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An Introduction to Shinto

Shinto is the native religious tradition of Japan. This introduction focuses on its ceremonies, called matsuri, and sacred spaces, known as jinja, and also discusses three individual jinja in some detail: Jingū at Ise, arguably the most sacred site in Shinto, Yasukuni Jinja in Tokyo, clearly the most controversial, and Shirahata Hachiman Daijin, a “typical” jinja in Kawasaki. Other chapters cover Shinto theology, Shinto’s history and place in contemporary Japanese society, and a discussion of the famous myth of Amaterasu Ōmikami and the cave of heaven.

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An Introduction to Shinto

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