Religion has been a part of human society for as long as humans have inhabited the world it has many characteristics like origins of the universe, principle beliefs supernatural powers and deities and rituals and sacred spaces religion can be described as a way of life and attempts to provide answers to the big questions in life that science cannot prove, for example, where do I go when I die? What is my purpose on earth? Where did I come from? All the questions are endeavoured in every religion and attempted to be answered. Shinto the native religion of Japan provides significant answers to these rigid questions and responds to the quote “providing meaning and purpose in life is a central role of religion” (Rossiter 2002), this response and answers for the Shinto religion predominantly relate to the natural world they inhabit. (Coleman 2006, “spotlight studies of religion preliminary” science press Marrickville, Australia)
Every religion has its own explanation for the origins of the universe, Shinto for adherents believes that Kami created the universe (1) kami meaning Gods. For Shinto followers the original story was that before time began everything was a mixture into a cloud, the lighter clouds rose to form heaven whereas the heavier clouds fell into what is believed murky water, in the middle was earth. Over time a flower grew amid the heaven and earth this was the spawning of the first God or Kami, Izanagi who then created two other Gods Izangi and Izangi’s wife and sister Izanami. These Gods began to form the Shinto world both physically and mentally (2). For the Shinto followers they believe their religion is not divided with a supernatural transcendent world and the natural world but both aspects a joined together to form a single spiritually natural universe. This idea, for the Shinto followers provides them with an understanding that all around them naturally is connected with their religion spiritually making them aware of the importance of the natural world. (3)
Shinto like many other ancient religions believe in a wide range of gods therefore being polytheistic rather than monotheistic. There wide range of Gods are referred to as Kami, so consequently the Shinto cohorts believe in the way of the Kami (4). One of the main aspects for Shinto beliefs is the way one approaches the natural world and their own life subsequently leading to the outcomes in the future. For Shinto adherents to satisfy their religious spirit one must also believe in various deities which are termed Kami (5). Kami...