Shinto Belief Edit
The origin of the word Shinto means "Way of the Gods" But Shinto gods and goddesses are also called kami's as well, so Shinto could also mean "Way of the Kami". The term Kami, in japanese translation, refers to anything that is above/high/special or unusual or even auspicious in any way. It also refers to the essence or internal quality of any and many phenomena that in the Shinto religion would consider an aura or divinity. These phenomena could be within rocks, trees, rivers, animals, places or people. In water down terms anything that exists within the world, in nature and especially in and throughout Japan. Simply put, many things in the world could possess an "ultimate" sense about them, as if they are connected to or reflect the "ultimate" or even the devine. (Ie: the sun, the moon, forest, sea/river, wind, fire)
The Shinto religion is an overall perspective of just more than a simple list of shinto beliefts. The people of Japan see the perspective, simply contained to the phrase "Momo no aware" meaning a way of seeing the world of its beauty that contains many nuances such as Aesthetic Sensitivity (A sense of beauty and of the beautiful), sensitivity towards the aesthetic and the emotional as a basiscs for looking at life ( It includs the sandness or pathos of life and including joy, happiness and bliss) also including in the many nuances the japanese people see with the heart into the natural beauty and goodness of all things. With these sensibilities that is intertwined and focused on in Japanese thought and their artistic expression(s). Such things like nature, harmony and ballance. And their personal expression in practical and decorative arts like flower arranging, architecture, landscape design (Feng Shui if you will) also including in their personal expression tea ceremoney and many other choices.
In the Shinto religion as well, they believe in the three types of Kami "Categories":
- Abstract Powers: (associated with nature) The essence of certian weather events, natural rock or landscape formations, bodies of water, forests, etc.
- Family Ancestors: (Deceased ancestors whose essence lives on in the family as a revered honored pressence) This is especially true of families with aristocratic lineages (rulers, emperors, etc.), whose ancestors will be honored by the general population, not just the blood relatives.
- Souls of the auspicious dead (especially soldiers and other war dead): These are revered for their bravery, commitment and service - many of the most prominent Shinto shrines in Japan are devoted to the worship of the kami of the war dead
~Still getting information~
History Background (YMRP)Edit
In the times of many Shinto Gods and Goddesses (Kamis), twenty-seven of these beings roamed the earth between the heavens and the earth, in the sea and the ones that guarded Yomi. The people on earth, dedicated their human built shrines to the Gods and Goddesses, giving offerings to these higher deities in hopes that the deities would bestow upon them their graces and allow the people to grow and prosper. After a time, people had grown accustomed their traditions and their daily lives to where the people gave thanks to the Shinto kamis, and gave them everything. Over a period of time, the kami’s in the heavens, in the forests, in the seas all noticed how the humans started to turn their attention away from them, believe in other creators. Or outside influences influenced the people to believe that they didn’t exist, or they didn’t care. Unlike the times in the past where in times of need the people relied on them, the humans didn’t truly need a kami for good weather, or one for good harvest, not even one for good health. The people relied on their own technology of modern medicine, and modern beliefs instead of the old ways. After the countless wars that occurred time after time, the Gods and Goddesses realized that these beings, these people they had sought to guide and even protect. The gods and goddesses in the skies, the seas, even in the forests saw that their “followers” were no longer their “followers,” and in their eyes, in no means should need their protection or their guidance. So the Gods and Goddesses of the sky, sea, and forest retreated to the heavens to their heavenly courts and divine court systems. The Gods and Goddesses shut themselves off from the rest of the world, keeping amongst themselves watching from above the humans kill each other off one by one, and in large bombings. Within all twenty-seven kamis, five kamis said that the lost mortals still needed them. That there was still hope in them yet, while all the gods and goddesses locked themselves up. Five descended into their rightful places. Amaterasu, Goddess of the sun, took her place in the sky. Hachiman, God of Archery and of war, took his place with the people. Inari, the kami of fertility, rice, agriculture, foxes, industry, and worldly success, took his place in the forest with the people. Ōkuninushi, the kami ruler of the unseen world of spirits, took his place with the people on the surface to guide and protect the lost or wondering souls of the dead. Susanoo, the god of the sea and storms and the ruler of Yomi, took his place in the sea. These five kami’s now reside in their rightful places, watching their lost followers continue to wonder a dark path. Few of their followers still remember the Shinto ways, and give offerings and praise to the five kamis. Few even so, have the ability to be granted abilities THROUGH the gods, to do right in the world, and bring justice and bring forth light that has been lost to all the people of the surface.
Shinto Gods Present (In YMRP)Edit
Yomi ( or Hell.) Susanoo, the powerful storm of Summer, is the brother of Amaterasu, the goddess of the Sun, and of Tsukuyomi, the god of the Moon. All three were born from Izanagi, when he washed his face clean of the pollutants of Yomi, the underworld. Amaterasu was born when Izanagi washed out his left eye, Tsukuyomi was born from the washing of the right eye, and Susanoo from the washing of the nose. Susanoo possessed Totsuka-no-Tsurugi, a sword his father used to tear the body of his brother Kagu-Tsuchi, as his weapon. The oldest sources for Susanoo myths are the ca. 680 AD Kojiki and ca. 720 AD Nihon Shoki. They tell of a long-standing rivalry between Susanoo and his sister. When he was to leave Heaven by orders of Izanagi, he went to bid his sister goodbye. Amaterasu was suspicious, but when Susanoo proposed a challenge to prove his sincerity, she accepted. Each of them took an object of the other's and from it birthed gods and goddesses. Amaterasu birthed three women from Susanoo's sword while he birthed five men from her necklace. Claiming the gods were hers because they were born of her necklace, and the goddesses were his, he decided that he had won the challenge, as his item produced women. The two were content for a time, but Susanoo, the Storm God, became restless and went on a rampage destroying his sister's rice fields, hurled a flayed pony at her loom, and killed one of her attendants in a fit of rage. Amaterasu, who was in fury and grief, hid inside the Ama-no-Iwato ("heavenly rock cave"), thus effectively hiding the sun for a long period of time.
NiggaTsukuyomi (月読?, also known as Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto), is the moon god in Shinto and Japanese mythology. The -no-mikoto ending is a common honorific suffix for the names of gods, of similar meaning to “the grand, the great, the exalted”. Tsukuyomi was the second of the "three noble children" born when Izanagi-no-Mikoto, the god who created the first land of Onogoro-shima, was cleansing himself of his sins while bathing after escaping the underworld and the clutches of his enraged dead wife, Izanami-no-Mikoto. Tsukuyomi was born when he washed out of Izanagi's right eye. However, in an alternate story, Tsukuyomi was born from a mirror made of white copper in Izanagi's right hand. After climbing a celestial ladder, Tsukuyomi lived in the heavens, also known as Takamagahara, with his sister Amaterasu Ōmikami, the sun goddess. Tsukuyomi angered Amaterasu when he killed Uke Mochi, the goddess of food. Amaterasu once sent Tsukuyomi to represent her at a feast presented by Uke Mochi. The goddess made the food by turning to the ocean and spitting out a fish, then facing the forest and game came out of her mouth, and finally turned to a rice paddy and coughed up a bowl of rice. Tsukuyomi was utterly disgusted by the fact that, although it looked exquisite, the meal was made in a disgusting manner, and so he killed her.
Inari Ōkami (稲荷大神, also Oinari) is the Japanese kami of fertility, rice, agriculture, foxes, industry, and worldly success and one of the principal kami of Shinto. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. Inari appears to have been worshipped since the founding of a shrine at Inari Mountain in 711 AD, although some scholars believe that worship started in the late 5th century. Inari's foxes, or kitsune, are pure white and act as his/her messengers. During the Edo period, Inari worship spread across Japan; it became especially prominent in Edo. Smyers attributes this spread to the movement of daimyo (feudal lords).
Inari had by the sixteenth century become the patron of blacksmiths and the protector of warriors—for this reason, many castle compounds in Japan contain Inari shrines—and the daimyo took their belief in their protector kami with them when they relocated to a new domain. Inari's divine role continued to expand; on the coast, he/she became a protector of fishermen; in Edo, he/she was invoked to prevent fires. He/she became the patron of actors and of prostitutes, since his/her shrines were often found near the pleasure quarters where these individuals lived. He/she began to be worshipped as the Desire-Fulfilling Inari, a deity of luck and prosperity; a common saying in Osaka was Byō Kōbō, yoku Inari (For sickness [pray to] Kōbō, for desires [pray to] Inari).Ironically, Inari also began to be petitioned for good health; he/she is credited with curing such diverse afflictions as coughs, toothaches, broken bones, and syphilis. Women prayed to Inari to grant them children.
Raijin (雷神), also known as Raiden-sama, Yakusa no ikazuchi no kami, Kaminari-sama, and Narukami, is a god of lightning, thunder and storms in the Shinto religion and in Japanese mythology. The name "Raijin" is derived from the Japanese words kaminari (雷, "thunder") and kami (神, "god"). He is typically depicted as a demon-looking spirit beating drums to create thunder, usually with the symbol tomoe drawn on the drums.
Raijin was created by the divine pair Izanami and Izanagi after the creation of Japan. There is a legend which says the eight lightning gods were charged with protection of the Dharma by the Buddha. This kind of syncretism, called Shinbutsu-shūgō, is not unusual in Japan, even after the 1868 order that formally separated Shinto and Buddhism. Raijin's companion is the demon Raiju. In Japanese art, the deity is known to challenge Fūjin, the wind god.
Some Japanese parents tell their children to hide their belly buttons during thunderstorms. This is due to a folk belief that Raijin is sometimes credited with eating the navels or abdomens of children, and in the event of thunder, parents traditionally tell their children to hide their navels so that they are not taken away.