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  • More than a hundred people in Tokyo celebrated the New Year in a very unusual way by taking an ice cold bath.


  • Dressed in traditional white clothing, the men and women jogged around a shrine and chanted before lowering themselves into the freezing cold water.


  • This purification ritual is a central tenet of Shinto, a Japanese religion that is as old as the country itself.


  • So what exactly is Shinto?


  • Well, it's the largest religion in Japan, practiced by an estimated 80 percent of the population.


  • Back in the 6th century, indigenous Japanese people invented the word Shinto to distinguish their already existing faith from Buddhism, which was spreading throughout the region.


  • Over time, Shinto and Buddhism came to coexist peacefully.


  • Shinto is considered more of a way of life, rather than a specific set of beliefs or worship of a central deity.


  • Most Japanese people identify as both Buddhist and Shinto.


  • So, how can someone follow two religions at once?


  • Well, Shinto doesn't have many of the characteristics associated with religion.


  • Unlike Christianity or Buddhism, it has no official founder or sacred text.


  • Shinto does not try to explain the world in a sense of right and wrong, and thus, there are no Shinto preachers or missionaries.


  • The only goal of Shinto is to be in touch with Kamil, or spiritual energy, through sacred rituals.


  • These include weddings, funerals, worship at a Shrine or at home, and huge festivals.


  • The word 'Shinto' means "way of Kami."


  • Kami is extremely complex, but basically they are sacred spirits that exist in earthy objects, like mountains and trees, and in concepts, like fertility.


  • Kami also has an ancestral form, as humans become Kami after they die.


  • The Sun Goddess "Amaterasu" is the most important Kami.


  • In Japanese mythology, the royal family is thought to be descended from Amaterasu, beginning with the first emperor, Jimmu.


  • It is thought that prayers and offerings to Kami spirits at Shinto shrines and festivals will wash away evil spirits and thus purify a person or object.


  • This process is the lifeblood of the Shito practice, happening on a daily, weekly, seasonal, lunar, and annual basis.


  • In fact, taking part in ritualistic worship and purification is the entirety of the faith.


  • This has garnered criticism, as some liken Shinto worship to a performance rather than an act of devotion based on values and beliefs.


  • Adherents to Shinto, however, think of rituals as a religious experience, one that binds a community together even more so than shared beliefs.


  • Although Shinto is thousands of years old, it still has an active presence in Japanese life.


  • For instance, new buildings are 'purified' by a Shinto priest, and many Japanese-made cars are blessed during the assembly process.


  • Japan's national sport, Sumo, is directly derived from Shinto rituals, and symbols of purity can be found on the ring and on sumo garments.


  • Many Japanese people keep a tiny shrine-altar in their homes, and local shrines play a huge role in communities, bringing people together for festivals, and hosting weddings and funerals.


  • Whether or not they identify as religious, virtually everyone in Japan is, in some sense, a part of Shinto.


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    DOMAINからのお知らせ:私たちがお届けしているエピソードは、スポンサーの皆様のご協力をなくしてはお送りできません。今回のエピソードは、DOMAIN DOT COM (ドメイン・ドット・コム)がお届けしました。

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  • Shinto is a peaceful and generally positive religion, as it regards all humans as inherently good.


  • Still, it doesn't hold the title of the World's Most Peaceful Religion.


  • So what does?


  • Find out in this video.


  • Even within the religion, violence may be used to protect oneself or one's country.


  • One Hindu god states that violence is necessary in the defense of justice and does not conflict with a spiritual life.


  • Thanks for watching Seeker Daily!

    Seeker Dailyをご覧くださりありがとうございました!

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More than a hundred people in Tokyo celebrated the New Year in a very unusual way by taking an ice cold bath.


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B2 中上級 日本語 日本 儀式 宗教 神社 仏教 信仰

[英語で聞いてみよう] 古来より続く日本の宗教 - 神道とは? (What Is The Ancient Japanese Religion Shinto?)

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    ayami に公開 2019 年 11 月 02 日