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Author Topic: Shinto in the United States  (Read 6176 times)
Sylvan
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« Topic Start: November 20, 2008, 11:04:27 am »

A friend of mine (born in the U.S. and raised Christian) is currently studying Shinto.  She considers herself to be Pagan in a general sense but is looking to integrate certain elements of Shinto into her current belief system.  I've done some very basic reading about Shinto and its connections to the history and culture of Japan, so I was very interested when my friend directed me to a website for one of the Shinto shrines in the U.S. - http://www.tsubakishrine.com/home.html

Is anyone in The Cauldron community familiar with this or any other American Shinto shrines or the practice of Shinto in the U.S.?  If so, I would be particularly interested to hear some first hand perspectives on how Shinto is understood within an American context (culturally and geographically) given its intimate ties to the history and land of Japan.
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« Reply #1: December 30, 2008, 07:26:13 pm »


I know what Shinto is, but I haven't heard of a shrine in the US before. From my understanding Shinto even in Japan is a small number. I am happy to hear that new practitioners are following, I believe it is one of the aspects of Japanese culture being lost in their Westernization.
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« Reply #2: December 31, 2008, 11:59:16 am »

From my understanding Shinto even in Japan is a small number. I am happy to hear that new practitioners are following, I believe it is one of the aspects of Japanese culture being lost in their Westernization.

I lived in Japan for a while, and I can say that Shinto is alive and well -- just visit a large shrine like Atsuta on a Saturday afternoon. Tonight (Dec 31) the shrines will be packed to the gills. It's fair to say that there are few Japanese who *solely* follow Shinto; most also observe some aspects of Buddhism (especially wrt funerals) and secular Christianity (like white dress weddings). But I don't think we have to worry about Shinto traditions vanishing anytime soon.
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sailor_tech
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« Reply #3: December 31, 2008, 03:44:45 pm »

and secular Christianity (like white dress weddings).

Boggle.  Plus I don't think white dresses for weddings are Christian.
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« Reply #4: December 31, 2008, 07:10:34 pm »

Boggle.  Plus I don't think white dresses for weddings are Christian.

They're Victorian, specifically, if I remember right - but they quickly got all sorts of "white is for purity, just like Jesus" stuff tacked on pretty quickly.

It all makes much more sense if you put on Victorian rose-colored lenses and squint a lot, I admit.
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« Reply #5: December 31, 2008, 07:33:05 pm »

They're Victorian, specifically, if I remember right - but they quickly got all sorts of "white is for purity, just like Jesus" stuff tacked on pretty quickly.

It all makes much more sense if you put on Victorian rose-colored lenses and squint a lot, I admit.

*nods*

Before then women just wore the nicest dress they owned regardless of what color it was.
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sailor_tech
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« Reply #6: December 31, 2008, 09:26:06 pm »

They're Victorian, specifically, if I remember right - but they quickly got all sorts of "white is for purity, just like Jesus" stuff tacked on pretty quickly.

It all makes much more sense if you put on Victorian rose-colored lenses and squint a lot, I admit.

That makes more sense.  The Japanese are adopting western attire / culture, rather than adopting the oxymoron of secular Christianity.
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« Reply #7: January 01, 2009, 05:37:17 am »

*nods*

Before then women just wore the nicest dress they owned regardless of what color it was.

My great-grandmother married in a black dress with a white veil - like it was custom then.
Formal dresses used to be black, you could wear it to funerals and at the end often got buried in it.
People were kind of practical those days.
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« Reply #8: January 02, 2009, 12:38:07 am »

That makes more sense.  The Japanese are adopting western attire / culture, rather than adopting the oxymoron of secular Christianity.

Wow, my upbringing is an oxymoron.  Cool.
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« Reply #9: January 02, 2009, 12:51:53 am »

Wow, my upbringing is an oxymoron.  Cool.

So you were raised in a non-Western culture with a non-Christian religion being predominate?  And at the same time you picked up Christian values (from non-Christian parents) that are different than the non-Christian religion's values without learning anything about Christianity?
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« Reply #10: January 02, 2009, 01:14:47 am »

So you were raised in a non-Western culture with a non-Christian religion being predominate?  And at the same time you picked up Christian values (from non-Christian parents) that are different than the non-Christian religion's values without learning anything about Christianity?

No.  I was raised secular Christian.
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« Reply #11: January 02, 2009, 01:18:47 am »

They're Victorian, specifically, if I remember right - but they quickly got all sorts of "white is for purity, just like Jesus" stuff tacked on pretty quickly.

I read some where that Queen Victoria was the first to wear a white dress, and thus started the tradition.
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« Reply #12: January 02, 2009, 01:01:18 pm »

Wow, my upbringing is an oxymoron.  Cool.

Yup. Because Christianity is apparently the only religion in the world which has no secular traditions whatsoever, and everyone who self-identifies as Christian is devoutly religious. /sarcasm. (also brought up this way.)

I'm boggled that some people are boggled by the concept.
(though we seem to have run smack into the old cultus/belief distinction -- I think that's the correct terminology.)
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« Reply #13: August 13, 2009, 08:44:26 pm »

  If so, I would be particularly interested to hear some first hand perspectives on how Shinto is understood within an American context (culturally and geographically) given its intimate ties to the history and land of Japan.
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Eyeris
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« Reply #14: August 30, 2009, 04:46:46 pm »

So you were raised in a non-Western culture with a non-Christian religion being predominate?  And at the same time you picked up Christian values (from non-Christian parents) that are different than the non-Christian religion's values without learning anything about Christianity?

When a belief is predominating in a culture, weather it is part of your particular religion or not, you'll be affected by it. i.e. Christians (once up on a time) started putting up evergreen trees; though this was no part of the Christian religion, it came from predominating culture of the area Christianity moved into.
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