Shinto referrers to the indigenous Japanese faith and was at one time the national faith. It includes worshiping spirits or kami some of which are found inside the community while others act for the principal natural occurrences such as Mount Fuji or Amaterasu which is the Sun goddess. The term Shinto is a combination of two Chinese characters shin which means spirits or gods and to which means a pathway. Hence Shinto describes as The Way of the Gods .Shinto is extra of animism because it has little regard for the belief of the afterlife and its principal focus is for people to healthy into the universe rather than plan for the subsequent world. Shinto religion does not have the holiest place, book or fixed dogma. Rather, the religion is a group of methods and rituals aimed at regulating the connections between spirits and living people.
Differences between Shinto and Buddhism
Shinto and Buddhism are distinct Japanese _x0093_religions._x0094_However, they are usually integrated into order for individuals to exercise both of them (Amstutz, 2014). Shinto is sometimes confused to be a form of Buddhism; however Shinto does not have any organization in itself. It is just a collection of the entire traditional beliefs of the Japanese people. It holds the indigenous Japanese superstitions and legends and owns multiple gods. Mainly, all the Japanese practice Shinto, one only requires going to a shrine. The majority of the Japanese visit the shrine at least annually.
On the other hand, the Buddhism practice originates from India. It was born from Hinduism which is the common faith in India similar to hoe Shinto is customary in Japan. The Buddha, initially a Hindu teacher created his ideas founded on Hinduism, such as karma and reincarnation, however, altered a few things such as the caste system (Amstutz, 2014).The teachings were then extended across, China, South Asia, and India. Sometimes Buddhism is regarded as a segment of Hinduism nonetheless following the spread to Japan, Korea, Tibet and China, there was a lot of change and was somewhat affected by the indigenous perceptions and new sects created such as Zen. Therefore within Japan at the arrival of Buddhism, it was exercised alongside Shinto up to today. A majority of the Japanese individuals follow the two religions by going to the temples. Wakabayashi (2013) reports that Japanese people are aware of the history, however, they do not stick to a strict interpretation of worship.
Differences in Shrines and Temples
Shrines and temples constitute the two most famous structures found in Japan (Stanley-Baker, 2014). Shinto Shrines co-exist with Buddhist temples and both similar essential characteristics of original Japanese architecture. The gates often related only to Shinto are present at both the entrances of the temple and the shrine. Similarly, gates associated with Buddhist can be found at churches. Resemblance between shrines and temples can also be attributed to their functions. Similar to a shrine, a temple does not work primarily as a worship place. The most important structures of Buddhism called _x0093_horizon_x0094_ act as storage facilities for sacred items, equivalent to _x0093_shine_x0094_ which is Shinto_x0092_s structure performs the same function. In contrast to the Christian church, the temple e also acts as a monastery (Stanley-Baker, 2014). Their unique structure for appropriate ceremonies, however they are, often accessible only to a few authorized people. Religious group assemblies do not happen as regularly as the Christian religion and are rarely held within the temple. If a ceremony involves huge numbers of people, the event is usually held outdoors.
The reasons behind massive architectural similarities between the shrine and the temple are found in the similarities in their history (Isomae, 2012). In fact, it is common for a church to be referred to as a temple and vice versa and within architectural terms. The differences between shrines and temples are very minimal. Simply put, shrines are Shinto while temples are Buddhist. Another difference is that Shrine is characterized by significant, usually y vermilion red sacred entrance, located on the front side while temples comprise of big incense burner and numerous statues of Buddhism. Some of these statues are attached to the graveyard while others are not (Isomae, 2012).
In the temples, monks reside and receive their teachings in the temple. They have statues of several Buddha in numerous multiple groups like Shhkanzeonbosatsu, Yakushinyorai, and Dainichinyorai as well as several other determined by the temple-sect (Wakabayashi, 2013). People visiting the temples should not be forced to receive training of the different features of every group of Buddhism or Buddha in Japan. However it would be more educational and interesting if visitors studied about them or inquired from the monks regarding the differences during visits. Buddhism holds the notion that a Buddha spirit lives within a statue. One can observe the god at the temple when they open.
In the Shrine, it is reported that spirits belonging to the Japanese Gods live as sacred object that is preserved within the structures (Wakabayashi, 2013) The position of a shrine is connected to the sacred context of the area in which the holy ritual was performed during the past. Priest of Shinto and maidens of the shrine perform duties there throughout the year and plan several rituals. One needs to pass through a sacred barrier while entering the sanctuary. It is reported that the Holy wall is used as an entrance between the world of spirits and the universe. The name given to the shrine is usually derived from the types of gods worshiped in the sanctuary. Enormous and famous churches are known as Taisha or Jingu such as Ise Jingu, Har juke, and Jingu in Mie district or Izumo Taisha within the area of Shimane (Stanley-Baker, 2014).
Examples of Shrines and Temples
Shrines are built for worship purposes and are also places where the gods or spirits of Shinto reside. Sacred items used for worship are kept at the furthest part of the shrine_x0092_s chamber where nobody can access them (Wakabayashi, 2013).Individuals visit churches so as to worship or to request for good fortune. People also go to these places during special occasions like Shichigosan, and New Year. It tradition to bring newly born babies to the shrine and a lot of couples exchange vows at the church. There are numerous shrines in Japan, most of which can be classified into lesser main categories of churches. First, there are Imperial churches that were directly supported and managed by the state at the time of Shinto state. Among them are most of Shinto_x0092_s most significant shrines like Atsuta Shrine, Izu mo Shrine and Ise Shrine (Stanley-Baker, 2014). Other modern shrines built in the Meiji period include Kyoto_x0092_s Heian Shrine and Tokyo_x0092_s Miji Shrine. Imperial shrines are identified using the chrysanthemum crest of the imperial family and due to being referred to as _x0093_jingo_x0094_ and not _x0093_jinja._x0094_The second category of Shrines built in respect to founders of superior clans (Stanley-Baker, 2014). A few powerful Japanese clans built shrines to pay respect to the founders of their clans. The most common illustration of such a shrine is Toshogu Shrine located at Nikko. Oyama Shrine built in Kanazawa is another example and was built in respect of Maeda Toshile who founded the powerful Maeda clan.
Temples are designed for the purpose Of Buddhism worship in Japan. Practically every municipality in Japan has built a temple, whereas there are many of them within cultural centers such as Kyoto (Wakabayashi, 2013). Temples are used for storing sacred Buddhist items. Other temples act as monasteries. Temples used by Buddhism are very attractive and architecturally fascinating. One example of a temple in Japan is the big Hou-Ji found in Nara. The temples’ environment is surrounded by pine trees. These trees are considered to be just as famous as the temple itself. Other temples have lodging within the building and offer excellent opportunities for staying within significant atmospheric context. One such temple is the Sanshin-Gosai-Den found in Mt Haguro.
Buddhism and Shinto are the most common religious practices in Japan. The majority of Japanese people practice rites of the indigenous Shinto group as well as those of Buddhism. The structures of worship built for these two distinct group share a lot of similarities but also differ in their functions. Individuals can participate in community celebrations at Shinto and a funeral ceremony at the Buddhist temple. Many citizens of Japan regard their religious practices as part of the county_x0092_s culture rather than matters of faith.
Amstutz, G. (2014). How Was the Concept of _x0093_Religion_x0094_ Invented in Japan?. Journal Of Religion In Japan, 3(1), 47-60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/22118349-00301003
Isomae, J. (2012). The Conceptual Formation of the Category “Religion” in Modern Japan: Religion, State, Shintō*. Journal Of Religion In Japan, 1(3), 226-245. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/22118349-12341236
Stanley-Baker, J. (2014). Japanese art. London: Thames & Hudson.
Wakabayashi, H. (2013). Monks, Sovereigns, and Malign Spirits: Profiles ofTenguin Medieval Japan. Religion Compass, 7(7), 234-242. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rec3.12046