is very much a national religion, and as such
it lends itself to being exclusive to only Japanese
people. It was taught in many forms that someone
has to be Japanese in order to be a Shintoist.
Although it is a fading religion, it can still
be found in many countries, and still attracts
news because of its traditions. These traditions
are also what people think of when they think
of Japan itself. Sumo wrestling is a sport that
conjures up a picture of Japan whenever it seen.
It is also a ceremonial sport of Shinto though,
being an "offering of strength and entertainment
for the gods on Shinto temple grounds. The elements
of the sumo ring very much has elements of Shinto
in it, with the canopy above the ring and ritual
stomping and tossing of salt before a match.
Shinto rituals also occur in the ceremonies
at the open and close and each match (The Way
of te Gods). Shinto very much influenced this
sport, and thus leads to its impacting other
sumo may not be a very popular sport to
watch in other countries, people recognize it
and the events that take place as being distinctly
Japanese. Another one of the major ways that Shinto
has affected our lives around the world is anime.
This form of animation originated in Japan, and
has now spread around the world and become popular
in many circles of people. The storylines of these
pieces of art highly reflect a Shinto style of
thinking, this is one of the highly appealing
aspects of anime that people watch it for. The
entertainment industry is one of the strongest
ways to for a country to promote an image of itself.
Those from other countries who watch Hollywood
movies believe that the type of characters portrayed
on screen are what true Americans are like. The
same could be said in the world of anime, where
viewers are unknowingly being subjected to the
ideas and myths of Shinto. While they may not
know it, the style and stories of these shows
and movies reflect the image of what others think
ideas and stories of anime are largly
based off of Shinto.
also plays a role in world politics. While it
may not be the star religion of Japan, it sill
attracts media attention when political beings
enter Shinto shrines. Every
August people discus whether or not the prime
minister should be allowed to enter a controversial
Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo dedicated to Japan's
"war dead" ("Japan
Has Little Time for Its Old-Time Religion,"
a religion unlike many others
attracts this attention to itself, and is one
to start discussion concerning religious tolerance.
As a country Japan affects the world in many ways
in the products they produce and the lifestyle
that they live. The many Japanese-Americans who
live in the United States may not be active Shintoists,
but surly retain some of their Shinto culture
and traditions still. Of the 2,789,000 Shintoists
said to be in world in a mid-1998 statistic of
worldwide population of Shintoists by six continental
areas there are bound to be interaction among
cultures (Shintoism). The official religion of
Shinto may be on the decline, but as it has with
Buddhism in Japan, the actual religion itself
does not necessarily reflect its true existence.
Through many forms its ideas and influence spreads
unknowingly, educating people about its beliefs,
and the myths that it holds.
war veterans commemorate the 54th
anniversary of the end of World
War II, and
pay respect to the war dead on Aug.