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Religion of Ancient Origin: Shinto

Year 11 SOR

Finding Resources in Oliver

Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies.  Search the Bennies catalogue Oliver for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS.


Shintō, indigenous religious beliefs and practices of Japan. The word Shintō, which literally means “the way of kami- kami means “mystical,” “superior,” or “divine,” 


Explore the rituals and ceremonies of Japan's Shinto, and discover its richly complex and subtle traditions. Students will examine the history and culture of Shinto through interviews, archival and on-location footage. Similar to other ancient traditions, Shinto is rooted in mythology and folk rituals that are passed through the generations, yet it is unique in having no congressional worship, founder or organising doctrine. Viewers will learn about the social codes, daily life and other distinguishing features of Shinto or, "the way of the Kami" - which, loosely translated, means "god" or "the sacred". See how over the centuries these traditions have served to unify Japan nationally and, at different times, mobilised the country politically.


Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan, a life-affirming animism calling upon the blessings of the numinous forces of nature and of specific spirit deities. 
Thus, being about nature, Shinto is largely associated with growth and prosperity. It encourages people to be sincere, cheerful, and pure, and to live in relationship with Kami.
Kami is sort of a catchall term for invisible spiritual forces that range from the nameless power that inhabits a waterfall, beautiful tree, or enigmatic rock formation, to an actual, personified guardian or helper. 

You Tube

Practiced by nearly 80% of the population, Shinto is the largest religion in Japan. So what exactly is this ancient Japanese religion?


Ancient Origins

Japanese mythology is collectively chronicled in the Kojiki, the oldest historical record written in Japan in 712 AD, and in the Nihon Shoki written in 720. As was common practice before the age of script, these tales were passed on through oral traditions—the Teiki and Kuji, among others—for generations before they were ever recorded.


The essence of Shinto is the Japanese devotion to invisible spiritual beings and powers called kami,  to shrines and to various rituals.

Shinto is not a way of explaining the world. What matters are rituals that enable human beings to communicate with kam

Centre for Global Education

Shinto (literally “the way of the gods”) is Japan's native belief system and predates historical records. The many practices, attitudes, and institutions that have developed to make up Shinto revolve around the Japanese land and seasons and their relation with the human inhabitants.

World Book

Log into World Book with the Bennies password and user name an search 'Shinto'.