Japanese shrine(神社) and Shinto(神道)
Shrines in Japan deify various Shinto gods. Because Shinto have Yaoyorozu-no Kami(八百万の神, eight million gods) which means myriad gods. In other words, it is polytheism. Not only the gods from the myth, such as Kojiki(古事記), but also the nature and personal belongings.
Originally, the religion started from the nature worship in ancient time. People had the feeling of fear and respect for the power of the nature in Jomon Period. And hoping to help their prosperity, they also gradually regarded their ancestors, grounds, and country as a part of the gods.
In Asuka Period, Buddhism introduced via the Korean Peninsula. Even though Buddhism have the founder of a religion and Shinto don’t, they have existed together. For example, Nikko Mountain and Kii Mountain Range hold the temples and the shrines.
In addition influenced by Confucianism in Edo Period, and Shinto became to have more ideological feature. And it came to be treated as the national religion of the country and people worshiped the Emperor from the 19th century.
After the World War Ⅱ the government haven’t directly engaged with the management of Shinto and the shrines. Ise Shrine occupies a central place around the country.
Prencint of a shrine
Komainu(狛犬, Guardian Dogs)
Shimenawa(注連縄, straw festoon)
Chozuya(手水舎, purification trough)
The formal way to pray at a shrine
Purifying at a Chozuya
- Ladling up water with the right-hand
- Purifying the left-hand
- Passing the ladle to the left-hand
- Purifying the right-hand
- Passing the ladle to the right-hand
- Pouring water in the left-hand and
- Rinsing the mouth lightly
- Making the lade vertical to wash its
Praying at a warship hall
- Bowing once lightly
- Throwing a coin into the offertory-box and ringing a bell
- Bowing two times deeply
- Claping the hands two times
- Bowing once deeply