The Differences Of Shinto And Nordic Religions

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Since the beginning of mankind, every society has looked to religion to give meaning to life. From a good harvest, to understanding the purpose of our existence; the belief in the divine provides a platform on which many people can develop answers to universal questions. Through the Shinto and Nordic religions, communities have been able to connect to the divine through their traditions, experiencing their spirituality through worshipping a deity, engaging in festivals and even undertaking pilgrimages. Although their distinctive cultures result in differing religious practices for the Japanese and Norse societies, both strive to make sense of our world, and seek the meaning to human existence.
Shintoism is the native religion of Japan, however, unlike most other religions; it claims no sacred text or founder. Because of this, Shintoism is more commonly referred to as a reflection of Japanese culture and history, often blending with other religions, such as Buddhism (O'Neal et al., 2007). Being an immanent religion, Shinto values the importance of experiencing harmony with the spirits of the world, known as the kami. These kami inhabit all things, from animals and mountains, to the spirits of the deceased (Toropov and Buckles, 2011). Although not considered all-powerful, the chief kami of this animistic spirituality is the sun goddess, Amaterasu. As the daughter of Izanagi and Izanami, the creators of Japan, her role is to rule over the heavens, and provide the Japanese

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