1 Shinto is officially defined as follows.
"Shinto is an animistic and ancestral worshiping Japanese folk religion based on myths, eight million gods, nature and natural phenomena, with no scriptures or concrete teachings, no founders. Recognized as one with God, the concrete method of connecting God and human beings is a ritual, and the place where the ritual is performed is a shrine and a sanctuary. Based on traditional folk beliefs, natural beliefs, and ancestral beliefs. In addition, it was gradually established in connection with the central and local political systems of the Australians. "
As mentioned above, there are no gurus, no canonical texts, and the classical groups called "Kojiki" such as "Kojiki", "Nihonshoki", "Kogoshui", "Kujiki Kujiki", and "Destiny" are Shinto. It is said to be a scripture.
⑴ I think that the god dwells in the universe.
We recognize the existence of "God" in all events, including natural phenomena such as weather and geography. It is easier for modern people to say so-called spirits. That is the "eight million gods."
⑵ Enshrine the person in his lifetime as a god after his death.
With the idea that human beings will become gods after death, the ancestors of the clan are enshrined as gods (worship of ancestral spirits, worship of gods), and those who are socially prominent or who have contributed to the local community are enshrined as gods. Those who have rebelled and caused war or who have had an unfortunate late life who have been haunting after death as ghosts (Heiseimon, Sugawara no Michizane, etc.) are also gods and will calm them down.
However, Gods will not contend with each other. No other religion can make other teachings evil, and believers of other religions can be enslaved. The gods of Shinto are so peaceful that they are said to be gathered together and discussed once a year in Kannazuki.
(3) These will be mixed with the Nara period Buddhist beliefs and create a Shinto-Buddhist practice that will be reconstructed as a religious system.
⑷ The very formation itself is complex.
2. In Buddhism, as a religious activity, Buddhism emphasizes sutra chanting, and Christianity emphasizes preaching. In both Buddhism and Christianity, I am in a position where everything is written in the scriptures, so I will be preaching and reading sutras.
But at shrines, that's not the case. In the first place, the god of Shinto is nature itself, a spirit, or an ancestor, so it is an environment suitable for feeling nature and its gods and living a cultural life as a human being. Balance and adjust the state and condition while considering harmony with nature, give hints of wisdom and knowledge for living, help a little, when borrowing a body or something or doing something It is the god of Shinto who gives thanks when they receive it. The god of Shinto is a very familiar being, a gentle "guardian deity" who protects the local community and benefits human beings in this world.
Therefore, the work of the priesthood is to convey to God the wishes and gratitude of the parishioners and believers. The festival is a religious act or religious activity that is performed as a ritual in order to carefully convey the wishes and gratitude of the parishioners and believers to God, and it is a practice for the priest.
3 Shinto is a religion like this, so the shrine where spirits gather and the point of contact with God must be kept clean.
Sweeping is also an important religious activity to protect the clean space of a shrine. The priest believes that cleaning is not a task.
As you can see from the above, it is a characteristic of Shinto religion that there is a religious activity to clean up the shrine. No other religion in the world has such activity, but cleaning is the hallmark of Shinto religious activity.
4 The characteristic of Shinto teaching is protection from filth.
From ancient Japan, the important experience of having to stop the invasion of plagues and viruses has become a Shinto teaching to prevent contamination. If you think about how much the Shinto act of purifying your hands with water and bathing before worshiping is practiced as a hand wash, for example, as a measure against corona, you will understand.