Shinto Notes Relg 102 H01
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Relg 102 H01
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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danielle Gibson on Friday December 4, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Relg 102 H01 at West Virginia University taught by Dr. Snow in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 47 views. For similar materials see Introduction world religions in Religious Studies at West Virginia University.
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Date Created: 12/04/15
Danielle Gibson Relg Intro to World Religion Dr Alex Snow Notes 10515 Shinto Notes gt Kami spirits gods powers or energies that exist 0 Kami are everywhere The question is do we or do we not see them 0 Darshan to see the Gods 0 Japanese question The Kingdom of Kami is all around us do we see them If not why gt Misogi 0 Places to wash your hands and wash your mouth 0 Has a connotation of to be cleaned or cleansed gt Kitsune sacred foxes 0 To Americans it s a trickster figure 0 Both sacredimportant and dangerous gt Kearu represents the way home 0 frog gt Shinto the waythe path home 0 Coming to know something you already know 0 Meeting someone you ve already met 0 Nostalgia Nostos home algia ache O Invented word that didn t exist until about 150 years ago I From late 16th to early 19th century Japan was practicing a period of time called isolationism They closed their country off to the rest of the world Japanese emperor was very concerned with nationalistic pride and keeping the culture s interest at hand 39 Sometime in the 1860s Admiral Cook showed up with his Naval Armada in the Bay of Japan and sends a message to the emperor Open your country up or we will kill everyone The emperor was a practical man so he did When the people came in they asked a lot of different questions currency ruling etc Among those questions were What s your religion Who do you believe in What s your Gods In the context of this question the Japanese emissaries that were there to meet Cook and his people looked oddly at the question For Japan if everything is interdependent and interconnected what is religion as opposed to politics or economics Japanese said they didn t understand and Cook and his men said Well the Chinese have it I Everything Japan had been doing for the last 250 years to keep itself away from the empirical motherland of China was blown up in one second when Cook and his people told them China had something they didn t have 0 Chinese immediately set about creating something new In the 1880s they invented the word Shinto Shin gods spirits energies totao pathway O Shinto the way of the Gods 0 Within 5 years they created a more Japanese looking phrase Kaminomichi gt Kaminomichi O Kami means powersenergiesgodsspirits that pervade the landscape nomichi means pathwayroad 0 Kaminomichi means the path or the way to the gods that are all around us waiting to be seen I Our problem according to Shinto is we don t see hear or recognize them I Something about our culture has hidden them from us gt Fundamental Japanese question Do you see me for what I am Do you or do you not see the Kami invested in all things 0 According to Shinto most of us do not because our eyes are covered with a filma dirt that literally makes us dirty I means dirtyfilthycloggedj ammed 0 We want to perform a cleansing ceremony called misogi 0 The reason we don t see the godsKami in all things because eyes are covered with a film that doesn t allow us to experience things for what they are 0 The goal of Shinto in general is to practice in such a way to reveal the spiritsgodsKami s I Because we don t see them our goal is to be reminded 0 The goal of Shinto is to remind you most important reminder is the Torii gt Torii A gate or a shrine that you walk under or through that takes you from a state or being of profane to a state or being to sacred 0 There are about 1112 million Toriis in Japan 0 Important figure 0 Torii is meant to be gone through or under so that it can mentally or emotionally remind you that there is no separation between sacred and profane 0 If everything in the Universe is interdependent and interconnected the Torii is a reminder that there is no distinction between sacred and profane Most of the time the Torii s are isolated and alone or serve as entrances 0 They re a reminder that on a daily basis people have too much on their mind instead of paying attention to the spiritsenergiesKami s around them gt Shimeyawa Ties things together 0 Meant to be a physicalvisual teaching that what most of us typically see as two independent things are not as independent as we think 0 Meant to tie things together that don t normally look tied together 0 Symbolic that everything is connected 0 Meant to connect in our hearts and in our minds thingseventspeopleplacesideasconcepts that aren t O Constant visual reminder that distinctions are an illusion gt From about 1868 to 1945 Japanese scholars call this period of time the Restorative period 0 A young emperor 8 years old Emperor Meiji took over Japanese imperial control and decided that Japan after it s period of 250 years of isolationism if it was going to O gt Jinja wake up and compete with the rest of the world then fundamentally what Japan needed to do according to Emperor Meiji in 1868 was deny all of their religious beliefs become secular become scientific and compete with the rest of the world when it comes to world trade Meiji period end of WW2 when General Macarthur sat on top of a ship and forced Emperor Hirohito in 1945 to give a message to the Japanese people saying that he was not a god This caused a period in Japanese history called Jinja State Shinto When the Kami disappear and are manifested in one of two things the spirits of the fallen war dead or the power of the cotemporary emperor O O O Atheistic secular and political Still recognizes the Kami Still know that everything is sacred Yasukuni Shrine celebrates the spirits of anyone that died fighting for the Japanese Empire Inside this Shrine are no kami sgodsspirits there are the spirits of all the fallen war dead of the Japanese military machine from 18681945 including 7 class 4 war criminals From 1868 to 1945 every Shinto shrine on Japanese islands was emptied of their Kami and replaced with the souls of the fallen wardeaths of Japanese military regime As this happened the people of Japan who wanted to practice religion had to do it in secret They created what are called Kamidana and Butsudan These are traditions for about 80 years in Japan in which organized religion had to go underground I Kamidana literally means shelf they are secret private shelves inside people s houses and hidden in closets away from anyone in the Japanese political regime where people could still worship the kami Butsudan basically the same term shelf for Buddhist statues In 1945 a couple of weeks after the US drops a bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki General Macarthur shows up in the Bay of Japan and forces emperor Hirohito to speak live on the world news making one statement I am not a god What s interesting about that is that they were at the end of the Meiji Restorative Period in which none of Japan was worshipping gods anyway except the emperor so to speak When this happens what essentially goes on is Macarthur did not intend this he was Christian and wanted to make Japan a Christian country he essentially reverses J inja He took the power away from the emperor and put it back in the hands of the people Once it was back in the hands of the people Japan exploded in religious beliefs starting around 1946 gt In between the 18th and 19th century the work of a Japanese philosopher Motoori Norinaga was introduced very slowly at first then much more prominently post 1945 He proposes 2 fundamentally Japanese ideas These were going to be ways that according to him they could reawaken the Kami and find their way home 0 1 What they needed to do was practice the art of makoto no kokori I Loose translation of makoto no kokori genuine heartmind According to Norinaga it is the genuine experience of humanness that goes beyond the2 classic western bifurcational options 2 divisional options we have in Western society to either feel or think emotions or rational I According to Norinaga the reason the Japanese people were sick Tsumi because they hadn t gone beyond heart and mind I If everything is interdependent and interconnected and there are no ideas or concepts then according to him nothing can exist on its own so nothing have meaning So if they were going to cleanse themselves and return home to an experience they d already had before then they needed to turn 2 things off emotions and thoughts 0 This is called muchin no mind munothing shin mind no thoughts no feelings They are what creates the problems according to him Instead what they should do is practice is mono no aware O is the experience according to Norinaga of experiencing aspects of the world like a beautiful sunrise before using thoughts to analyze it It is the ahh ness of any particular moment before heart or mind takes over It is the idea that if everything is interdependent and interconnected everything is sacred and amazing Every second is the most amazing second because if everything is interdependent and interconnected then everything is new and amazing a beautiful and brilliant UNTIL you name it define it articulate it 0 Mono No Aware It is Experiencing without adjectives 0 For him if you call something beautiful like a sunrise you have manifested Tsumi dirtiness Not by the experience of the sunrise but by naming the experience because it could be ugly 0 According to Norinaga you need to spend every second of your entire existence being in awe of everything around you not just once but constantly For him if everything is interdependent and interconnected and constantly changing then we will live cleaner more loving more respectful lives and be more true to the essence of the Universe if we are surprised and in love with every second of our lives 0 No adjectives just aweness that he exists he s part of your presence you re part of his presence and for now he s all you have until the next second 0 This would have profound ethical and political consequences if we spent every second of our existence with our eyes open to the profound nature of any and all experiences right in front of us It is all aweinspiring and cannot be named or known but it is here 0 So according to him Shinto in Japan has the goal of experiencing aweness with everything you come into contact with If you do that you would live a more healthy life and the people around you would as well gt Kami literally means charisma