What is Shinto?
Shinto (神道, literally "the way of the gods" or "the way of the divine") is a Japanese religion in which nature and its elements are worshipped. The word “shinto” was first used in Nihon-shoki (Chronicles of Japan) in 720.
In Shinto, nature and its elements are represented in the form of "kami" (神), which means "deity" or "god" in Japanese. Among the most famous gods, you can find Inari, the god of commerce who manifests Himself in the form of a fox.
What is Shinto place of worship?
Religious places related to Shinto are called shrines. The word “temple” is only attributed to the practice of Buddhism. The most famous Shinto shrine in Japan is Ise Jingu shrine, located in Mie Prefecture, where the miraculous TOMO Isehikari rice is used as an offering.
Before praying, the Japanese perform their ablutions using a fountain placed in front of the shrine. They wash their hands, rinse their mouths, and then approach the shrine to pray.
Can human beings become divine beings?
In Shinto, human beings can become divine beings. For example, the Emperor of Japan is considered to be the descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu, and he is sacred. Similarly, if a sumo wrestler wins one of the six major annual tournaments, he is awarded the title of yokozuna and he becomes a living god. There have also been cases of canonizations in Japanese history, as shown by the case of Emperor Sutoku in the 12th century.