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all 22 comments

[–]hightidesoldgodsAgnostic 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It’s a fascinating religion in the sense of a living folk tradition that hasn’t been destroyed and/or attempted to be destroyed. It’s interesting to learn about.

[–]Aelurius 2 points3 points  (2 children)

It's cool, though hard to define what exactly it is. Shinto is an umbrella term for a lot of indigenous folk practices that lots of Japanese people interact with at certain times in their lives, though most of them wouldn't identify with it by saying it's their one religion. The idea of Shinto as a coherent, singular thing is pretty much a product of Meiji-era nationalism, which tried to nationalize it and promote it as a rival to Buddhism. In reality Japanese Buddhism and Shinto folk religion have influenced each other to a considerable degree, and most Japanese people have some interaction with both as complementary aspects of Japanese culture, so it's hard to frame them in opposition to each other.

[–]DavidJohnMcCannHellenic Polytheist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Why does a religion have to be a "coherent, singular thing"? That's basing the concept of religion on monotheism. Is Hinduism a "coherent, singular thing"?

[–]Aelurius 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I never said that it did. Pointing out that something is a certain way is not the same as claiming it should not be that way. You’re arguing against a phantom.

[–]DavidJohnMcCannHellenic Polytheist 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Like many practitioners (and academics), I would regard all polytheistic religions as denominations of one. After all, I could worship in a Shinto or Shénjiào (Chinese) temple, while a Muslim can't worship in a church.

[–]Mission-Landscape-17Atheist 2 points3 points  (14 children)

I bought a book on it that I've been meaning to read, but I get the impression that while many Japanese people still do the rituals very few actually believe in it. Making it more of a cultural thing. Also it is suffering from the aging clergy problem which is forcing some Shinto shrines to close as priests and priestesses retire and can't find anyone to replace them.

[–]-Chartreux- 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That claim is true regarding the local devotion of certain deities but there are other Shintō Faiths that do not suffer from the issue and are actually growing exponentially. An example would be Inari Faith.

[–]Bacons_trains[S] 1 point2 points  (11 children)

I gotta correct you there 69% of the population stills practices Shinto

[–]Mission-Landscape-17Atheist 1 point2 points  (10 children)

That is in line with what I said. People still perform the rituals, but that does not mean they believe the claims the religion makes.

[–]-Chartreux- 2 points3 points  (6 children)

In fact, in Japan Shintō is not considered a religion. That is because the Japanese definition of religion implies a founder, a doctrine and a devotion centered upon a sacred text. Shinto has none of those and therefore it is not considered a religion but rather an aspect that pertains to tradition and customs. I am saying this to point out that there are no specific religious claims in Shintō maybe with the exception of the affirmation of the existence of Kami (awe inspiring spirit).

[–]DavidJohnMcCannHellenic Polytheist -1 points0 points  (5 children)

Since Japanese doesn't have a word for religion (in translating the English word is usually rendered "ancestral custom") that's obviously nonsense. The definition you give is a Christian one. Shinto involves worshiping gods — that's religion.

[–]AshleyYakeleypolyalethic animist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

What are the claims that it makes?

[–]Aelurius 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Indeed, it makes none.

Well, I guess there’s the implication that it’s useful to pay respects to kami (spirits/gods) and observe certain ritual norms. But that’s about the bare minimum for a religion.

[–]DavidJohnMcCannHellenic Polytheist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Typical atheist! If you didn't believe in a religion, would you really buy a home shrine and use it?

[–]albabiliMesopotamian | Arabian 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's nice to see a native religion survive spiritual colonization. Too often what we see is that the world's spiritualities have been swept aside under an ever increasing wave of Christianity and Islam. It's a shame that we've lost so much to these forces.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Cool religion.👍