Carpe Diem #1148 – Day 8 – Shinto

Carpe Diem #1148  – Day 8 – Shinto

This month at Carpe Diem I’m exploring the “Motherland” of haiku, Japan.

Today we are taking a look at a Japan’s most important religion … Shinto.

What is Shinto?

Is a Japanese ethnic religion.

It focuses on ritual practices to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past.

Shinto remains Japan’s major religion alongside Buddhism.


Photo Credit.    Since 1871, Ise Shrine has been the most important shrine in Japan

Shinto religious expressions have been distinguished by scholars into a series of categories.

Shinto Shrines

The Association of Shinto Shrines is a religious administrative organisation that oversees about 80,000 Shinto shrines in Japan.

These shrines take the Ise Grand Shrine as the foundation of their belief.

Folk Shinto includes the numerous but fragmented folk beliefs in deities and spirits. Practices include divination, spirit possession, and shamanic healing.

Some of their practices come from Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism, but most come from ancient local traditions.

Sect Shinto is a legal designation originally created in the 1890s to separate government-owned shrines from local organised religious communities.

These communities originated, especially in the Edo period.

The basic difference between Shrine Shinto and Sect Shinto is that sects are a later development and grew self-consciously.

They can identify a founder, a formal set of teachings and even sacred scriptures.

Koshinto literally “Old Shinto”, is a reconstructed “Shinto from before the time of Buddhism”, today based on Ainu religion and Ryukyuan practices.

It continues the restoration movement begun by Hirata Atsutane.

Many other sects and schools can be distinguished

Hope you find the information helpful in understanding what Shinto is, as I have enjoyed studying it, there is a lot of reading in the above links if you are interested.


Photo Credit                     Two women praying in front of a shrine         

Tanka poetry based on my study of Shinto

ritual practices

established between to-day

and its ancient past

practice spiritual beings

rejoicing my younger days



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