Article Review: Shinto Religion
Shinto is a religion that was founded on the devotion of Japanese to invisible spirits, referred to as Kami. Kami is translated to mean ‘spirits’ which are concerned with the wellness and happiness of human beings (BBC, 2014). It is thus no wonder that the prime minister, Shinzo Abe prayed passionately to Kami at the Isa Grand Shrine (Michael). Shinto religion lacks any explicit creed or sacred texts but mainly emphasizes ancestral worship. It was once nationalized during the 19th century but lost its popularity after World War II. Therefore, Mr. Abe was concerned with reinstituting Shinto in the country and even amending the constitution to restore the status of the emperor. At such a time upholding the religious traditions associated with Shinto will help people respect and gain pride in their country. In addition, Abe’s administration carried out reforms in the education sector to encourage patriotism in schools and the Japanese society at large
The groups supporting Abe’s administration such as Shinto Seiji Renmei and Nippon Kaigi, seek to revive the religious beliefs and ideologies in the country, although the extent of their efforts is not yet determined (Holtz, 2016). Shinto believes humans are fundamentally good (Japan Guide, 2018), and thus restoring the religion would help eliminate the negative depictions of Japan during the wartimes. However, critics fear that the reforms might interfere with the peaceful times the Japanese people have enjoy or give them the view of superiority over other nations. Nevertheless, Shinzo Abe believes that by having summit for the Group of Seven industrialized countries (G7) at the city of Shima, the leaders will experience the richness of Japanese culture and expansive beauty. He is confident that restoring Shinto religion will promote patriotism and restore the held reverence of shrines within the country.
BBC. (2014). BBC – Religions – Shinto: Shinto at a glance. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/shinto/ataglance/glance.shtml
Holtz, M. (2016). Japanese prime minister, party leaders seek policies that revive Shinto religion. Christian Century, 16.
Japan Guide. (2018, April 16). Shinto. Retrieved from https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2056.html