The word Shinto_way of the gods_was adopted, originally as Shindo, from the written Chinese Shendao_神道_shén dào, combining
_shin 神_spirit or kami
_tō 道, meaning a philosophical path or study_from the Chinese word dào.
Shinto_is an indigenous religion of Japan and the people of Japan. It is defined as an action-centered religion, focused on ritual practices to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient pas
Are defined in English as “spirits”, “essences” or “gods”, referring to the energy generating the phenomena_manifests in multiple forms: rocks, trees, rivers, animals, places, and even people can be said to possess the nature of kami.
Kami and people are not separate_they exist within the same world and share its interrelated complexity.
In Shinto, Kami are not separate from nature, but are of nature, possessing positive and negative, good and evil characteristics. They are manifestations of musubi (結び)_the interconnecting energy of the universe, and are considered exemplary of what humanity should strive towards.
Kami are believed to be “hidden” from this world, and inhabit a complementary existence that mirrors our own, shinkai_the world of the Kami 神界. To be in harmony with the awe inspiring aspects of nature is to be conscious of kannagara no michi_the way of the Kami 随神の道_ 惟神の道
Is the power of becoming or creation. A number of deities are associated with musubi. In the accounts of the creation of heaven and earth in the Kojiki (“Records of Ancient Matters”), the three deities first named are_
Takami-musubi no Kami (“Exalted Musubi Deity”), who is later related to the gods of the heaven
Kami-musubi no Kami (“Sacred Musubi Deity”), related to the gods of the earth
Ame no Minaka-nushi no Kami_Heavenly Centre-Ruling Deity
_way_path of expression of the kami, refers to the law of the natural order. It is the sense of the terms michi or to, “way”, in the terms “kami-no-michi” or “Shinto”. Those who understand kannagara know the divine, the human, and how people should live.
From this knowledge stems the ethical dimension of Shinto, focusing on