By John Breen

This obtainable consultant to the improvement of Japan’s indigenous faith from precedent days to the current day deals an illuminating advent to the myths, websites and rituals of kami worship, and their position in Shinto’s enduring spiritual identity.Offers a distinct new method of Shinto heritage that mixes severe research with unique researchExamines key evolutionary moments within the lengthy heritage of Shinto, together with the Meiji Revolution of 1868, and gives the 1st severe historical past  in English or jap of the Hie shrine, essentially the most vital in all JapanTraces the improvement of varied shrines, myths, and rituals via background as uniquely diversified phenomena, exploring how and once they merged into the trendy thought of Shinto that exists in Japan todayChallenges the old stereotype of Shinto because the unchanging, all-defining center of jap tradition

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Extra resources for A New History of Shinto (Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion)

Sample text

The art of writing allowed the court to give its own narrative of origins a new form of permanency and canonized authority, and with the help of Korean scribes, the legends of the royal lineage and its closest allies were codified in a number of works that are among the oldest surviving texts written in Japan. It was on this corpus that Shintoists would later draw in their search for ancient Shinto teachings. 3 In outline, both works offer a similar story, although the details are at times strikingly different.

Of course, the kami of heaven and earth were also part of this cosmic balance, and the findings of the Bureau of Yin and Yang had a direct bearing on the activities of the Council of Kami Affairs. Many “interim” rituals addressing the kami at times of crisis were stipulated by this Bureau, and Yin-Yang rites overlapped with jingi ceremonial. Yin-Yang thought, then, was an integral part of jingi ritual from the start, and it would remain a major theme of Shinto. Jingi ritual drew most heavily on Yin-Yang expertise in matters related to exorcism and the protection of the emperor and his capital.

Most shrine sites, however, were not included in this court cult, and about these we know next to nothing. The closest the Hitachi gazetteer comes to a description of actual shrine practice is a short passage about a shrine called Tsunomiya: Every year, on the tenth day of the fourth month, a festival [matsuri] is held and sake is served. Men and women of the Urabe lineage gather to drink and to enjoy themselves with song and dance for many days and nights. ” (NKBT 2: 68–9) Shrines, Myths, and Rituals in Premodern Times 27 Similar incidental glimpses at shrine practice in other sources likewise confirm this image of communal festivities, mostly concentrated in the months of planting in spring and harvesting in autumn.

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