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After the readings of this week, I decided to do my journal on Shinto, since it’s a “philosophy, culture, religion or way of being” I was not familiar with. I feel I really benefitted from thereadings. Shinto is Japan’s main religion. Shinto is the devotion to spiritual beings called Kamis. Kamis are not gods; they are spirits that are concerned with us humans. If we treat Kamis with respect andhonor, Kamis will intervene for us; they will try to make us happy and will help us in different aspects of our life, like love, health, wealth, success, and family. Kamis can also be forces ofnature, or elements, which surround us in nature. People can communicate with kamis through shrines. Shrines are sacred places where kamis live; they are temples even they are not called that. Shrines areseen as a place to rest, to honor the sacred, to meditate and find spirituality. Shrines are usually erected in a landscaped place surrounded by nature, to make a connection with the natural world.Shrines are usually separated by a bridge, ropes or gates, meaning separation from the rest of the world. Shrines are located were kamis have chosen to represent themselves. I was particularly amazedby the way they shrines are preserved: Every twenty years they are completely dismantled and rebuilt with the same structure, so they last longer. This example shows us how important time is toJapanese people and the importance of preserving and caring for heritage. While reading about Shinto I was reminded of the similitude with the Indigenous Sacred Ways. Earth, Nature and ancestors play animportant part in their lives; part of their devotion is taking good care of them and living in harmony. Even an industrialized country like Japan still knows how to balance Nature with their hectic life,preserving places were Nature can be worshipped, taking care of it, learning how to live around it without destroying it, finding the balance between both worlds; industry and nature. Shinto is a...
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