Shinto it is one of the oldest and most rooted religions of Japan. Historians have dated the religion to 712 AD, but recent evidence has shown than it began long before then. The Shinto religion firstly originated from folk beliefs and practices. They were heavily influenced by Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity. The word Shinto was introduced at the beginning of the 6th century CE, it came from the Chinese words “shen” divine being and tao “way”, however the people of Japan translates it to “kami no michi”. From this evolves kami, a sacred power, the essence of Shinto. Kami are spirits or scared powers regarded high by the Japanese, it can vary from humans to animals, from trees to plants, from mountains to oceans. It was said and passed down generations that the emperors of Japan are the sons of heaven. Emperors are on earth because they were given permission to keep the season, harvest and the society in order and sustainability.
The people of Japan never put their way of religion down on paper. It was all kept in pictures along the sides of their shrines and temples. The statues spoke of their stories themselves and the young were educated at a very early age the knowledge of Shinto.
There are several books which provide mythologies that are part of the Shinto belief. There is the Kojiki ( record of ancient matters), the Shoku Nihongi ( continuing chronicles of Japan), the Rikkokushi (six national histories) and the Jinno Shotoki. Although there are book telling stories about creations of Shinto it is no sacred text, much unlike the Bible or Qur’an.
Shinto has been the religion of Japan for thousands of years. In fact the beginning of the Japanese ruling system began with the Shinto religion. As emperors were in place to govern the world and keep it in order. Shinto_Amaterasu.jpg


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