Shinto Me Timbers... help me find out more about this religion!
March 27, 2008 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Looking for some recommended books and media about Shinto, especially the history, tenets and practices of it.

On my last trip to Japan, I found myself getting very interested in Shinto after taking a walking tour in Kyoto. I'd like to continue learning about it, but don't wanna wander around blindly trying to find the best resources. So, I ask upon the spirits of the MetaFilter shrine... hook me (and maybe others?) up, yo!
posted by tittergrrl to Religion & Philosophy (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've heard good things about Shinto: The Kami Way.
posted by Nelsormensch at 9:07 AM on March 27, 2008

I lived near Kyoto for awhile.

I found most interesting for learning about Shinto are Kojiki which deals with the ancient mythological history of Japan.

In regards to Kyoto, and Japanese aesthetics/spirtuality, you might find wabi-sabi interesting. Wabi sabi is one of those words difficult to translate in English as it requires keen communication and study to do so. It's kind of, from my understanding, the idea of process, change, and complimentary organic control.
posted by adamkolson at 9:11 AM on March 27, 2008

I find The World's Religions a great starting point for Religion 101 for many of the major religions.

If you hunt, you can find it for dirt cheap. Try the library.
posted by unixrat at 9:33 AM on March 27, 2008

Whoops - for some reason I thought Shinto was covered in depth, but it's not. There's Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. My bad. Ignore my suggestion.
posted by unixrat at 9:35 AM on March 27, 2008

A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine should be helpful.
posted by zennoshinjou at 9:51 AM on March 27, 2008

Best answer: The Catalpa Bow, by Carmen Blacker is a little dated, but is one of the best books on Japanese religion I've ever read.

A History of Japanese Religion is also a useful book, as Shinto isn't really a stand-alone religion (it's not really a religion at all). Shinto was co-opted by national chauvinists during the Meiji restoration. What you see today is more of an artifice, so it's important to understand how that artifice was constructed.

There's also the online Shinto Encyclopedia.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:38 AM on March 27, 2008

a little long, but here is a pretty good one that discusses the origin of the deity of the Ise shrine. And at the bottom of this paper is a list of references that might interest you.
posted by grafholic at 1:53 PM on March 27, 2008

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