[Soul of Japan] The Divine Age of Shinto

(Click here to read this article in Japanese.)

 

Many of Japan’s traditions and ideas are unfamiliar to those outside of Japan. Therefore, JAPAN Forward and Jinja Honcho have collaborated to bring readers an explanation of the key concepts of kami, matsuri, shrines, myths, and many other traditions and beliefs which form the core of Japanese culture. 

The “Soul of Japan” series provides an introduction to Shinto and Ise Jingu, and in this case an introduction to the earliest texts of the stories of the origin of Japan.

 

Although Shinto lacks a doctrine, two early 8th century historical records, the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, name certain individual kami of great personality and relate the tales of their various doings and achievements. These records are regarded as an essential part of the Shinto faith.

 

Another important text compiled in the early 10th century, the Engishiki, is in part a collection of codes concerning the proper form of Shinto rituals. Kami named in these codes are enshrined in jinja throughout Japan today. 

 

The following is a brief introduction to the kami at the center of the stories introduced in the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki.

 

lzanagi-no-kami

伊邪那岐神

A parent kami to three of the most revered kami.

 

Izanami-no-kami

伊邪那美神

The other parent kami to three of the most revered kami.

 

Susano’o-no-kami 

須佐之男命                     

Revered descendant of Izanagi-no-kami and Izanami-no-kami, and the kami who dedicated the special sword to Amaterasu Omikami.

 

Amaterasu-Omikami

天照大御神

Revered descendant of Izanagi-no-kami and Izanami-no-kami, and the kami who provides brilliance and light to the celestial and terrestrial worlds.

 

Tsukiyomi-no-kami

月読命

Revered descendant of Izanagi-no-kami and Izanami-no-kami, and the kami of the moon and the night.

 

Amenooshihomimi-no-Mikoto

天之忍穂耳命

Kami who is the son of Amaterasu-Omikami.

 

Ninigi-no-Mikoto

邇邇芸命

Kami who is the grandson of Amaterasu Omikami.

 

 

OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUL OF JAPAN SERIES:

 

Source: Jinja Honcho 

 

Click here for Additional Information about Jinja Honcho through their website.

 

 

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