith

Sarah Murphy 0715438 HIST 2070 – Essay 1 Shinto Shinto is a Japanese philosophy, not so much a religion. The word ‘shinto” is a Japaneses adaptation of the Chinese word ‘shen’, meaning good spirits, and ’tao’, meaning way, while the Japanese form is kami-no-michi, both mean ‘the way of the gods’. Kami, from the Japanese form of Shinto can refer to both the mythological gods and goddesses, but also the divinity from all natural objects, places, animals and also, human beings. (Smith, 2013). Sometime between the sixth and ninth centuries, Buddhist monks began to perform religious services in Shinto shrines; this is because there is very little distinctions between the two religions. After the monks were officiating in Shinto shrines, Shinto became the religion of human everyday life, while Buddhism focused more on the human afterlife, Shinto retained it’s place as the soul of Japanese religion after the second world war, even after Japan had become a western-seeming state. (Smith, 2013). There are four elements to a religion; this includes material religion/architecture, which includes both external design and interior decoration, dogma/doctrine, which explains the theology behind the religion, ritual, and, religion and society, which describes the relationships between a formal religion and a society as well as the relationship between private home-based beliefs and a society. Out of these four elements, it is believed that material religion/architecture is the element that best expresses the character of the Shinto traditions. Sarah Murphy 0715438 The material Religion and architecture aspect of the Shinto traditions comes in many forms. A torii is the entranceway to the Shinto shrine complex that has become a popular Japanese icon since the first structure was built. It is typically a wooden gate that is often painted red and represents the Shinto traditions and practices. The next piece of important architecture in the Shinto traditions is the landscape in the Shinto shrine complex itself. The landscape represents a religious space that is said to invoke harmony between man and the natural universe. Each shrines landscape is unique and depends on which kami has been enshrined there. Similar in most shrine landscapes is the pathway (or sando); the pathway leads from outside of the complex to the worshipping structure. It is lined with trees and usually crosses a pond or stream over a bridge (a shinkyo), which symbolizes the purification of the mind.
More Less

Related notes for HIST 2070

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.