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Unformatted text preview: KOREAN & JAPANESE RELIGIONS • Korean religion – strong influence of Chinese traditions, Christianity • folk religion – shamanism (female shaman – mudang) - three main deities: god of earth, ancestors and heaven - shamanic commnication in forms of soul travel (travels to spiritual world) and spirit possession (spirit takes possession of the shaman and speaks through the mouth) Shinto • from Chinese shendao; Japanese kaminomichi, means “the way of the gods” (kami) • kami – spirits/deities associated with people, places, phenomena of power - arisen from nature worship (like rivers, islands, forests and mountains) - humans receive life from kami • Amaterasu – most important kami (sun goddess) - Izanami, after suffering burns by giving birth to fire spirit, goes to find her in underworld then sees decay and then then cleanses his body and by washing his left eye he produces Amaterasu • Kojiki (“Record of Ancient Matters”) and Nihongi (“Chronicles of Japan”) – texts containing Shinto mythology, cosmogony • Izanagi (male) and Izanami (female) – original couple • emphasis on purity (and on pollution) – e.g. torii gate - marks the transition from sacred to profane • importance of form/ritual • importance of water in purification rituals (e.g., misogi) • adaptation of imported traditions to Japanese context – syncretism • Dual Shinto and jingo-ji (“shrine and temple”) system - this is the religious centre for Dual Shinto • honji suijaku (“original site and local manifestations”) - this is when shinto gods, that were originally worshipped alongside buddhas and bodhisattvas, and in 937 two kami were declared to be incarnations of bodhissattvas - eventually, all important kami were identified with a particular bodhi/ bodhissattva • after 17th c. – Shinto associated with nationalism (particularly after Meiji Restoration in 1868) -WWII – kamikaze (“wind of the gods”) • contemporary Shinto: Shrine Shinto (purification, offering, prayer and symbolic feast), Folk Shinto (covers variety of folk beliefs in deities and spirits and the practises that are connected with them - interaction between indigenous and foreign elements), Sect Shinto (13 disparate groups formed since 1800s - meet in congregational halls and are independent religious bodies) • particularly important rituals/ceremonies held at shrines (e.g., shichigosan [“7-5-3”]) • kamidana – household shrine (butsudan – household Buddhist altar) - family worship (takes place in Shrine Shinto) and on this shrine the family places sacred tablets from Shinto shrines, candles, and other offerings • miko – female mediums (today, more commonly shrine attendants) - a way to communicate through to the kami - help during times of crisis (natural disasters) or during important times like marriage • many new religious movements in Japan ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course RLG 100Y1 taught by Professor Professormaintenay during the Fall '09 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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