Do you know anything about Shinto?


#1

Do you know anything about the Shinto religion in Japan? My younger brother, who was raised with me in a Catholic family (not that devout but my parents usually took us all to Mass on Sundays), no longer cares about God, heaven, or hell, and he likes Shinto better. Please pray for him and if you know anything that would help me talk to him about it, please let me know. God bless you!

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne


#2

[quote=coralewisjr]Do you know anything about the Shinto religion in Japan? My younger brother, who was raised with me in a Catholic family (not that devout but my parents usually took us all to Mass on Sundays), no longer cares about God, heaven, or hell, and he likes Shinto better. Please pray for him and if you know anything that would help me talk to him about it, please let me know. God bless you!

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne
[/quote]

…you could start here!
religioustolerance.org/shinto.htm

http://www.windows.ucar.edu/mythology/images/amaterasu.gif


#3

Is your brother Japanese? I ask because for a non-Japanese to practice Shinto, or even for a Japanese person to practice it outside of Japan, is totally nonsensical. Shinto is the name for the collection of native animistic beliefs and rituals of the people and land of Japan. It’s not really that different from most other animistic religions, only being counted as a major religion because so many people practice it.

Point out to your brother that if he wants to practice Shinto, he must move to Japan, as there are no Shinto temples outside of Japan for the simple reason that there are no Japanese kami or nature spirits outside of Japan.


#4

Yikes! I haven’t even read that link yet and it looks pagan with a female god.

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne


#5

[quote=ybeayf]Is your brother Japanese? I ask because for a non-Japanese to practice Shinto, or even for a Japanese person to practice it outside of Japan, is totally nonsensical. Shinto is the name for the collection of native animistic beliefs and rituals of the people and land of Japan. It’s not really that different from most other animistic religions, only being counted as a major religion because so many people practice it.

Point out to your brother that if he wants to practice Shinto, he must move to Japan, as there are no Shinto temples outside of Japan for the simple reason that there are no Japanese kami or nature spirits outside of Japan.
[/quote]

No, he’s American. DH got him interested in anime (not the copy-off stuff on Cartoon Network) and when we visited my parents for Easter, my brother was saying that he wants to teach English in Japan. (He will be a senior in high school BTW)
Some religion - you can only practice it in a certain place in the world! Thanks for telling me that. Thank God that He reigns the whole universe.

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne


#6

Here’s the email I just sent him:

For a non-Japanese to practice Shinto, or even for a Japanese person to practice it outside of Japan, is totally nonsensical. Shinto is the name for the collection of native animistic beliefs and rituals of the people and land of Japan. It’s not really that different from most other animistic religions, only being counted as a major religion because so many people practice it.
If you want to practice Shinto, you must move to Japan, as there are no Shinto temples outside of Japan for the simple reason that there are no Japanese kami or nature spirits outside of Japan.
I know that you want to move to Japan anyway. Please think on it for at least two years before making a decision. I love you, [brother’s name]! God bless you.

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne


#7

DH got him interested in anime

Good stuff, that.

Some religion - you can only practice it in a certain place in the world!

It’s not that unusual among animistic religions. Shinto is the veneration of kami, which are usually ancestors or the spirits of natural landforms. Most indigenous religions are highly tied to specific places, such as the sacred grottos and wells of the ancient Celts, the Delphic oracle, the sacred mountains of the southwestern Indians and the sacred caves of the Mayans, etc.

Since your brother is interested in Japanese culture, you might have him check out the works of the Catholic novelist Shusaku Endo, especially The Samurai and Silence.


#8

[quote=ybeayf]Good stuff, that.

It’s not that unusual among animistic religions. Shinto is the veneration of kami, which are usually ancestors or the spirits of natural landforms. Most indigenous religions are highly tied to specific places, such as the sacred grottos and wells of the ancient Celts, the Delphic oracle, the sacred mountains of the southwestern Indians and the sacred caves of the Mayans, etc.

Since your brother is interested in Japanese culture, you might have him check out the works of the Catholic novelist Shusaku Endo, especially The Samurai and Silence.
[/quote]

Yeah, after I sent the email I remembered “Native American Civilization” class from college and how the land is sacred. We Christians really could treat it better sometimes.

I like anime, too, thanks to DH. What are your favorites? I like Ranma, Magic Knight Rayearth, and one or two more. DH participated in an anime club in college and he’s watching an episode as I type.

Thanks for the book recommendations. I’ll email them to him.

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne


#9

What are your favorites?

Eh, nothing too out of the ordinary. Tenchi Muyo, Serial Experiments Lain, anything by Miyazaki. I’m a big fan of a lot of Shoujo anime, especially CLAMP’s work.


#10

[quote=ybeayf]Point out to your brother that if he wants to practice Shinto, he must move to Japan, as there are no Shinto temples outside of Japan for the simple reason that there are no Japanese kami or nature spirits outside of Japan.
[/quote]

There are not even Shinto temples in Japan. They only erect shrines.


#11

If your brother is interested in Shinto and other things Japanese tell him to check out this site: japan-guide.com/e/e2056.html

Also, if he is interested in teaching Japanese he will need a BA degree first. Any school that accepts him without one is not to be trusted. Even then, be careful. Some schools try to take advantage of new gaijin (foreigners).

If he has any other questions about Japan, I might be able to help since I live in Japan.

Gearoidin


#12

State Shintoism was a corruption of the traditional notions of Shinto which led to worship of the Emperor during WWII. It led to a fanatical devotion to Hirohito and the homeland… things like kamikaze missions sprang out of it.


#13

I was living in Japan for over nine months, where I oftentimes saw Shinto rituals, and even visited a shrine or two on New Year’s (the most important holiday in Japan). I would say it is inbetween simple animism and polytheism in the Greco-Roman sense. Shintoists believe that there are gods and spirits everywhere, and refer to them as the eight million kami. Chief among them is the goddess of the sun, Amaterasu, who is depicted in the picture above.

The Emperor of Japan was believed to be decended from this goddess, and so a cult developed around him during the Meiji period, which centralized Shinto into a state-sponsored religion. However, after Japan’s defeat the Emperor denied that he was divine, and State Shinto was dismantled. Most Japanese these days aren’t religious and visit Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in a way much like many Christians in America: on special holidays.

Frankly, I find the rituals of Shinto and Buddhism to be interesting, and I regret that the Church did not adapt itself a little more to Japanese culture, like the Jesuits did in China. However, I know that Amaterasu or the Buddha did not die from my sins, but the God-man, Jesus Christ! Moreover, Shinto doesn’t have any absolute commandments outside of “living a simple and harmonious life with nature and people.” Which, of course, is laudable, but a far cry from the more demanding commandment, to love God over all things, and your neighbor as yourself. Please remind your brother of these things.

The Augustinian


#14

[quote=Gearoidin]If your brother is interested in Shinto and other things Japanese tell him to check out this site: japan-guide.com/e/e2056.html

Also, if he is interested in teaching Japanese he will need a BA degree first. Any school that accepts him without one is not to be trusted. Even then, be careful. Some schools try to take advantage of new gaijin (foreigners).

If he has any other questions about Japan, I might be able to help since I live in Japan.

Gearoidin
[/quote]

Thanks. I’ll tell him about you the next time I see him online. He wants to teach English in Japan (sort of like Mom, who teaches English as a Second Language in Nebraska), not Japanese. Thanks for the history lesson, The Augustinian. I thought about challenging him with the fact that people die for God and I haven’t heard of people dying for Shinto gods (unless you count the kamikaze dying for the emperor, or whoever they die for), but he said he doesn’t care about God or the existence of heaven/hell so maybe it wouldn’t make a difference. I’m hoping that he’ll get his head on straight; he has a few years to think about it - only a senior in high school!!

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne


#15

[quote=coralewisjr]Do you know anything about the Shinto religion in Japan? My younger brother, who was raised with me in a Catholic family (not that devout but my parents usually took us all to Mass on Sundays), no longer cares about God, heaven, or hell, and he likes Shinto better. Please pray for him and if you know anything that would help me talk to him about it, please let me know. God bless you!

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne
[/quote]

There is much to admire in the Japanese culture and it probably appears exotic and wise to your brother. I would explain to him that it is possible to admire aspects of a culture without having to completly loose your own religion. He could study SHintoism without becoming a follower. SOmetimes, when we are young, we think that another culture is better simply because it appears exotic and different then ours. Is it possible that is what your brother is going through?


#16

[quote=deb1]There is much to admire in the Japanese culture and it probably appears exotic and wise to your brother. I would explain to him that it is possible to admire aspects of a culture without having to completly loose your own religion. He could study SHintoism without becoming a follower. SOmetimes, when we are young, we think that another culture is better simply because it appears exotic and different then ours. Is it possible that is what your brother is going through?
[/quote]

It’s possible. We were talking over instant messaging so I can’t know what he’s thinking, only what he typed. We live 3.5 hours away. What scared me is that he no longer cares about God, heaven, and hell. Please pray for him, just in case he really does like it better than Christianity.

my Mother my Confidence,
Corinne


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