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Shinto
the former state religion of Japan and remains the most common name for the nation's non-Buddhist ethnic religious practices.
Kami
A spirit, god, or goddess of Shinto. Ex: a natural object, historical person, living person, ghost, thunder, emperor etc.
Amaterasu
"Shining in heaven"; goddess of the sun.
Tsukiyomi
the god of the moon in Shinto and Japanese mythology. Tsukuyomi angered Amaterasu when he killed Uke Mochi, the goddess of food.
Izanagi
"Male who invites"; primordial male parent god.
Izanami
"Female who invites"; primordial female parent god.
New Year’s Festival
“First visit” (hatsumōde) to Shinto shrine: wash hands and mouth (ex. of misogi; Molloy, p. 250); offer coins and prayer for happy, safe, prosperous year; drink rice wine; later – feast on “banquet food.”
bushido
"Warrior knight way"; military devotion to a ruler, demanding loyalty, duty and self-sacrifice; an ideal promoted by State Shinto.
gagaku
The stately ceremonial music of Shinto.
Ise
Location in eastern Honshu of a major shrine to Amaterasu.
jinja
A Shinto shrine.
kamidana
A shelf or home altar for the veneration of kami.
Kamikaze
"Spirit wind"; suicide fighter pilots of World War II.
Kojiki
The earliest chronicle of Japanese history.
misogi
A ritual of purification that involves standing under a waterfall.
Nihongi
The second chronicle of Japanese history
Noh
Dramas performed in mask and costume, associated with Shinto.
Omoto
A New Religion, which stresses art and beauty.
samurai
Feudal soldier.
shimenawa
Twisted rope, marking a sacred spot.
Tenrikyo
A New Religion devoted to human betterment.
torii
A gatelike structure that marks a Shinto sacred place.
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