A New History of Shinto (Blackwell Brief Histories of by John Breen

By John Breen

This available consultant to the advance of Japan’s indigenous faith from precedent days to the current day deals an illuminating advent to the myths, websites and rituals of kami worship, and their function in Shinto’s enduring spiritual identity.Offers a different new method of Shinto historical past that mixes severe research with unique researchExamines key evolutionary moments within the lengthy background of Shinto, together with the Meiji Revolution of 1868, and gives the 1st serious background  in English or jap of the Hie shrine, the most vital in all JapanTraces the improvement of varied shrines, myths, and rituals via background as uniquely varied phenomena, exploring how and after they merged into the fashionable proposal of Shinto that exists in Japan todayChallenges the ancient stereotype of Shinto because the unchanging, all-defining middle of jap tradition

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Extra resources for A New History of Shinto (Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion)

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The distribution of offerings was to be witnessed by them, but they were not the intended receivers. Okada Seishi points out that in 702, when it was announced which lineages should serve the court as provincial governors, kinensai offerings were distributed among the lineage chieftains who were selected for these new posts (Okada Seishi 1970: 152). By accepting imperial offerings to the deities of their provinces, these chieftains acknowledged that the emperor acted as the supreme priest of all deities in the land, and 34 Shrines, Myths, and Rituals in Premodern Times thus acknowledged their relegation to the position of appointed representatives of the court.

Vice versa, in mapping the historical development of, for example, a kami myth, it would be a gross distortion of history if we were to focus only on those contexts that fit in with the modern concept of Shinto, especially if it turns out that the myth in question was most “alive” in quite different contexts. The crux of the matter is that kami shrines, myths, and rituals are a great deal older than their conceptualization as components of Shinto. Therefore, the only way to delve into the history of these shrines, myths, and rituals is by laying the concept of Shinto to one side, at least as a start.

Many ancient rites were quite obviously based on the idea that dangerous Yin spirits should be quelled by exposing them to Yang forces. A striking example of this can be found in another eighth-century gazetteer, which explains the origins of the hugely popular horse races at Kamo Shrine: During the reign of Emperor Kinmei [sixth century] there were tremendous winds and rain and the people suffered greatly. At that time, Wakahiko of the Iki Urabe was ordered to perform a divination. He determined that the troubles were due to the vengeance [tatari] of the deity of Kamo.

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