By John Breen
This available advisor to the improvement of Japan’s indigenous faith from precedent days to the current day deals an illuminating creation to the myths, websites and rituals of kami worship, and their function in Shinto’s enduring spiritual identity.
- Offers a distinct new method of Shinto heritage that mixes severe research with unique research
- Examines key evolutionary moments within the lengthy background of Shinto, together with the Meiji Revolution of 1868, and offers the 1st serious heritage in English or jap of the Hie shrine, the most vital in all Japan
- Traces the improvement of assorted shrines, myths, and rituals via background as uniquely diversified phenomena, exploring how and once they merged into the fashionable proposal of Shinto that exists in Japan today
- Challenges the old stereotype of Shinto because the unchanging, all-defining middle of eastern culture
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Additional resources for A New History of Shinto
Of course, demand for such rituals persisted, and they never disappeared; their practice simply moved to another location or went underground (Bouchy 2003; Liscutin 2000). Even in their new hideaways, though, practitioners of what the authorities regarded as “primitive superstitions” had to live with a constant fear of police harassment, and many felt pressured either to give up their calling or find a government-sanctioned way to carry on. Yanagita was not above condemning many of the activities of popular religious figures as superstition; but in a carefully selected range of folk practices, he perceived a cultural heritage of great value.
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.
Numerous deities make brief appearances in the tale, never to be mentioned again. Clearly, the work presents a small portion from a much larger body of material, which has been compressed into a narrative with a single overarching plot: the establishment of a heavenly dynasty in Japan. Nihon shoki conveys the same message, but differs radically from the Kojiki in three aspects. First, Nihon shoki follows the model of Chinese dynastic histories much more faithfully than Kojiki, both in its language and its format – for example, by giving precise dates for all entries.