Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

I. Historical Development

As a coherent system, the religion of Japan known to us as Shintoism (or better: Shintō) emerged in the course of Japan’s reception of cultural elements from China, especially the Confucian (Confucianism) administrative system, Buddhism (I, 2.d), and writing. The name shin-tō itself consists of two Chinese characters meaning “gods” or “spirits” and “way.” Put in Japanese, it is the “Kami Way” (kami no michi). The kami (= shin), or with the honorific k…

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Pye, Michael, “Shintoism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 September 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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