What can artifacts tell us about a religion? Explore this select exhibition.
Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan, a life-affirming animism calling upon the blessings of the numinous forces of nature and of specific spirit deities. Thus, being about nature, Shinto is largely associated with growth and prosperity. It encourages people to be sincere, cheerful, and pure, and to live in relationship with Kami. Kami is sort of a catchall term for invisible spiritual forces that range from the nameless power that inhabits a waterfall, beautiful tree, or enigmatic rock formation, to an actual, personified guardian or helper.
Practiced by nearly 80% of the population, Shinto is the largest religion in Japan. So what exactly is this ancient Japanese religion?