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Henry Shiu (55)


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Henry Shiu

Shinto “The Way Of The Gods” Here “Gods” refer to Japan’s spirits (Kami) -Exam: Dec 17, at Gym -Like 2 quizzes, but more questions on it—extended version of quiz -Materials Covered: All of the course materials -Final list of terms this evening Shinto: -Means way of the Gods, intended to refer to spirits, or Kami, instead of what we know in Hinduism. -They don’t want to punish people, nor did they create our universe—simply spirits that dwell in different realms in our world. -Creates impression that our world, nature is animated, alive with spirits, even through trees are just trees and mountains are just mountains—there are spirits within -No known founder to religion, like Hindu and in contrast to Buddhism and Jainism, no one knows the founder it’s just a tradition that existed. Origins can be dated back to prehistoric times and ancient stories on how the world came into being -The people of the Japanese islands lived close to nature, and Shinto as a religion reflects that reality in its worship of the spirits who are believed to inhabit the natural world -Shinto offers Japanese specific sense of “ethical dimension”: clear sense of right and wrong. -Shinto represents cultural respect and cultivation, respect of family values -Apart from nature spirits, departed family members also became spirits, distant ancestors of one’s clan, great leaders and so on. -It is believed that forests, mountains, rivers, seas, islands, forests, clan ancestors, deceased emperors, saints, heroes were kami -The Japanese descended from several immigrant groups that came from the Northwest and the South(including the possibility of Siberia, Korea and Malay Peninsula). Their traditions mixed, blending a large number of gods into a pantheon and yielding a single creation myth. -“All began with Chaos”—everythign is chaotic at this primeval stage, which came to be populated by several generations of kami. Two of these kami, Izanami and Izanagi, became the cosmic parents who created the first islands of Japan -They gave birth to additional Kami, many of them nature deities. From the eyes of Izanagi emerged the sun and the moon; from his nostrils came the spirit of the wind. It is the spirit of the sun, Amaterasu that sent her grandson to bring order to the islands of Japan, an later came Jimmu, the first human emperor of Japan -The imperial house mythically traces its origin back to the goddess of the sun th -It was the transmission of Buddhism to Japan in the 6 century that forced Shinto to define itself, a process complicated by the tendency of Mahayana Buddhism to absorb native religious elements -Hence, Buddhist monks viewed Shino Kami as different forms of Mahayana Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, and sometimes as heavenly beings were believed to have been converted to Buddhism -Buddhism transmitted to Japan—secondary Bu
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