Shinto in the History and Culture of Japan
After Japanese emperor Naruhito ascended the Chrysanthemum throne in 2019, he performed a secretive ritual funded by the state by offering newly harvested rice to the Shintō sun goddess Amaterasu, mythological progenitor of the imperial family, raising controversy and puzzlement both inside Japan and out. This book is a concise overview of Shintō through a survey of its key concepts, related archeological finds, central mythology, significant cultural sites, political dimensions, and historical developments. Its goal is to promote an understanding of Shintō as an enduring cultural phenomenon central to Japan past and present. Readers discover how Shintō honors nature, reveres mountains and rivers as living entities, why it famously asserts that eight million nature spirits, known as kami, surround the Japanese people in their homeland, and how politics have always been central to these positions.
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Association for Asian Studies