When you are walking around Japanese towns, you probably happen to see one or two shrines.
To foreigners who don't know anything about religions in Japan, they might be mistaken as Buddism
temples or something.

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Like differnce between Christianity churchs and Judaism synagogues,
sometimes foreigners can not tell diference between Buddism temples and Shinto shrines.
There are more than 80000 Shinto shrines all over the country.
A lot more than convenience stores. Convenience stores are around 50000 by the way.
Anyway, Shintoism originated from Japan and only exists in Japan.
It started as the worship for nature, developed into multiple-God religion and
has history of a few thouthands years.
It has no sacred book like Bible or Koran but has priests and the highest ranking priest is
the Emperor like the Pope in Cathoric.

Shinto shrines always have the unique gate called " Torii" like the photo above.
Area beyond "Torii"is sacred area.
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Before you visit the main building, you are supposed to wash your hands.
Actually many people omit the process though.
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Before you start praying, you ring the bell.

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People put up their wishes writen on a piece of wood called " Ema".
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Written oracles called "Omikuji" . After reading them, some peope tie them to designated part of a shrine.
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Since Shintoism takes its origin in the worship for nature,
often shrines have sacred trees.

As you learned a little bit about shurines here, you would be surprised to find them everywhere in Japan, the next time you walk around the street.



Posted by: michikazu (August 7, 2018 7:19 AM)

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