Shintoism

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A religion native to Japan, Shinto is a collection of rituals and methods to mediate between living humans and the spirits:

  • The kunitsu-kami - nature spirits or gods, some of which are purely local.
  • The senzo-kami, the guardians of clans, families or places, the ancestors.
  • The amatsu-kami - abstract concepts and natural forces such as Amaterasu, the Sun goddess.

Though Shinto has no absolute commandments save the living of "a simple and harmonious life with nature and people" there are said to be Four Affirmations:

  • Tradition and the family: The family is seen as the main mechanism by which traditions are preserved.
  • Love of nature: Nature is sacred; to be in contact with nature is to be close to the kami.
  • Physical cleanliness: Followers of Shinto take baths, wash their hands, and rinse out their mouth often.
  • Matsuri: Festivals in which the worship and honor is given to the kami.

Shintoism was preserved by the Nisei who founded realms on the west coast of North Amerika, and later restored in Tokugawa Japan. The clan of the Tenno no Nihon are descended from the amatsu-kami Amaterasu and so the Tenno is a manifest kami, legitimising his rule.

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