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Taoic Religions   >   Shinto   >   Books & Further Reading

   
 

Shinto Further Reading


If you would like to know more about Shinto, there are many books and websites with more information about it.

Here are some helpful websites about Shinto: Here some books about Shinto:

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The Essence of Shinto: Japan's Spiritual Heart
By Motohisa Yamakage

Kodansha
Released: 2012-09-07
Hardcover (232 pages)

The Essence of Shinto: Japan s Spiritual Heart
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In The Essence of Shinto, revered Shinto master Motohisa Yamakage explains the core values of Shinto and explores both basic tenets and its more esoteric points in terms readily accessible to the modern Western reader. He shows how the long history of Shintoism is deeply woven into the fabric of Japanese spirituality and mythology--indeed, it is regarded as Japan’s very spiritual roots--and discusses its role in modern Japan and the world. He also carefully analyzes the relationship of the spirit and the soul, which will provide informed and invaluable insight into how spirituality affects our daily existence. Through the author’s emphasis on the universality of Shinto and its prevalence in the natural world, the book will appeal to all readers with an appreciation of humanity’s place in nature and the individual’s role in the larger society.
Shinto: Discovery of the Divine in Japanese Art
By Sinéad Vilbar

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Released: 2019-06-04
Hardcover (400 pages)

Shinto: Discovery of the Divine in Japanese Art
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Bringing the rich Japanese Shinto artistic tradition to life, this handsome volume explores the significance of calligraphy, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts within traditional kami veneration ceremonies

A central feature of Japanese culture for many centuries, the veneration of kami deities—a practice often referred to as Shinto—has been a driving force behind a broad swath of visual art. Focusing on the Heian period (795–1185) through the Edo period (1615–1868), this generously illustrated volume brings the rich Shinto artistic tradition to life through works of calligraphy, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. Thematic essays authored by both American and Japanese scholars explore different dimensions of kami veneration and examine the significance of these objects—many of which have never been seen outside of Japan—in Shinto ceremonies.
Shinto the Kami Way
By Sokyo Ono Ph.D.

Brand: Tuttle Publishing
Released: 2004-04-15
Paperback (128 pages)

Shinto the Kami Way
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"An excellently rounded introduction by an eminent Shinto scholar."—Library Journal

Shinto, the indigenous faith of the Japanese people, continues to fascinate and mystify both the casual visitor to Japan and the long-time resident. Relatively unknown among the religions of the world, Shinto: The Kami Way provides an enlightening window into this Japanese faith.

In its general aspects, Shinto is more than a religious faith. It is an amalgam of attitudes, ideas, and ways of doing things that through two millennia and more have become an integral part of the manner of the Japanese people. Shinto is both a personal faith in the kami—objects of worship in Shinto and an honorific for noble, sacred spirits—and a communal way of life according to the mind of the kami. This introduction unveils Shinto's spiritual characteristics and discusses the architecture and function of Shinto shrines. Further examination of Shinto's lively festivals, worship, music, and sacred regalia illustrates Shinto's influence on all levels of Japanese life.

Fifteen photographs, numerous drawings and Dr. Ono's text introduce the reader to two millennia of indigenous Japanese belief in the kami and communal life.

Chapters include:
  • The Kami Way
  • Shrines
  • Worship and Festivals
  • Political and Social Characteristics
  • Some Spiritual Characteristics
Shinto: A History
By Helen Hardacre

Oxford University Press USA
Hardcover (720 pages)

Shinto: A History
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Distinguished scholar of Japanese religions and culture Helen Hardacre offers the first comprehensive history of Shinto, the ancient and vibrant tradition whose colorful rituals are still practiced today. Under the ideal of Shinto, a divinely descended emperor governs through rituals offered to deities called Kami. These rituals are practiced in innumerable shrines across the realm, so that local rites mirror the monarch's ceremonies. Through this theatre of state, it is thought, the human, natural, and supernatural worlds will align in harmony and prosper.

Often called "the indigenous religion of Japan," Shinto's institutions, rituals, and symbols are omnipresent throughout the island nation. But, perhaps surprisingly, both its religiosity and its Japanese origins have been questioned. Hardacre investigates the claims about Shinto as the embodiment of indigenous tradition, and about its rightful place in the public realm. Shinto has often been represented in the West as the engine that drove Japanese military aggression. To this day, it is considered provocative for members of the government to visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors the Japanese war dead, and this features as a source of strain in Japan's relations with China and Korea. The Yasukuni Shrine is a debated issue in Japanese national politics and foreign relations and reliably attracts intensive media coverage. Hardacre contends, controversially, that it was the Allied Occupation that created this stereotype of Shinto as the religion of war, when in fact virtually all branches of Japanese religions were cheerleaders for the war and imperialism.

The history and nature of Shinto are subjects of vital importance for understanding contemporary Japan, its politics, its international relations, and its society. Hardacre's magisterial work will stand as the definitive reference for years to come.
Shinto Norito: A Book of Prayers
By Ann Llewellyn Evans

Trafford Publishing
Released: 2006-07-06
Paperback (168 pages)

Shinto Norito: A Book of Prayers
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This book presents, for the first time, a collection of ancient Japanese Shinto prayers in a format where English speaking readers can both understand the deep meaning of the translated text and can also pronounce the original Japanese words.
Shinto is an ancient spiritual tradition, primarily practiced in Japan, which is now spreading its traditions to the western world. Its primordial rituals and traditions touch a deep chord within one's spiritual self. Shinto's focus on divinity of all beings and of all creation, on living with gratitude and humility, and on purification and lustration of one's self and environment will bring light and joy to any reader.
The purpose of prayer and ritual as practiced in the Shinto tradition, is to reinsert ourselves into a divine state of being, not as a new position, but as an acknowledgement and reinforcement of what already exists. Ritual restores sensitive awareness to our relationship to the universe. Through purification and removal of impurities and blockages, we return to our innate internal brightness and cultivate a demeanor of gratitude and joy.
Shinto rituals and prayers were created by ancient man over 2,000 years ago in a time when mankind was more intuitive about his relationship to this world. Because of this, the rites are archetypal and invoke deep emotion within the participants.
This book of prayers will introduce the western reader to the deep spirituality of Shinto, providing explanation of the spiritual tradition and practice and providing a collection of 22 prayers for use in personal meditation and devotions.

Order a coil bound version of Shinto Norito
A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine
By John K. Nelson

University of Washington Press
Released: 2015-08-03
Kindle Edition (316 pages)

A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine
 
Product Description:

What we today call Shinto has been at the heart of Japanese culture for almost as long as there has been a political entity distinguishing itself as Japan. A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine describes the ritual cycle at Suwa Shrine, Nagasaki�s major Shinto shrine. Conversations with priests, other shrine personnel, and people attending shrine functions supplement John K. Nelson�s observations of over fifty shrine rituals and festivals. He elicits their views on the meaning and personal relevance of the religious events and the place of Shinto and Suwa Shrine in Japanese society, culture, and politics. Nelson focuses on the very human side of an ancient institution and provides a detailed look at beliefs and practices that, although grounded in natural cycles, are nonetheless meaningful in late-twentieth-century Japanese society.

Nelson explains the history of Suwa Shrine, basic Shinto concepts, and the Shinto worldview, including a discussion of the Kami, supernatural forces that pervade the universe. He explores the meaning of ritual in Japanese culture and society and examines the symbols, gestures, dances, and meanings of a typical shrine ceremony. He then describes the cycle of activities at the shrine during a calendar year: the seasonal rituals and festivals and the petitionary, propitiary, and rite-of-passage ceremonies performed for individuals and specific groups. Among them are the Dolls� Day festival, in which young women participate in a procession and worship service wearing Heian period costumes; the autumn Okunchi festival, which attracts participants from all over Japan and even brings emigrants home for a visit; the ritual invoking the blessing of the Kami for young children; and the ritual sanctifying the earth before a building is constructed. The author also describes the many roles women play in Shinto and includes an interview with a female priest.

Shinto has always been attentive to the protection of communities from unpredictable human and divine forces and has imbued its ritual practices with techniques and strategies to aid human life. By observing the Nagasaki shrine�s traditions and rituals, the people who make it work, and their interactions with the community at large, the author shows that cosmologies from the past are still very much a part of the cultural codes utilized by the nation and its people to meet the challenges of today.

Shinto - The Way of Gods: Introduction to the traditional religion of Japan
By Vincent Miller

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (136 pages)

Shinto - The Way of Gods: Introduction to the traditional religion of Japan
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The Shinto faith fascinates and mystifies the entire world.

Shinto is Japanese for ‘The way of the Gods.’ Shinto represents Japanese religion and cult that has its origins in prehistoric times. Referred to as the ‘indigenous faith of the Japan’ - the belief occupies a significant position even in the technologically advanced modern Japanese society. Shinto has held sway over the religious, social, and political way of life in Japan for over two millennia and continues its reign over the minds of the Japanese even today.

The Kami Way in Shintoism is a personal faith in the objects of worship and a belief in noble and sacred spirits. Shinto followers believe that their emperor is a divine descendant who governs the land with the help of rituals done for the deities, or Kami. Shinto ritualism takes place in hundreds of shrines all across the country. These local rites performed at each of the community shrines mirror the emperor’s ceremonies. Shinto followers believe that these divine rituals help in aligning the supernatural, human, and the natural worlds harmoniously together to achieve prosperity.

This book is intended to give a basic, yet detailed view of the Shinto world for a beginner. This book traces the path of Shinto starting from its ancient origins to its present day.

Get a copy now and begin your Shinto adventure today!
Shinto (The Way of the Gods) (Classic Reprint)
By W. G. Aston

Forgotten Books
Paperback (406 pages)

Shinto (The Way of the Gods) (Classic Reprint)
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As compared with the great religions of the world, Shinto, the old Kami cult of Japan, is decidedly rudimentary in its character. I ts polytheism, the want of a Supreme Deity, the comparative absence of images and of a moral code, its feeble personifications and hesitating grasp 01 the conception of spirit, the practical non-recognition of a future state, and the general absence of a deep, earnest faith all stamp it as perhaps the least developed of religions which have an adequate literary record. Still, it is not a primitive cult. It had an organized priesthood and an elaborate ritual. The general civilization of the Japanese when Shinto assumed the form in which we know it had left the primitive stage far behind. They were already an agricultural nation, a circumstance by which Shinto has been deeply influenced. They had a settled government, and possessed the arts of brewing, making pottery, building ships and bridges, and working in metals. It is not among such surroundings that we can expect to find a primitive form of religion. The present treatise has two objects. It is intended, primarily and chiefly, as a repertory of the more significant facts of Shinto for the use of scientific students of religion. It also comprises an outline theory of the origin and earlier stages of the development of religion, prepared with special reference to the Shinto evidence.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books is a publisher of historical writings, such as: Philosophy, Classics, Science, Religion, History, Folklore and Mythology.

Forgotten Books' Classic Reprint Series utilizes the latest technology to regenerate facsimiles of historically important writings. Careful attention has been made to accurately preserve the original format of each page whilst digitally enhancing the aged text.
Shinto: The Way Home: Dimensions of Asian Spirituality
By Thomas P. Kasulis

University Press Audiobooks
Audible Audiobook

Shinto: The Way Home: Dimensions of Asian Spirituality
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Nine out of ten Japanese claim some affiliation with Shinto, but in the West the religion remains the least studied of the major Asian spiritual traditions. It is so interlaced with Japanese cultural values and practices that scholarly studies usually focus on only one of its dimensions: Shinto as a "nature religion", an "imperial state religion", a "primal religion", or a "folk amalgam of practices and beliefs". Thomas Kasulis' fresh approach to Shinto explains with clarity and economy how these different aspects interrelate.

As a philosopher of religion, he first analyzes the experiential aspect of Shinto spirituality underlying its various ideas and practices. Second, as a historian of Japanese thought, he sketches several major developments in Shinto doctrines and institutions from prehistory to the present, showing how its interactions with Buddhism, Confucianism, and nationalism influenced its expression in different times and contexts.

In Shinto's idiosyncratic history, Kasulis finds the explicit interplay between two forms of spirituality: the "existential" and the "essentialist". Although the dynamic between the two is particularly striking and accessible in the study of Shinto, he concludes that a similar dynamic may be found in the history of other religions as well.

Two decades ago, Kasulis' Zen Action/Zen Person brought an innovative understanding to the ideas and practices of Zen Buddhism, an understanding influential in the ensuing decade of philosophical Zen studies. Shinto: The Way Home promises to do the same for future Shinto studies.

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu Budo Kyohan
By Yoshio Sugino

Lulu.com
Hardcover (262 pages)

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu Budo Kyohan
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Having been taught for almost 600 years, Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu is one of the oldest Japanese martial arts. This is the first English translation of the book, which was originally published in Japan in 1941. With its many pictures and texts it presents the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu's basic techniques and kata with the sword (iai-jutsu, ken-jutsu), bo (bo-jutsu) and the naginata (naginata-jutsu) in great depth. This book also describes the relevance and the aim of budo and budo training methods to the reader, as well as the essential basics of budo (kamae, ma-ai, metsuke, zanshin, munen-muso, etc.). Additionally, it provides information on the origin and history of the Katori Shinto Ryu style, which was founded by Iizasa Choisai Ienao sensei (1387 - 1488). This book is complemented by historical and biographical texts written by Yoshio Sugino. Both the 20th Soke of the Katori Shinto Ryu Yasusada Iizasa sensei and Yukihiro Sugino sensei have also kindly provided a preface.



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