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Thread: Shinto Group Thread

  1. #81
    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    I'm not sure if this would interest anyone or not, but it has me exited so I thought I'd share on the off-chance others might enjoy it as much as I did.

    I've started exploring some of the old Japanese folktales and I have to say I'm finding them really moving. At first it was purely academic. I study Japanese through kokugo textbooks (kokugo is Japanese as a school subject for native speakers) these days. Kokugo is split into 'gendaibun', which is modern Japanese as it's written today, and includes the learning of all jouyou kanji, studying modern literature, and developing good communicative skills, and 'kobun', which is old Japanese, and involves learning to read old scrolls, calligraphy and of course, folk tales. Obviously as a non-native speaker, kobun isn't that much use to me, but out of curiosity I thought I'd humour my textbooks and dip a toe in.

    Besides my textbooks, I also use 'NHK for schools' to access kokugo material. There I found a series for kobun that looks at folktales, called 'ohanashinokuni classic'. These short episodes start with a reading of a classical tale, and then they retell the story in modern Japanese, with the original text shown on the screen so you can compare.

    Anyway, I realise that you may not be able to follow the words, but just the general aesthetic of the show is very moving, so I thought I'd share..

    http://www.nhk.or.jp/kokugo/classic/

    Here, they tell 'taketorimonogatari' or 'tale of the bamboo cutter'. It's apparently very famous so you probably already know the story if you have an interest in Japanese culture, but I'd never heard it before. Maybe you'll enjoy seeing this modern retelling for kids, dunno.. Oh the story is outlined in English on wiki here -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tal..._Bamboo_Cutter

    It started as a purely academic exercise, but you know what? I think I might actually be growing to like Japanese culture (I never didn't like it.. I was just indifferent, and maybe slightly intimidated by the stiffness). Still not looking to convert to Shinto, but I will be exploring it more deeply, and maybe incorporating more aspects into my own unique brand of paganism.

    I wish we had such a strong link to and appreciation of, our pre-christian culture and folklore.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

  2. #82
    Copper Member LunarHarvest's Avatar
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    That being said...

    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    The aesthetic on those videos is indeed very beautiful, and I will certainly be sure to check them out when I get the chance. Thanks for linking them Jembru! :3

    One thing I have been thinking about is the greater link between the spiritual and physical existences which we occupy in this universe. While we can train our spirit to be receptive and learn from Kami around us, I am also interested in seeing how the things we can naturally perceive with our senses can teach us a great deal about our lives, our nature and our general state of existence.

    One thing that I currently am amazed at is the web of relations within world and the greater universe, and how complex it is in its make-up. How everything in the world is properly connected to everything else, and how even the slightest actions send ripples of effects along the entirety of the cosmic universe (even if they are too small to really have significant effect). Just seeing and trying to trace, in either direction, how things effect other things it is amazing to see how things go in all directions regardless of their starting position, and serves to heighten the respect for the role that all Kami play in the universe.

  3. #83
    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    Eeeh... I was going to be posting about something similar in another thread! If my partner hadn't been having a lazy lye-in this morning, I'd have probably posted it around the same time you'd written the above, but I as my PC is in the bedroom, I had to wait until this evening.

    It will be a very long post, so I think I'll start a new thread for it as I'd intended, but then link it here, because I'm not sure it really counts as Shinto if I don't identify as a practitioner (although I admit that we share a fair few beliefs and practices).

    Phew, that took longer than I'd expected. It's here in case you're interested, but if long posts aren't your thing, suffice it to say that I too am exploring the physical world as a spiritual cosmos. Very strange coincidence indeed!

    Oh and that NHK series: they've only aired two episodes so far, but I'm definitely going to keep tuning in. That's if my PC will play the videos. They're a bit buggy for me sometimes.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

  4. #84
    Sr. Member Cobra's Avatar
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    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LunarHarvest View Post
    One thing I have been thinking about is the greater link between the spiritual and physical existences which we occupy in this universe. While we can train our spirit to be receptive and learn from Kami around us, I am also interested in seeing how the things we can naturally perceive with our senses can teach us a great deal about our lives, our nature and our general state of existence.

    One thing that I currently am amazed at is the web of relations within world and the greater universe, and how complex it is in its make-up. How everything in the world is properly connected to everything else, and how even the slightest actions send ripples of effects along the entirety of the cosmic universe (even if they are too small to really have significant effect). Just seeing and trying to trace, in either direction, how things effect other things it is amazing to see how things go in all directions regardless of their starting position, and serves to heighten the respect for the role that all Kami play in the universe.
    I don't usually really enjoy participating in discussions on this sort of thing, but that is one item that really clicked with me about Shinto. I never believed that everything was "one" so to speak. It makes very much sense to me that many, individual parts, some greater in power or greater in number than others, can make up a whole - and even the smallest members of this community are important, like plankton in the sea.

    A new thought, though: have you ever considered getting omamori?

  5. #85
    Copper Member LunarHarvest's Avatar
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    That being said...

    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra View Post
    I don't usually really enjoy participating in discussions on this sort of thing, but that is one item that really clicked with me about Shinto. I never believed that everything was "one" so to speak. It makes very much sense to me that many, individual parts, some greater in power or greater in number than others, can make up a whole - and even the smallest members of this community are important, like plankton in the sea.

    A new thought, though: have you ever considered getting omamori?
    I've actually been considering it recently, but I'm not really sure about it.
    The thing is that I've never had anything which I could properly call a 'charm', of any sort for that matter. I do know what I would want it in and things like that. That being said, I'm not sure about purchasing one.

    Ultimately I think I will order on in the coming months, or perhaps for the opening of the New Year. Why not? :3

  6. #86
    Sr. Member Cobra's Avatar
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    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    Can you order them in the middle of the year like this?

    I personally would be worried about getting mine returned at the proper time.

  7. #87
    Copper Member LunarHarvest's Avatar
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    That being said...

    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    I think I'm a little bit worried about that too. I have heard that keeping it longer than a year can lead to it somewhat reversing in its purposes, so it brings misfortune, but that was just something I heard in passing. Another big question is what to get it in. I know that they can, if you ask, make you one for a unique purpose, but I'm not properly sure on what for myself.

    In other news, I'm finally going to get my hands on "Shinto Norito a Book of Prayers" by Ann Llewellyn Evans! :3 I've been delaying myself too long, and admittedly have been a little distracted, from continuing my studies properly and seeking to further my understanding. ^-^;

    Out of curiosity do any of you meditate?

  8. #88
    Copper Member LunarHarvest's Avatar
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    That being said...

    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    Way back in November of last year the question was asked about the proper use of symbols in Shinto, and especially whether it was acceptable to wear symbols as in a similar fashion to wearing a pentacle or cross. For the sake of reference the original question is listed below.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cobra View Post
    I myself was recently wondering about symbology... Do you think it would be appropriate as a Shinto practitioner to express oneself using our most common symbol, the Torii gate, as other religious people do with their jewelry, etc. (crosses, pentacles)?
    I was reminded of this while reading "Shinto: The Kami Way" by Sokyo Ono* (published 1962), and I must say that I think that one of the symbols a practitioner of Shinto could use would be a mirror of some variety. To explain this position properly I will quote this passage from the Jinnō Shōtōki (1339) by Chikafusa Kitabatake*, as quoted in Shinto: The Kami Way.

    “The mirror hides nothing. It shines without a selfish mind. Everything good and bad, right and wrong, is reflected without fail. The mirror is the source of honesty because it has the virtue of responding accordingly to the shape of objects. It points out the fairness and impartiality of the divine will.”
    Thus it is my personal opinion that the mirror is a rather good, and inconspicuous, symbol to use for Shinto. I am by no means suggesting that this should serve as some form of official role in Shinto theology, but I feel that it might be fitting as an informal symbol, and especially could help with Shinto practitioners who want to display their faith inconspicuously.

    What do you all think in regards to this matter?

    *Names are presented with personal name first, according to the book

  9. #89
    Sr. Member Cobra's Avatar
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    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by LunarHarvest View Post
    I think I'm a little bit worried about that too. I have heard that keeping it longer than a year can lead to it somewhat reversing in its purposes, so it brings misfortune, but that was just something I heard in passing. Another big question is what to get it in. I know that they can, if you ask, make you one for a unique purpose, but I'm not properly sure on what for myself.

    In other news, I'm finally going to get my hands on "Shinto Norito a Book of Prayers" by Ann Llewellyn Evans! :3 I've been delaying myself too long, and admittedly have been a little distracted, from continuing my studies properly and seeking to further my understanding. ^-^;

    Out of curiosity do any of you meditate?
    It's good to hear you are receiving a book. I feel sometimes that I should invest more time reading about such topics. In regards to meditation, I used to experiment with it... I always focused outside of myself instead of inside. From what I understand, meditation is from Buddhism, at least in respect to Shinto.

    Quote Originally Posted by LunarHarvest View Post
    Way back in November of last year the question was asked about the proper use of symbols in Shinto, and especially whether it was acceptable to wear symbols as in a similar fashion to wearing a pentacle or cross. For the sake of reference the original question is listed below.

    I was reminded of this while reading "Shinto: The Kami Way" by Sokyo Ono* (published 1962), and I must say that I think that one of the symbols a practitioner of Shinto could use would be a mirror of some variety. To explain this position properly I will quote this passage from the Jinnō Shōtōki (1339) by Chikafusa Kitabatake*, as quoted in Shinto: The Kami Way.



    Thus it is my personal opinion that the mirror is a rather good, and inconspicuous, symbol to use for Shinto. I am by no means suggesting that this should serve as some form of official role in Shinto theology, but I feel that it might be fitting as an informal symbol, and especially could help with Shinto practitioners who want to display their faith inconspicuously.

    What do you all think in regards to this matter?

    *Names are presented with personal name first, according to the book
    The mirror thought is interesting. My mind instantly went to Yata no Kagami - the mirror that is part of the Imperial Regalia. One of the items used in the story of the cave.

    I have, while searching for appropriate symbols, been reminded of the mitsudomoe
    Tomoe.jpg
    Here is the associated Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomoe

  10. #90
    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: Shinto Group Thread

    I wanted to visit a shrine for hatsumode (first shrine visit of the new year) so I could pray for a good year ahead. I did a quick search and found this virtual shrine for people who can't get to a real one. I thought our Shinto members might be interested too.
    http://www.sakura.jingu.net/youhai.html

    It's in Japanese but I'd gladly help if Google translate is gobbledygook. I'll give a quick reference though.

    1. The page I linked brings you to the main entrance. You can see a map of the shrine grounds on the right. Click on the '次へ進む' button with the sakura blossom flowers on the left to enter.

    2. You come to the shrine itself. You are told that if this is a regular visit to pray for something specific, bow twice, clap 4 times, then bow once.

    For seasonal festivals, bow 4 times, clap 8 times then bow again.

    You can press the buttons for this if you like. Then click the sakura flower button again to make your prayer.

    3. You can just say your prayer to yourself, but your can also fill in the form so your name and prayer (unless you choose 非公開) will appear in the box. It looks like you need to sign up to the site to do that though, so if anyone needs help doing that I'll post instructions on request).

    Once you've prayed, click the button on the left again.

    4. Now you can pick up a slip with your fortune or 'omikuji' on like at a real shrine. To get your omikuji, click on the month at the top of the page. As it's now January, that would be '1月'. The options you might receive are;

    大吉 (daikichi) Great blessing
    中吉 (chuukitchi) Middle blessing
    小吉 (shoukitchi) Small blessing
    吉 (kitchi) Normal blessing
    半吉 (hankichi) Half blessing
    末吉 (suekitchi) End blessing
    末小吉 (sueshoukitchi) end small blessing
    凶 (kyuou) curse
    小凶 (shoukyou) small curse
    半凶 (hankyou) half curse
    末凶 (suekyou) end curse
    大凶 (daikyou) great curse

    There will then be a short prediction for you. Again, I don't mind helping with translations of the fortune if anyone needs it.

    5. You can then choose to write your prayer on an ema, which is a wooden plaque (and is romantically written 絵馬 or 'picture horse'). Again, you will need an account to do this.

    6. Now you're at the omamori stall. Click the one you want, and see it blown up. You could even save the image and print it out to hang somewhere for luck! (the website claims that the Guuji has blessed them for you!).

    7. Consultation with the Guuji. I'm going to assume the people at the temple won't speak English so maybe skip this section!

    And that's it! All your shrine visiting needs met by a virtual shrine!

    あけましておめでとう!
    (Happy new year!)
    Last edited by Jembru; 01 Jan 2016 at 02:41.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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