Discussion and study questions for Japanese Shinto

1. What does the word Shinto mean? How does this relate to "The Way of the Gods" (kami no michi)?

2. How is Shinto an expression of Japanese nationalism? When in history has this relationship between Shinto and nationalism been observed?

3. In Japan, who was Himiko and what did she do? Where is information on her found?

4. How is sumo wrestling related to Shinto?

5. What are some reasons Buddhism was easily accepted in Japan where Shinto-type beliefs were dominant?

6. Who or what are Izanagi and Izanami? What did they do and where is their story found?

7. Who or what is Amaterasu? How is this related to the imperial family in Japan?

8. What is the name of the text in which ancient Japanese mythology is found? What does this name mean? Why was it written?

9. What is the mythological connection to Japanese and Korean farmers placing mirrors on poles in their fields in autumn?

10. In ancient Japanese mythology, what and where is Yomi?

11. In ancient Japan, what was the difference between Izumo and Yamato? How is this reflected in the Kojiki?

12. In ancient Japanese mythology, how are males and females characterized? Which are turbulent and which peaceful?

13. What relationships have existed between Shinto and Japanese Buddhism? How has Amaterasu been connected to Buddhism in Japan?

14. Who are the Ainu?

15. Who or what lives in a Shinto shrine? How does this come about?

16. When are Shinto festivals held and what activities are typically involved?

17. How was Shinto impacted by Japan's loss of WWII?

18. What is the Emperor's position relative to Shinto?

19. Does America have nationalistic religion/s similar to Shinto?