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'natural' spirituality[edit]

I have combined the three criticisms of the phrase above in the first sentence for further debate. I believe that Jinja Honcho's site begins with a similar affirmation. I think that the idea is that other religions are seen as having a founder (thus are human-made, artificial) whereas Shinto is seen to have evolved, "naturally" out of the environment, or human interactions with the environment. All the same, anything that involves human acts may be argued to be non-natural/human-made. --Timtak (talk) 00:30, 4 April 2010 (UTC)


The very first sentence, "Shinto (神道, Shintō?) or kami-no-michi is the natural spirituality of Japan and the Japanese people," absolutely reeks of a lack of neutrality. How exactly can a country, or any other entity, have a "natural spirituality." Kronos o (talk) 13:48, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

I think "natural" might mean "nature-based". Shii (tock) 03:49, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
What does "nature-based" mean? (1) Based upon worship of nature (2) Having a natural foundation/naturall arising. I think that (1) is undisputed but (2) may be Shinto POV.

what does the 'natural spirituality of the people' even mean[edit]

smells like religious fundamentalism. -- (talk) 23:49, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Poor Syntax[edit]

Characterizing Shinto as the "natural spirituality of Japan" is wrong-headed, and probably just reflects a poor command of English. I would instead suggest "traditional, nature-centered religion of Japan", which I hope will better convey the writer's intention. The phrase currently used seems to imply, in particular, that it is unnatural for a Japanese person to be a Buddhist or a Christian. This would represent a highly biased value-judgement that would obviously be inappropriate for a fact-based resource like the Wikipedia.

Just Wrong[edit]

Shinto was invented in the 1870's; the use of an old name seems to have confused the writer of the article. Before that period, Shinto was one of many "spiritualities" in Japan and was selected and *massively* altered by governmental edicts as a response to the threat from the Christian west, taking a lot from Confucianism (almost all of its underlying theory). I don't know exactly how one fits "*the* indigenous spirituality" into that historical framework since it is neither alone nor indigenous.

But, hey, it's Wikipedia so I guess facts aren't as important as citations, even if they cite wildly inaccurate sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Grammatical error[edit]

In the article text under History under Post-War the following sentence no parse good English:

There are, however, several Shinto shrines in America, which has a large number of people of Japanese descent.

As written, this appears to say that the Shinto shrines have a large number of people of Jspanese descent. While it is clear that the latter phrase is meant to modify "America", it is ambiguously worded. I would fix this myself, but the page is semi-protected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LrdDimwit (talkcontribs) 19:36, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

The sentence "It serves as a pagan religion from the ancient times until World War II, and its defeat and surrender." should include "Japan" somewhere unless the author intended to imply Shinto itself was defeated and surrendered. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:23, 17 January 2011 (UTC)


The summary section prior to the actual article seems too long, does anyone else think it should be shortened? (talk) 07:19, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Shrines Section is pitiful[edit]

I am going to rewrite it. Let me know how it goes. Takashi Ueki (talk) 04:18, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Unclear sentence[edit]

Question, is the "area" in the sentence "if anyone is injured on the grounds of a shrine, the area affected must be ritually purified" refering to a place in the shrine grouds where someone was injured or a spot where the person was injured? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

A brief about Dao vs Tao[edit]

The old westernized Tao pronunciation is not the currently accepted use in Publishing and Literary circles. The Library of Congress uses "Dao" as the Pinyin system is considered more accurate and ISO also has adopted it as has the UN, and most other international organizations.

...proponents for both sides of the Daoism-Taoism debate make valid arguments. Some prefer the Wade-based Taoism because it is more familiar than Daoism and because the borrowing is a fully assimilated English word anyway; such words are generally unaffected by later systems of romanization. However, many of these traditionalists will accept using pinyin for more recent Chinese borrowings. Others prefer pinyin-based Daoism because of growing acceptance internationally of Hanyu Pinyin as the standard romanization for Chinese, as reflected in other recent spelling changes such as the pinyin Beijing that replaced the Wade Pei-ching or Chinese Postal Map Romanization Peking. In conclusion, three illustrative outcomes of Daoism vs. Taoism are given from publishing, library, and Wikipedia spheres.

First, publishing houses have profit concerns about changing romanizations of foreign books. Many more English translations are titled Tao Te Ching than Dao De Jing, making the former spelling more familiar to native speakers. Academic publishers are more likely than others to adopt pinyin; Columbia University Press changed the titles of Burton Watson's translations from "Chuang Tzu" to "Zhuangzi" and from "Han Fei Tzu" to "Hanfeizi".

Second, libraries have independent concerns about revising legacy Wade-Giles catalogs to contemporary pinyin. After the Library of Congress converted to pinyin in 1997, librarian Jiajian Hu (1999:250-1) listed three reasons why they deemed Wade-Giles unsatisfactory and added four more.

   * First, it had phonetically redundant syllables.
   * Second, it failed to render the Chinese national standard pronunciation.
   * Finally, it wasn't able to show the semantic distinctions between multiple readings of single characters. …
   * The Pinyin system of romanization of Chinese is now generally recognized as standard. …
   * Most users of American libraries are now familiar with pinyin romanization. …
   * The use of pinyin romanization by libraries facilitates the exchange of data with foreign libraries. …
   * Pinyin has more access points than Wade-Giles for online retrieval.

Therefore - Dao it is. I will continue to make that change.

"Taoism" and "Daoism" are actually pronounced exactly the same. Wades-Giles just used "t" to represent an unaspirated Voiceless alveolar stop (which to English speakers sounds exactly like a "d"), and Pinyin used "d" to represent the same phoneme. English speakers ignorant of the rules of the Wade-Giles system tend to pronounce "t" as an aspirated voiceless alveolar stop, which is a mistake. The Pinyin spelling doesn't have the same problem. (talk) 18:59, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Finally Recruited a Real Expert[edit]

I have found a high ranking Shinto Priest to assist in the accuracy of this article. There appear to be some competing interests in getting the "new shinto" religions recognized and this should be expanded. Also I will be bringing a discussion of the Jomon period back into this as clearly Shinto did not just pop up in 300 BCE, but now with actual citations of archeological evidence. Also I noticed a great amount of editing of cited text. Clearly the citations are to quote the work accurately and if you change the text you need to either cite the work you are using or refrain from doing so. I've also noted that there seems to be a bias for either questionable or really poor online articles to be cited. Random unpublished and non peer reviewed work has no place cited in a good article. Just because somebody online said it, does not make it true. Also making major changes without any discussions or logging in is a very questionable practice. I am going to ask for limitations on this article to keep the sources clear. This has been vandalized regularly and cited material removed even though it is accurate and appropriate. There is a long way to go here, but in a couple of weeks, I will have a complete audit, with a Shinto Historian/Priest, and try to come to a near final article in 2-3 weeks. Takashi Ueki (talk) 19:57, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

A Shinto priest may well be an expert, but at the same time may not present an unbiased point of view. Perhaps that is why the article seems to present Shinto belief as fact. I think that the article needs a few more "it is believed that"s.--Timtak (talk) 00:13, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Four Affirmations[edit]

Bearing in mind Shinto's supposed lack of dogma, where do these "four affirmations" come from? At least a citation would be nice. If there not, then perhaps they should become "four things that the majority of Shintoists feel important" rather than "affirmations?" I don't think that they are fairly on the mark. But I am not aware of the existance of any "affirmations."--Timtak (talk) 23:52, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

I found a reliable source!

Bad Formatting of References[edit]

Somebody needs to clean up the references in this article. "(Averbuch, Irit pp.83-87)" & similar citations appear bracketed in the main text, whereas they should go in footnotes. Also somebody has tacked a load of sources as bullet points onto the bottom of the references section, which does not make it clear what part of the text is referencing these sources.

Please see Wikipedia:Citing sources and Wikipedia:Citation templates for the proper ways to write & format citations. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 12:02, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

I've done my best to sort it out. There are a few books listed which are not directly cited. Rather than delete them, I've put them in a 'Further Reading' section, as some other articles have this. Weasel Fetlocks (talk) 12:37, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

A Conflict?[edit]

I noticed that it says that both Ko Shinto and Shrine Shinto (in the Types of Shinto section) are the oldest. Which is older, and if it is not known, could we change it to reflect that? (talk) 04:01, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Ko Shinto means "old Shinto"; I have no idea who actually practices Ko Shinto, and I thought it was just a historical category. Shrine Shinto, which is the original form AFAIK, is distinguished from Sect Shinto, which is an attempt by the leftover structure of old State Shinto to integrate several 19th century NRMs underneath the "Shinto" banner. Shii (tock) 21:58, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Is Koshintō actually is own sect (seperate from sect shinto or shrine shinto) as this article implies? Are there any sources for the word used this way other than Yamakage? Despite being a Japanese religion major, I had never heard of Koshintō until this wikipedia article. (talk) 10:20, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
What up Japanese religion major buddy. I think Koshinto is an academic category that does not have any corresponding sect. Shii (tock) 00:36, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
Hello! Always nice to see a fellow. Concerning Koshinto, do you (or anyone) think it should be included in the 'Types of Shinto' section in this article? Would it be better to perhaps talk about it in the History section? I don't want to change things I am (obviously) not an expert in. (talk) 05:21, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Downgraded to C[edit]

I am an expert in Japanese Buddhism, not Shinto, but this article is hilariously bad. A few examples from the first two paragraphs:

  1. "Shinto is the Japanese religion": two citations without page numbers. One is to a popular encyclopedia of world religions-- the type of book that is notorious for misstating the nature of Far Eastern religions.
  2. "Some kami ... represent ... processes": A bold claim indeed. I'd like to see a source for that.
  3. Self-contradiction between "The earliest Japanese thoughts do not refer to a unified religion" and "Some differences exist between Shintoism (the ancient Shintō) and the many types of Shinto taught and practiced today". The first statement was added by me and is correct. The second, despite being sourced, is very confused (what is "Shintoism", anyway?).
  4. "compound words [in Japanese] use Chinese pronunciation": Not all of them.
  5. "[Shinto] is considered the native religion of Japan." By who? Hint: the category "religion" was invented by Western scholars.
  6. " which few people give religious connotations". The previous sentence of this article was from the Western academic's POV: in this sentence, Western academics are ignored entirely. Now we need to figure out whether Wikipedia is going to stick with the modern academic analysis of Shinto or how it was popularly seen in Japan in each respective era. Pick one or the other, or even both, but don't contradict yourself.

    A few more prize examples of the awful state of this article:
  7. "Though Shinto has no absolute commandments for its adherents outside of living 'a simple and harmonious life with nature and people', there are said to be 'Four Affirmations' of the Shinto spirit." Weasel wording for an unsourced claim, which is then repeated in full.
  8. "Kagura is the ancient Shinto ritual dance of Shamanic origin." There is only one Kagura? Also, how does Shinto differ from shamanism? The previously unmentioned prehistoric shaman connection comes out of left field.
  9. "the customs and values of Shinto are inseparable from those of Japanese culture" Sounds like a budding D.T. Suzuki wrote this passage.

Shii (tock) 21:52, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Look at this nonsense passage:

A more personal purification rite is the purification by water. This may involve standing beneath a waterfall or performing ritual ablutions in a river-mouth or in the sea (misogi). This practice comes from Shinto history, when the kami Izanagi-no-Mikoto first performed misogi after returning from the land of Yomi, where he was made impure by Izanami-no-Mikoto after her death. These two forms of purification are often referred to as harae (祓).

First: pick a term, misogi or harae. You can't explain both at once. Second: don't repeat just-so stories from mythology at face value. Wikipedia is supposed to cite secondary sources. Shii (tock) 00:56, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Shintos are amazing — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

History section?[edit]

Where is the founding date? famous Shinto priest? where is all the history? Does Shinto even qualify for being religion when there is no texts written? --Korsentry 00:36, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Well Considering almost all of Japan's native people (how big of an almost I don't know for certain) follow the ideology of shinto(and zenbudhism) I think it qualifies as a religion. There is no known founder or start date to the religion and it started off as nature worship. Unlike Christianity or other western monotheistic religions Shinto does not have a holly book of stories or what have you, that doesn't mean that the religion just started yesterday. (talk) 18:29, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

A holy text is typical of monotheistic religions, but not necessarily traditional indigenous belief systems. Greco-Roman paganism didn't have any definite source texts either, just a series of traditions passed down over the centuries. It's not a requirement to be a religion. (talk) 18:53, 6 July 2015 (UTC)


Considering how often this page is vandalized (most changes to it are vandalism-related), wouldn't it be better to semi-protect it, limiting editing to registered users? urashimataro (talk) 00:51, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Clearly a bad article[edit]

Shinto is one of the world's oldest religions, unfortunately this article does not support the depth and breadth of Shinto in Japan or its history. As such and being a Shinto lay historian I am going to endeavour to get this page on track. I am going to do a complete rewrite of this entry to see if wiki can present a good article about this topic. Unfortunately this current page has been taken directly from only about 2-3 texts and they are clearly a Christian interpretation of the 'pagan' religion. I will start this over and restructure it first and then flesh it out. Patience and I welcome all discussion and input to make this better than it is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Takashi Ueki (talkcontribs) 21:26, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Please see my "Downgraded to C" section below. I agree with you wholeheartedly: Shinto should be described for what it is, not how it relates to Christian concepts of religion. Specifically, the "theology" of Shinto should be mostly removed because the Kojiki is not a theological text and did not lay out the rules for preexisting institutions. Sections I would want to see, if you don't mind the suggestions, are pre-Buddhist religious practices, the period of Japanese-Buddhist syncretism (e.g. shugendo being a practice based on Japanese beliefs but justified by Shingon theology), and a description of State Shinto and the drastically changed function of ethnic religion after WW2. I think that would give a very enlightening summary of Shinto, although I am not Japanese myself. Just be sure to cite everything! Shii (tock) 18:59, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

By all means I will cite, I am working on a complete work now. If you would like to see one of my edits, see Yasukuni Shrine, one that was clearly biased and problematic. I have sections on history, important persons, religious practices, important holidays, and traditions. We will see how it goes from there. What do you all think about a section on gods in relation to regionalism? Takashi Ueki 1:55pm May 16th —Preceding undated comment added 20:56, 16 May 2009 (UTC).

That sounds like a good idea. Other articles on ethnic religions don't seem to summarize these local cults, but I think talking about the importance of locality and place would be an improvement over the strict Amaterasu->Izanami+Izanagi->others hierarchy. Shii (tock) 07:15, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Rewriting of this page[edit]

I have begun the sectional rewriting, and am attempting to add citations as possible, please give me some patience and I will be happy to take critical review as the work progresses. The article was laughable initially, but I am going to make a run at a complete overhaul. I will add a history section, with a timeline, religious developments, and important people given the time. I will also change some photos to the more relevant shrines and images, and not the travel guide pictures that are currently displayed. I will use my own photos as I have a very large collection from many shrines in Japan. Takashi Ueki (talk) 21:53, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Bad formatting of "Practices" section[edit]

I tried to correct some misspellings in the "Practices" section, but found that the "edit" links did not relate to the content. Something is seriously screwed up in the HTML. Can anyone put this right? Thanks. Bricology (talk) 23:41, 17 May 2009 (UTC)


There is regular vandalism to this page, it is very conerning as this must be considered "hate" related vandalism. My wish is that this page can be somewhat locked to prevent consistent vandalism by unregistered users and those wishing to damage the truth. If this can be done, please do it. Takashi Ueki (talk) 15:45, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Is this verifiable?[edit]

Quote: "It is generally accepted that the vast majority of Japanese people are Shinto. This same number may also be considered Buddhist and neither faith has exclusivity within its dogma. Most people in Japan are both by practice."

Is "generally accepted" correctly applied here? (talk) 00:49, 3 June 2009 (UTC)


I am continuing to expand this article to its full culmination of history, and relevance. However the section on impurity, purification, and some other article matter is very thin. There needs to be a full discussion of the relevance of impurity and purification as an in depth part of this very rich and deep religion. They make it sound as though these are like washing your hands. Although the blessing of Apollo 11 and other events may be interesting facts they are not relevant to Shinto as a major religion and should be a footnote not a core article discussion. I will re-edit these sections after the history section is complete.

Pardon my lack of citations, my citation document has been lost and I will have to recreate it. Give me some time. Takashi Ueki (talk) 14:58, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I think so, as I remember most religious surveys of modern Japanese society show that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fengzi555 (talkcontribs) 13:40, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Taoism vs Daoism[edit]

This is not the place for discussion of esoteric arguments of spelling. I have chosen to address this by adding alternate spellings so that there is no argument here. I care very little for this argument, and if you want to discuss this topic or add relevant content, feel free, however if you are simply going to change the spelling of a contested word, please go elsewhere. Both are acceptable based on many sources, but I will add both for the benefit of all. Reference the section on Daoism/Taoism here in Wikipedia and you will see. Takashi Ueki (talk) 02:33, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Criticism of Shinto[edit]

There should maybe be an article on criticism of Shinto, since there are already entries on criticism of Buddhism, criticism of Hinduism, criticism of Judaism, criticism of Christianity, etc. ADM (talk) 05:20, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

This would be a very boring page. It would say that Shinto supported nationalism and the response would be that this is either untrue to Shinto theology or government masquerading as Shinto. I think the critics and apologists would be arguing at cross purposes. Shii (tock) 17:17, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Agreed Shinto is not a national institution now, and criticizm pages usually are simply points for argument starters. Also the criticism frequently is based on one sect or another but applied to the religion as a whole, making the arguments spurious at best, lies at worst. Takashi Ueki (talk) 17:32, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
On the other hand, the same is true of arguments against most belief systems - Christianity is often identified by the beliefs of extreme fundamentalists rather than moderates, Islam is often overshadowed by the publicity terrorists get, Communism is for many associated with Stalin's purges, and so forth. -moritheilTalk 10:37, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Shinto and shoes[edit]

The article says that in Japan, removing one's shoes is an influence from Shinto. Any source on this? I know that other Asians, such as the Chinese, also tend to remove shoes in the home, whereas Shinto is a Japanese religion. This would seem to contradict that Shinto is the main motivating factor for shoe removal. -moritheilTalk 10:34, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Removed as spurious Shii (tock) 17:11, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Shoes and Shrines[edit]

In what shrines are you supposed to remove your shoes, in the five that I visited in tokyo, none had any signs or people crying at us and pointing at our feet. I understand that Tokyo receives heavy tourism and even more foot traffic around anything that glints in the sun; like the Meiji shrine, which has floors made of granite or slate, made to tolerate millions of people. Unless they counted the Jika-Tabi (note: I was not wearing Jika-Tabi just because I was going to Japan, they happened to be my only comfortable footwear) I was wearing as not shoes or it only applies to indoor carpeted shrines, this leaves me in a rather confused state. The only time that anyone ever fussed at me was when I sat on the steps at the foot of the Meiji shrine.

User:Aryeonos (talk) 18:22, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

New Section to go after 'Shinto and Buddhism', quote referenced with permission from the ARC:

{{editsemiprotected}} ===Shinto and Ecology===
It is the forests, and not the buildings, that mark the true shrines of Shintoism. The deities are invited to these forests, where they and their environment are protected by the local community, which in turn is protected by the deities.

So although the 'chinju no mori' or sacred groves around Shinto shrines are revered as the dwelling place of the kami spirits, it is the kami which are worshipped, not the trees.

Most of Japan’s largest and oldest trees (some dating back several thousand years) lie within chinju no mori, protected because of their sanctity. The following was extracted from a paper given by Reverend Kuniaki Kuni, Chairman of the Association of Shinto Shrines, at Visby’s Faith and Forestry Gathering:

For the Shinto, purity and righteousness are important factors—preserving the beauty of nature and the purity of heart. However, the decline in religiousness in Japan has led to increased littering in public places. Rubbish can be found on the mountain trail of Mt. Fuji which has become a public issue. I am increasingly realizing the role the Shinto can play to help tackle these issues. It is important to remember how our ancestors appreciated and recognized nature’s blessings. We must reflect on our sense of values since often we place too much emphasis on materialism. To realize the reduction of CO2 emission prescribed in Kyoto Protocol, and to improve and resolve the world’s environmental problems, we must recognize that each individual plays an essential role. Also, together with governments and leaders of various fields from around the world, we, religious people, must persevere in our efforts. [1]

As part of their environmental ethos, then, members of the Shinto faith have devised a “long-term commitment” to protecting the environment in cooperation with The Alliance of Religions and Conservation. With support from the U.N. they will be attending the Windsor Conference in November 2009 to present their plan for Sustainable Management of Sacred Forests, which will include management all of their sacred forests in sustainable ways, and the purchasing of timber solely from sustainably managed forests on behalf of their 80,000 or more shrines. Laurajanejackson1984 (talk) 13:37, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Not done: Sorry, but the entire section is an almost word for word copy of the source. Celestra (talk) 14:57, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

"Yamatokotoba" and "kami no michi"[edit]

The article states the opposite, however; these two terms are of different meaning! "Yamatokotoba" refers to words native to Japan (as opposed to words derived from China etc.). "Kami no michi", 神の道, is equal to the term Shintou, 神道, in meaning (the way of the gods), but different in that it is the native Japanese reading, in other words the "yamatokotoba version" of the term. "Shintou" is the adapted Chinese-like reading of the two Chinese characters meaning "god" and "way" (both abstract and actual ones).


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was consensus against move, with a whiff of WP:POINTækTalk 04:52, 20 December 2009 (UTC)



  • Hepburn romanization says that it should be written Shintō. As Hepburn is the standard way of writing Japanese in Latin characters, that's what the article title should be. (talk) 00:57, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Perfectly a loan word. See following dictionary results.
 ―― Phoenix7777 (talk) 10:55, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The MOS guidelines clearly state that macrons should not be used for Japanese terms commonly used in English - specifically mentioning "Shinto" as an example. Making this a formal move request quite frankly just wastes everyone's time. --DAJF (talk) 14:46, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the above. GoodDay (talk) 14:57, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Strong Oppose "Shinto" is the English word that is the name of the religion in English of the Japanese religion "Shintō", so it is the WP:COMMONNAME and WP:USEENGLISH compliant, whereas the suggestion is not. (talk) 04:31, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME and WP:USEENGLISH Flamarande (talk) 04:22, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Move: The Manual of Style isn't law; any arguments based solely on it, without any logical reasons as to why misspelling a name is better, are invalid and can therefore be discounted. Furthermore, the most easily recognized English name should mean the most familiar one to all English speakers, not just native speakers. Therefore, the entire population of Japan must be included in this group, since all Japanese children are required to learn English in school. Therefore, since they most certainly recognize the proper Hepburn form of the word, rather than the Anglicized version, it should be used. --Jean-Luc Pikachu (talk) 23:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Comment have you seen Japanese "Engrish"? English Wikipedia really will disappear following that reasoning. I suppose this article should be rewritten in the most common bad grammar used in Japan for English because of WP:ENGVAR on which variety of English should be used? (talk) 07:02, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Fairly good revision[edit]

This article gets edited a lot by know-nothings, so I'll make a note of the current revision, which is fairly good: [1] Restore to it! Shii (tock) 00:42, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes[edit]

This article is one of a number selected for the early stage of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

Comments on the suitability of theis page for "Pending changes" would be appreciated.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any much more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 00:00, 17 June 2010 (UTC).

"Refimprove" tag.[edit]

Hi all, I noticed this page has a {{Refimprove|date=July 2008}} tag on it. I think there is no reason this article is not FA status. I suppose the first thing is to get the refs. While we are citing them I think a lot of the page should be re-written for better copy-editing as well. I am of course going to work on this myself, but if anyone else can suggest citable sources It would be much appreciated. Cheers, Colincbn (talk) 04:26, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

I have looked through the refs that are here and most of them are lacking in peer review and quality. I have a fairly large (and growing) library of peer reviewed and scholarly books on the subject. Many were authored fifty years ago or more, but they have stood the test of time and have been continually updated during re-printings. Books like G. B. Sansom's "Japan: A Short Cultural History", which is cited in at least 95 other books (according to google). W. G. Aston's translation of the "Nihiongi". And Basil Hall Chamberlain's Kojiki (a bit obtuse due to its age and use of Latin, but still highly regarded). As well as "Shinto the Kami Way" by Ono Soyoko, it is much more approachable and contemporary. I have others and more are on the way, but these are well known and all highly regarded in the academic world. I hope no one objects to me rewriting sections based on these references. Cheers, Colincbn (talk) 01:56, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

One major flaw in these books is their lack of critical context. Aston may be okay-- it's been a while since I read his work-- but Chamberlain definitely suffered from a combination of Japanese propaganda and a Christian lens. The reason there are so many old books on the subject is because the prewar Japanese polity was bound up with ancient history and legend. It concerns me that the resulting article might focus more on the Hakkoichiu (i.e. 1930s inventions) than the Tokoyonokuni (ancient traditions). Unfortunately I have not yet found a better compilation in English than the recent Shinto in History: Ways of the Kami (Breen and Teeuwen, 2000), which it itself wanting, and I don't have access to that at the moment as I've graduated college. So, I read your message earlier but didn't have anything to reply with. To become a featured article in my mind this article must focus much more on the self-explanations of non-esoteric Japanese writers. Shii (tock) 22:01, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

I certainly agree with you about Chamberlain, and I went ahead and ordered Shinto in History: Ways of the Kami by Breen. I will give it a read and try to incorporate its useful bits into my revisions. I think some of the other older authors are quite good though, and would like to cite them where appropriate. Colincbn (talk) 04:00, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Ono Sokyo is almost certainly reliable (I've only read him in Japanese, but that's solid), but he has been dead for twenty years, and his position is a bit dated now. In particular, he seems to push the origins of Shinto further into the past than most current scholars would, and also seems to accept significantly more of the legends as being historically based than contemporary opinion does. Breen and Teeuwen have just (this year) published A New History of Shinto, which I haven't read yet but which should be pretty reliable, given the authors. Shinto in History is good, but it's a collection of articles, not an overview, so its coverage is very uneven. You might also take a look at The Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, which is all online, and all peer-reviewed. You can find the Shinto-related articles by looking at the titles. The English Encyclopedia of Shinto is also a good peer-reviewed source for checking individual points, although I don't recommend reading it straight through. It's probably a very good place to find a concise cite for a single fact, though. Simple Guide: Shinto by Ian Reader is also a good, simple overview. For Japanese works in translation, Shinto: A Short History is available. I haven't read it, but I've read Japanese books by original authors, and they are very good. I hope this helps a bit. David Chart (talk) 12:59, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
FWIW I agree with David here. Just be aware that Japanese writers on Shinto usually have an interest in proving that some legend or another is of very great age, and American writers were until recently overconcerned with proving political/religious points, and both sides used to create a false pan-Japanese syncretism. Ideally, the works we cite should avoid all of those problems. All those listed by David are great examples. Shii (tock) 04:59, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

I forgot I was working on this... Breen and Teeuwen have put out a new history of Shinto which is the best work I've ever read on the subject. I will sprinkle it liberally throughout the page when I get home today. Shii (tock) 00:50, 19 October 2010 (UTC)


The section on the afterlife doesn't actually say anything about the afterlife. Shouldn't it be renamed, or perhaps actual content about the afterlife could be added? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I fixed it somewhat, although I don't have any citations available right now. Shii (tock) 05:05, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Traditional Shinto does not have a "afterlife" per se. The individual goes on to live as a ancestral kami at physical death, and therefore remains close to the family. In a way, the person does not die. They just escape their body, but remain the same person as before. Only as a kami. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:30, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Abstract "Natural" Forces...?[edit]

So, how exactly are trees, rivers, and rocks abstract? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

"Buddhist ancestor worship"?[edit]

Say Confucian ancestor worship if you like. It would still be wrong, but less hysterically inappropriate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:05, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

"I agree"[edit]

My sister is Japanese and practices Buddhism like her family, I myself was raised Baptist. Buddhism is a way of life, this "worship" word is way out in left field and fueled by the ignorance of our christian leaders, this I know first hand. It would be nice to block this word so that it is necessary to explain the practice of a culture. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:35, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Introduction of writing[edit]

im really uncertain where this should go so im sorry if this is not the proper place. without being too in-depth i would like to mention a need for a revision in the, if i remember, kofun section, which deals with the introduction of writing. It says writing came from China and Buddhism came from Korea (Paekche), but ther is very strong evidence and has for the most part been shown that writing was introduced via Korea as well. China > Korea (Paekche) > Japan. see Miyake 2008 unpublished Hawaii University dissertation or book "A Reconstruction of Old Japanese" this is a small but very important detail. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:09, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Not sure which sentence you are referring to. In the Kofun Period section it only says: "The Paekche Kingdom ... imported the Chinese writing system ..." No idea whether this is correct or not as I don't know anything about Korean history, but in any case it does not say anything about introduction of writing to Japan as far as I can see. bamse (talk) 18:38, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Lurie - Realms of Literacy: Early Japan and the History of Writing (2011) - says "The Japanese encounter with Chinese writing was a complex meeting of different languages and different degrees of social organization that included several polities on the Korean peninsula." (p.83) He goes on to discuss the Seven-Branched Sword, Maculosae tegmine lyncis (talk) 18:46, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Nationalism and religion[edit]

Whenever the article says "people of Japan" or "Japanese nation", I can't help thinking that the whole idea of nationalism was born around 19th century; there's no way that vocabulary should be used to describe an old religion. There should be a much more explicit distinction between two things: when do we refer to modern "state Shinto" or whatever, and when we refer to pre-nationalism shinto (if there was such thing) etc. All in all, this reads almost like a pamphlet from modern shintoists than an encyclopedia article. --Sigmundur (talk) 13:42, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

Hello I wrote this sentence from japan,
If possibole as Editing belows sentence.

I'll Adding it,Next paragraph of Koukogaku,Historysections.

+ + + +

I stop My requests.
Because Urashimataro-san made it a nice section of Shinbutsu shūgō and the jingūji and Shinbutsu bunri in Shinto shrine.

I think That sections is copying or summary to "Shinto"'s Subjects better.

I knew My English is Gloomy...(Infact it's used B-ing translater...) ;-p
I would some one Makes nice He made it!
Thank you Very much! Urasimataro-san.

I Confused,"Shinto" and "Shinto shrine"....

Arigato, from .jp

Mental Health[edit]

Motohisa Yamakage in his highly regarded Essence Of Shinto: Japan's Spiritual Heart says that sometimes the initiate or practitioner of Shinto may undergo a psychosis on a semi-regular basis. I would wager that it is from initiation but he is not clear on this. Is there any scholarship that is clearer than him?

This is important because the same or similar [sic, same, ok?] experience happens in Korean Shamanism, Yoga [sic, see David Gordon White's Sinister Yogis, yoga is a form of shamanism] and Qi Gong has the Qi Gong Deviation psychosis

The pitch would be, according to Motohisa Yamakage, that through the self-loss, an offering of human spirit or ki or life force or ectoplasm.. to the attendant kami, brings dramatic ki fluctuations.

in The Darkened Room by Alex Owen, it is said that the spiritualists considered mania as a rite of passage. Similarly this is so in Korean Shamanism.

I take these matters very seriously, I had an experience like this myself, and I am a practicing shaman living in Montreal Canada. Influenced by the occult of the 1990s.

I also recommend The Idea Of The Holy by Rudolf Otto for further reading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Troll ov Grimness (talkcontribs) 02:33, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Dating of Shintoism[edit]

Isn't it around 700 BCE? But no where mentioned. Bladesmulti (talk) 06:39, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

You would be better off saying 700 CE. However, nobody beats Hinduism in using fanciful dates for propaganda purposes. The article states 600 BC which is way too early already. There is a difference between "seeing elements" of Shinto and Shinto itself. Like much of Japanese history, what you think of as Japanese (Shinto, Emperor, Samurai, etc.) occurred well into the common era. Japanese culture is very young. They didn't get going really as "Japanese" until after Rome fell to put things into perspective. Westerners confuse continuity of ethnicity with age of culture when it comes to Asian history. Westerners see their own history as a chain that goes back to Greece, Egypt, and Ancient Israel but with each individual ethnic group coming and going. The age of the ethnicity within this framework is used as a proxy for its level of contribution. Ancient Greeks lasted 800 years (1200 BC -400 BC), Romans 800 years (300 BC-4/500 AD), Germans (tribes) 400, etc. Each group comes and goes but the culture remains under the care taking of a new group or collection of groups. In Asian history, for the most part, the same ethnic group continues the tradition and so it gives the appearance of age from an ethnic perspective when it is just really showing a lack of acceptance for ethnic diversity in the preservation of the culture. Even modern Greeks and Italians do not consider themselves the same people of "their" storied past, nor should they. They are the decedents of all the slaves that were brought over and the conquerors that that conquered the original ethnicity. For instance, Modern Italian ethnicity starts really in the late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance. Although they feel proud of the history of the geographic region they do not maintain continuity with that culture unlike in many Asian cultures. The Japanese very much see themselves as the same people of 700 AD Japan. Sure technology and clothing has changed but their "heart" is the same. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:10, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I had added 600 BCE, and provided a source too, the same day when i opened this section. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:43, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not criticizing you per se. You followed the rules. Even a cursory search on the web gives dates from 1000 BC to 200 BC. Wikipedia rules are if you can cite it from a somewhat reliable source then you are good to go (barring discussion and consensus if there is a dispute). Most of the literature on Shintoism is not very precise about its origins because it does not really have one (so you can't say " Founded in..") since it is based in folk culture, animism, and ancestor worship- all non-historical developments, OR rather what we now call Shintoism probably did not come into play until the Yamato clan became dominant 200-300 AD and their form of animism and ancestor worship became the dominant flavor, evolving into the state religion. Frankly, you can even argue that Shintoism didn't exist until the publication of the Kojiki in 712 AD since a Religion is defined by literacy and organized societal worship, but that goes too far for me. From a historical perspective very little is known about Japan and the people who eventually became the Japanese before 400 AD so already in my mind to make a statement going back to 600 BC seems suspect. By the Japanese people's own cultural understanding, Shintoism is the "native" belief of the Japanese people who in turn trace themselves to Yamato. However, the Jomon people and followed by the Yayoi people (300-100 BC), not to mention the Ainu people, were most likely not of the same ethnicity of the Japanese people. Until the Yamato clan migrated in force from Kyushu (0-100 AD) and spread the direct descendants of the Japanese people throughout the Japanese islands, most of Japan was populated by "indigenous" peoples (whether they were earlier distant waves of Japanese, other Asians [other Asian ethnicities are purported to have at one point populated Japan; academics argue over this], or North Asian migrants of West Asian descent- mixed Asian/European descent). It is HIGHLY unlikely that Shintoism developed until it had absorbed and/or fought off all these other religious systems. It is even possible that Shintoism came from non-Japanese. Hence back to Yamato and their interactions with these other people. Additionally, clans almost develop their own sects when it comes to religion. You see this in many animistic and polytheistic religions. Look at Ancient Greece. Even in monotheism, Yahweh is simply the God of the Ancient Hebrews made dominant to the point that it "exterminated" the other gods (even a commandment to its believers!). So in the end to even give a rough guess that Shinto developed at 700 BC, 600 BC, or even 200 BC is suspect. Anyway, good job on your work for the article :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


I suggest removing the "citation needed" tag from the basic claim in the "Cultural heritage" section. Speling12345 (talk) 7:04, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 December 2014[edit]

"Founded in 660 BC according to Japanese mythology" It's not mythology. It is the main religion of Japan to this day. It is history and should be referred to as such. "Founded in 660 BC according to Japanese history" (talk) 02:20, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

It was an undiscussed change, it used to be just "Founded in 660 BC" before. Changed it. Bladesmulti (talk) 02:56, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Shinto religion as a means to prolong the existing Imperial status[edit]

Shinto has been used as a means of prolonging the existing Imperial status. Shinto atheists and non-shinto atheists are repeatedly merged as one group for political reasons, mainly in order the imperial status quo be maintained as it is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Animist or not?[edit]

'Animist' and 'animism' are not mentioned in the article. Yet there are sources that say that Shinto falls into the animist category. The question of whether Shinto is animist is in the Talk archive, but I think that it needs to be addressed in the article. High school students need this, I know of at least one high school textbook that says that Shinto is an animist religion. Please could those who know of references to this matter address the question in the article.Strayan (talk) 08:16, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Not. I added this line: Early anthropologists called Shinto "animistic" in which animate and inanimate things have spirits or souls that are worshiped. The concept of animism in Shinto is no longer argued. [ref]George Williams (2009). Shinto. Infobase Publishing. pp. 151 note 13. [/ref] Rjensen (talk) 08:47, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
On the other hand, that very same book does actually refer to Shinto as "animist" on page 29, and this source [ref]Picken, Stuart. Historical Dictionary of Shinto. p. 40. [/ref] suggests there are elements of animism in Shinto. (On the other hand, there seems to be no mention in "A New History of Shinto". Is there an issue with Shinto having been through an animist phase? (Is animism something of a dirty word?) I think it might be good to explain why Shinto is not considered animist by scholars given that it is frequently described as such in non-specialist texts - including Wikipedia's own page on animism. OsFish (talk) 07:33, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I also have now in front of me a book: Yamakage, Motohisa (2006). The Essence of Shinto. Kodansha International. p. 31.  which says "The sensitivity through which Japanese people can see the vital energy of the Kami in all of nature is also rich in spirituality, since it feels and perceives various kinds of spirits. From a Western point of view this way of perception is called pantheism or animism, whicb means a way that perceives the spirit in every living organism or natural formation." The author is a retired Grand Master of the Yamakage shrine, so his view might count for something. (Or is his idea specific to his form of Shinto, or is his understanding of "animism" a peculiar one?)OsFish (talk) 08:50, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
That Shintō is NOT animistic is such an extraordinary statement that it, not the opposite view, must be justified. I do not question the statement's correctness, but it is so unusual that you must explicitly state why Shinto is not animistic, particularly when what you say seems to agree with the definition of animism. I have dozens of books about Shinto yet, as a reader, am very confused by this sentence. Frank (Urashima Tarō) (talk) 22:29, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
I've checked the reference again used for the idea that animism in Shinto "is no longer argued", and what it actually says is that the concept of animism is outdated, not that Shinto is not animistic. It's also a footnote. Given that animism is plainly still used as an idea (according to google scholar), I think it's best to change the article (remove the line and add something else). I defer to Taro Urashima who has (dozens minus two) books more than me to make that change (pretty please). OsFish (talk) 10:23, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

Action-centered religion?[edit]

"It is defined as an action-centered religion" I can't find any reference to what an "action-centered religion" is. The citation is "Williams, 2004" which also can find no reference to. Is this a real classification of religion? What does it mean? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:45, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

I've been bold and deleted that idiom for the moment: it can go back in when elaborated upon ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 14:29, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

I've seen the concept referred to as "ritual-based", "Action-centered" would, in my guess, be a reference to the idea that Shinto is a set of rituals, less so a set of doctrines. I note, though, that the distinction may be limited to State Shinto, which is the article I've been researching/improving. I agree with your decision to remove it, just posting this to offer some direction if someone wants to fix that up. Owlsmcgee (talk) 01:41, 17 January 2016 (UTC)


? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:45, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^