Japan: Where Gods Aren’t Gods and Worshipers Aren’t Religious (Shinto Explained)


Hello World. If you’ve ever been to Japan or
watched anime or dramas, You might have come across gates like these. They come in all shapes and sizes, but what are they? They’re torii, which are the entrances to jinja and jinja are sacred spaces and the seats of kami. OK, so those are three new terms to learn. Luckily, our guide today, David Chart happens to write just a little bit about
Shinto traditional practices. And before you start furiously typing in the comments about why I chose to interview some
random British dude about Shinto, Chāto-san is actually a naturalized Japanese, works as the English translator for Jinja Honchō, the Association of Shinto Shrines, and writes extensively about Shinto
on his blog Mimusubi. So like I said, he knows a little bit. OK, so, the torii is the gates that
you see all over the place and for the rest, well, why don’t we go inside and have a look around. That’ll make it easier. Sure, I think one question that viewers might have is can anyone off the street just walk on in? Yeah, you don’t need an appointment to go and visit a jinja and you can just go in as you’re going past. OK, let’s go! three steps later So, the torii marks the outer boundary of the sacred space. So this is a good place to straighten
your tie and get ready to go in. Most people bow slightly before
they pass through the torii. It’s a natural way to express respect for the kami. OK, so now we’re in the sacred space, but I’ve noticed that inside of a torii, there’s a wide variety of settings. Like for example at one, they have a playground where kids are playing. And another one seems to be popular with office space
workers where they go there for their lunch break, eating like onigiri. Right, inside the sacred space you
have to show respect for the kami, but playing and eating are not
necessarily disrespectful. Leaving litter would be, and some larger jinja ask you not
to eat inside to avoid the litter. If you’re at the jinja to pay respects to the kami, You follow the sacred path, sandō in Japanese,
up to the sanctuaries. The custom is to walk along one side,
rather than up the center. Some people say that’s because the center
is reserved for the kami. I’ve actually made a video about how in Japan,
you usually walk on the left-hand side, just like when you’re driving,
you drive on the left-hand side. When you’re at a jinja, does that same general rule apply? No, not really. If the jinja’s not really busy, it doesn’t
really matter which side you walk up. If the jinja is busy, you just follow the flow of people. So… no, no real rule about it. But, as you can see here, the handrail is at the center of the stairs, which makes it natural to walk on one side or the other. So one thing that seems to be a common
feature is climbing up stairs. What’s up with that? It’s true. A lot of jinja are built on higher ground. I think it’s to do with the separation of the kami
and the sacred space. So a lot of jinja do have a flight
of stairs up to the sanctuaries. Fortunately these days, almost all jinja
have another way to get there. At this one, you can go along the road over there,
and come in at the back through the car park. Hmm… OK, that’s good to know. And right here, we’re actually at a water station. So, what’s up with this water station? This is for purifying ourselves. So purification, called “oharai” or “misogi”,
is a very important part of Shinto. And you’re definitely supposed to purify yourself
before you go and pay your respects to the kami. In fact, some priests have told me, that if you don’t purify yourself,
they would prefer you not to come at all. It’s like taking your shoes off before you go into a Japanese home.
You’re not supposed to bring dirt in with you. Now, I wouldn’t like to say that taking your shoes off
before you go into a home is part of Shinto, but they’re definitely related. So, to purify yourself, you take
the ladle in your right hand. Fill it with water. Pour a little over your left hand to rinse it. Over your right hand… Pour a bit into your left hand. Rinse your mouth. Then, rinse your left hand again. And use the remaining water to rinse the ladle,
before you put it back. That’s interesting, because, you did it really nicely. I’ve noticed that not everyone does it
just in the same manner that you did? Right, the official way to do it is a little bit complicated, and not all the Japanese people remember it. As long as your rinse both hands and your mouth,
and you don’t put your mouth to the ladle, that’s good enough to keep the priests happy. – So, another torii, so I normally bow again.
– OK. And you don’t have to do that if there’s
a whole tunnel of torii though. OK, that’s good to know, because I’ve
seen those tunnels of torii, and I always thought, like do you have to bow at each one? – That would be a lot of bowing.
– Yeah. Um… OK, we’ve washed up, what do we do next? Well, next, we go to the prayer hall,
which is just over there to pay our respects to the kami. OK. So, people normally pay their respects
just in front of the prayer hall, where there’s a box for offerings
and often a bell with a rope. You shake the rope to ring the bell,
and you throw your offering into the box. It really doesn’t matter which order you do that in. So, my daughter and I, we used to watch this anime
called Noragami. Which means, as you know, stray kami. So instead of a stray cat, it’s a kami without a home. And one of his things, was that he would grant any wish. [phone ringing] Hello! Thank you for calling! Fast, affordable, and reliable!
Delivery God Yato, at your service! But even though he was desperate for cash,
he was a homeless kami after all, he would do it all for a 5 yen coin. You’re a god, right? Help me! Money. You charge money?! It’ll cost ya this much. 50,000?! 500,000?! I’m a god, remember?! And everyone knows you’re
supposed to offer 5-yen coins to gods! Your wish… … has been heard loud and clear! Right. 5 yen is a really popular offering at a jinja, because the Japanese for 5 yen, goen, sounds exactly like the Japanese
for honourable connection. So it gives you a good link to the kami. The priests really don’t mind what you offer,
as long as it’s not 1 yen coins, because they’re
really annoying to count. OK, so that sounds a bit different than
the Christian churches I’m used to because I remember their offerings being
just a little bit larger. This is largely symbolic. Obviously the priests
don’t mind if you offer more money. But if you’re going to make a larger offering, you’d usually receive an omamori, or just
give the money directly to the priests. The money that you put into the box… … is symoblic. It’s another form of purification. Ringing the bell is the same. They’re both ways of further purifying yourself
before you pay your respects to the kami. Let’s pay our respects. Up to the bell rope. Ring the bell. Put the money into the offering box. Bow twice. Clap twice. Bow once. And we’re done. We should leave this way, so that we don’t
turn our back directly to the kami. And going this way takes us to the jinja office,
where we can get omamori. Omamori are amulets. They’re a way of taking part of the power of
the kami with you, when you leave the jinja. You make an offering of a few hundred yen, a few dollars,
and the priests give you the omamori. Now there are a lot of different kinds of
omamori for different requests. For example, this one is for safe child birth. This one is for pets. This one’s for work. And all the different types of omamori
have an appropriate offering noted. So, you make the offering, receive your omamori, and
take it away with you when you leave the jinja. OK. So you taught me a lot about jinja, but what about kami? Ah, now that’s a big question. We should probably go and sit down to talk about that. finding a place to sit Well, it’s a big question, but actually, it’s a lot less important
than you might think. Shinto is much more about what you
do then about what you believe. This is why the priests really care that you use the correct etiquette when you
come to pay your respects to the kami. That’s why we introduced the etiquette in so much detail. They really don’t care very much about what you believe. They will welcome people of any religion
to come and pay their respects to the kami. Now, a devout Christian might not want to pay their respects
at a jinja because they might think it’s against their religion. But the priests leave that up to the individual. Now, of course, people do believe things about the kami. For example, there are said to be 8 million of them. Wow! It turns out there are a lot of kami. But 8 million? That’s not an exact number. Nobody thinks
there are actually 8 million kami. It just means a large number, a fortunate number, of kami. And if we look at one of the most popular definitions
of kami, we can see why there are so many. “Kami” refers first of all to those kami
mentioned in the ancient legends, and to spirits enshrined at jinja, but also to human beings, and animals, birds, and plants, or seas, mountains, and similar that are unusual
and outside the normal range of such things. This does not just mean the venerable,
virtuous, or beneficial, but also includes things that are remarkable
for being evil or uncanny. All these things are called “kami”. That definition is from Moto’ori Norinaga, a scholar who lived about two hundred years ago. And on that definition, Mt Fuji, the
physical mountain itself, is a kami, and there are some practitioners of Shinto, and some
priests, who follow that definition. Obviously, in this sense at least some kami exist. Similarly, remarkable people are kami, while still being human. There are people today who think that the Tennō,
the Japanese emperor, is a kami, but they also think that he is a human being,
and in that sense just the same as them. If we approach things this way, then “kami” is more
like “big” or “red” than it is like “human” or “dog”. It is a feature that things of many kinds can have,
rather than a kind of thing. However, the practice of Shinto treats kami as invisible
spirits who can hear and respond to prayers. These spirits might be the spirits of natural things,
like mountains or trees, or the spirits of ancestors. They can also be spirits of other types. There is a jinja in Nara, Tamakazura Jinja, where the kami is a fictional character from the Tale of Genji, a novel written about a thousand years ago. OK, we went pretty deep there. Before speaking with you, I never realized
there were so many kami out there. Now, I think onsen are quite spectacular. Are they kami? Yes, they are. Onsen, hot springs, that’s what onsen means. They’re out of the ordinary run of springs
because they come out of the ground hot. People like them, so they’re a blessing, yes, they’re kami. If you take the first view, then the spring itself, is a kami. If you take the second view, then there
is a kami who is the spirit of the spring. You probably noticed when you’ve been
to onsen, that the proper onsen, have a continuous flow of hot water through them. The springs comes out into the pool and then flows out again. But even so, you’re expected to wash
before you get into the onsen. And even when there’s nowhere to actually wash, you’re expected to rinse yourself off with water from the spring before you get in. And, now I’m not sure about this, but I think that may be a sign of purifying yourself before you interact with the kami. It’s a way of showing respect to
the kami of the hot springs. OK, so as long as you wash yourself first
the kami don’t mind you jumping inside of them? That’s right. OK, note taken. Um, but to get serious again. From your explanation, the definition of kami it doesn’t really seem like what I think of as a god. Right. God is a terrible translation of kami,
they’re really very different. Even if you use spirit, that’s a bit too much of the
second definition, which not everyone accepts. So, I just don’t translate the word. – Is there anything that people agree about?
– Oh yes! People agree that you should treat the kami with respect. So, if you visit a jinja, you should pay your respects to the kami first, before you
do your sightseeing and your tourist photography. It shows respect for both the kami and the priests, and the priests at least, definitely notice. OK, so when I was a kid, I used to go to church on most Sundays, that I remember. Do people in Japan visit jinja regularly? Very few people go that often. But about 70% of the population visit
a jinja at New Year for Hatsumōdë. Hatsumōdë, the first visit to a jinja or Buddhist
temple in a year, is a very popular custom. Millions of people line up at jinja across the country
just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, ready to pay their respects, draw a fortune, and maybe receive
amulets or similar to get the kami’s favour for the new year. Meiji Jingū, in Tokyo, is visited by about three million people
over the first three days of the year, every year. Even a local jinja in an urban area,
like the one we visited earlier in this video, can expect well over ten thousand. Out in rural areas, every single person
in the village might attend. Most people also take their children to a
jinja soon after birth for Hatsumiyamairi, and at the ages of three, five, and seven for Shichigosan. I’ve actually done this with my children.
his is what I was told about it. Shichigosan is formally a prayer of thanks
that the child has safely reached their age, and a request for their healthy growth in the future. In practice, it is often a family celebration, with the
children dressed up in spectacular rented kimono. Traditionally, it happened on November 15th,
but these days it happens at weekends, when the whole family has time off work, any time from late October to early December. If you visit a jinja at those times, you have a very
good chance of seeing at least one family. People also go to attend the regular
matsuri at their local jinja. Strictly speaking, a matsuri is any ceremony
held to one of the kami. But for most people, it means the big event
held with maybe portable jinja, maybe dancing, and definitely food stands. Remember I said that eating and playing were
not necessarily disrespectful of the kami? Well, a lot of that goes on at matsuri. A few matsuri are enormous,
and extremely famous. The Gion Matsuri in Kyoto, for example,
lasts for the whole of July, and includes multiple parades, and is listed
by UNESCO as intangible World Heritage. Most local matsuri happen on a single day,
and are only attended by people from the area, but many of them are recognised as being culturally
important by some level of government. The sacred dances at Shirahata Hachiman Daijin,
for example, are registered as important folk customs
by the city of Kawasaki. People also go to jinja with particular requests. They might just make the requests while paying
their respects, like we saw earlier. or they might ask the priests for a more formal prayer, which is conducted inside the prayer hall. For those you normally need to offer at least 5,000 yen. So where are we now? Well, different jinja have reputations
for different sorts of benefits. And right now, we’re at Yushima Tenjin, in Tokyo. This is a Tenjin jinja, and it’s very
famous for academic success. Tenjin jinja are all famous for academic success, but this one is particularly famous because
it’s very close to Tokyo University, the most famous university in Japan. Every year many people, particularly teenagers,
come here to pray for success in examinations. Particularly entrance examinations. They have lots, and lots, and lots of study amulets, including little packs of pencils that you
can use to take your exams with. Upon learning this, I took it upon myself to buy an ema, which is a wooden plaque you can write wishes on. Using my excellent penmanship, I crafted
this incredibly original message. Nihongo ga jōzu ni narimasu yō ni. I wish to get better at Japanese. Okay! There you go! After learning about all the ways that Shinto
is a part of the everyday lives of Japanese, is it fair to say that Japanese are religious? No, we wouldn’t say that. Only 3% of Japanese claim to be Shinto. Only 36% claim to have any religion at all,
and most of them are Buddhist. It’s kind of the opposite of the U.K., where about 70% of
people say they’re Christian and about 3% go to church. In Japan, about 3% say they’re Shinto
and about 70% go to jinja. How does that work? So many Japanese people going to jinja, yet so few stating that they are Shinto? Most people don’t think about the activities
that you do at a jinja as a religion. It’s just part of Japanese culture. In that way it’s quite similar to say,
kabuki, or the tea ceremony. You have to do the right sort of things,
you have to treat it with respect, it’s important, but not necessarily a religion. Even Shinto priests are often quite reluctant
to describe Shinto as a religion. Yeah, I think Westerners would have a hard time
understanding how going to a sacred place and praying for benefits, is not religious. It’s inscrutable. Now obviously, in some senses, Shinto is a religion, but it’s not very similar to the way that
religion is thought of in the West. It’s not an identity. It’s something you do, it’s not something you are. If you’re a Shinto priest, then you
might well do it a lot of the time. But even then, you might also follow another
religion, particularly Buddhism. It just doesn’t work the same way as it does in the West. Oh, OK. So then that’s something
I actually like about Shinto then, that’s it’s judging me based on my actions, not on my faith. It’s nice to know that people, no matter
their beliefs, can participate. Yes, Shinto is possibly the most open and welcoming
part of traditional Japanese culture. Priests at all jinja would be delighted to see foreigners
who came to visit and pay their respects correctly. Especially if they have that 5 yen coin. Ah, quite. OK. I didn’t screw that up after all. – OK, and then it’s just my… plug for you, essentially.
– Yes. – Yes.
– Hahahaha. Yes, gotta get, gotta get that right. Don’t
screw that up, that’s really important. I’d like to give a special thanks to David Chart for
giving us that great beginner’s guide to Shinto. Now he also writes for his own website, called Mimusubi. It’s an excellent resource in English about Shinto. So if you’re interested in Shinto,
I highly recommend going there. Thanks for watching, see you next time, bye!
Where you’re from, what traditional practices do you follow? Tourist snapshots at jinja are fine. However, you should
really get permission for anything commercial or on YouTube, which we received thanks to: Shirahata Hachiman Daijin
Yushima Tenjin At Yushima Tenjin, petting the cow (nade-ushi)
is said to improve your luck. OK, and then I’ll be a really pain in the
butt and say one more time. Oh, proper direction. Oh, kawaii!

100 comments on “Japan: Where Gods Aren’t Gods and Worshipers Aren’t Religious (Shinto Explained)”

  1. Life Where I'm From says:

    Special thanks to David Chart for explaining the ins and outs of Shinto. Find out more about Shinto on his blog at https://www.mimusubi.com/ and support his writing on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/mimusubi. NOTE: David didn't spit back into the purification font (what I called the water station). He spit the water outside of it into the drain. Also, the water is constantly replenished, so it's not standing water.

  2. Mark Letts says:

    David Chart…😊

  3. n L says:

    Most westerner think Buddhism is main religion in East Asia, which is wrong. Only south east Asia has buddhism as majority : Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Bhutan, Mongolia and Cambodia.
    But in North East Asia: China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, Buddhists are MINORITY. The majority of Japanese are Shintoism,
    while Taoism/Confucius are majority in China, Taiwan, Korea and VN. The Philippines is Catholic, Malaysia and Indonesia are Muslim

  4. Marmaduke Scarlet says:

    I know you explained it but presenting a white guy as the Japanese expert is the height of cultural appropriation.

  5. Isaac Sher says:

    This is wonderful stuff! I wish I'd known about some of these practices before I visited Japan last year and went to several shrines and temples.

  6. abc xyz says:

    A real God does not need a money offering.

  7. Fleece Johnson says:

    4:30 did he just swish it in his mouth, than spit it out into the purification fountain thing?

  8. Classy Cynic says:

    truely an awful interview.

  9. Tina wahengbam says:

    This was such an eye opener. Thank you very very much or this extremely informative video.

  10. lazerbeanz says:

    3:43 Missed one…

  11. Joscelyne K says:

    Shinto seems like the kind of practice that fosters reverence of the natural world and a healthy humility and respect towards that world. It also plays an important societal role in that it supports community cohesion. All without dogma. Imagine that.

  12. Tim Hawthorn says:

    Just to challenge the perception that Shinto is difficult for the western mind to understand, I find it very similar to modern Druidry.

  13. Martin Blais says:

    Very interesting interview! David was the perfect interviewee to open a window into this world. I've been to many a jinja over my many visits to Japan yet learned some new facts in this video. Thank you for making it,

  14. Gina Mason says:

    Thank you for your video. I'm visiting Japan in April and glad I can learn what is expected of me before I get there. I've always liked Shinto and after watching, I understand and like it ever better. I will watch more videos, keep up the great work!

  15. Katsuhide Yamamoto says:

    I need to find a Jinja in Florida.

  16. Neos Neos says:

    This was really interesting and made me come to a realization. The closest thing I can relate to shinto in western traditions might be witchcraft, in terms of "not a religion" spiritual practices. Most forms of witchcraft don't require religion or any form of worship, but many practitioners believe in one or multiple gods form one or multiple religions, or they may work with, pray to, and/or make offerings to non-deity spirits. Even Wicca, the most popular religion that focuses on witchcraft has really loose rules when it comes to worship and deities. Similarly to Shinto there's correct edicate when working with spirits, and spirits are thought of in a very similar way to Kami in many forms of witchcraft.

    And with all this there are forms of completely non-religions and non-spiritual witchcraft, like some forms of chaos magic, which focus on things like psychology, placebo effects, butterfly effects, and other concepts to do similar things to spiritual witchcraft but in a different way.

    Witchcraft is a very wide topic, but my experience learning about it, paganisn, polytheism, and spiritual practices like it makes me feel like I might be able to grasp the concept of Shinto with insight through a lens most westerners might not have access to.

  17. Mayank says:

    Thanks for such a nice video! I really liked the meaning that Shinto wants to conveys, rather than being that identifies people, people identify the things surrounding them. And mostly importantly it has become a culture and can be followed by anyone.

    Really liked these ideas, since coming from India where "People are not God loving instead God fearing".

  18. Mike Oliver says:

    When visiting a shrine in Japan as an American visitor would it be considered disrespectful to offer a 5¢ nickel instead of a 5¥ coin?

  19. Sayak Choudhury says:

    I really like the idea of observing religious ceremonies without being religious.

  20. kaisermuto says:

    All shrines are descendant of Amaterasu Goddess of Izumo shrine. There exist 83,000 shrines in Japan. Shinto has no dogma, only making something or mankind cleansing and purifying.
    3 months after a baby born parents take the baby to shrine to get cleansing by chief priest of the shrine. The baby's life begins. Amaterasu goddess is also first anscestor of Japanese emperor. Japanese emperor is top post of all chief priest of all over Japan too.

  21. mind fornication says:

    Religion sucks in every country including japan

  22. COOLkid123 goodForLife_103 says:

    Gensokyo Has Its Own Gods. Christ do I wish it was a real place. I would totally work with the shrine to see the wild things that usually happen there.

  23. Rhiannon Carlson says:

    Merging the profane with the sacred in a non-dogmatic animistic and pantheistic way sounds like something the entire world needs.

  24. meg nemo says:

    This is very foolish.the act of doing somthing elevates it to a level you should only give somthing you beleive. When you dont even define the belief or what this is you are in very dangerous territory. You are acting in complete ignorance. I have always admired the way Japanese people think about many things so this lack of wisdom on their part really surprises me. I will do my best not to ever pass through one of these doorways and therefore circumvent the issue.

  25. witchapparatus says:

    Ah, works based. Not surprised. Excellent video, by the way. Very informative.

  26. Hugo Vasquez says:

    "Ginger are sacret places"
    Me: "oh im a sacret Place?"

  27. Praecantetia says:

    i love japan

  28. Gaudia says:

    Wish more of the Japanese words David mentioned were flashed onscreen. But thanks for this video. Very informative.👍

  29. Martin Q says:

    He's so British, his tie is tucked.

  30. 5CAT7ERBRA1N says:

    Great video. But how, a man who seems to know a whole a lot about Japanese culture and customs, gets away with bowing the way he does? It's like he's adding a touch of his own style after explaining all the rules and traditions about visiting Jinja. Search "how to bow in Japan." And for a laugh https://youtu.be/vdlNZJ_TFXU

  31. jesse merrill says:

    …i have lived in japan for three years… You have mislabeled the Japanese people sir…. You make it sound very academic…. Get bent….

  32. De St says:

    I'm not religious but I'd like to worship this narrator for a few hours.

  33. Robin Wolfe says:

    Back in high school, I went to a jinja with my host family after my host sister had a baby and we sat for about two hours in seiza while the baby was I guess blessed or the shinto equivalent to that. It was very interesting but my legs were dead by the end. Lol

  34. Camboyano Dominador says:

    It's a good video and very educative.

    https://youtu.be/htxVoNBd5do?t=223

    – LOL.

    https://youtu.be/htxVoNBd5do?t=474

    – He's bowing is exaggerated, looks a bit odd to me but i think it's ok.

    https://youtu.be/htxVoNBd5do?t=755

    – It's for hygienic
    purposes because they reuse the same water for many people. I used to live in Japan and most of the houses uses bathtubs for bathing so before get in everyone must do a prewash to not dirty the water and it's stays until the last bather. (Always my father and I were first to enter and then my mother if we all bath in the same day).

    And the same goes to Onsen and Public bath. Imagine how expensive and waste of water would be drain out and pouring fresh water everytime a new individual get in.

    Cheers

  35. sean mcnally says:

    Who tucks their tie into their pants??

  36. Jebact says:

    JaPAneSE aRe NOt relIGiOUs
    as they go to a temple, bow, and do specific actions tied to the shrine.

  37. Catia Tavares says:

    Loved this!! Thank you so much for sharing with us the proper way to follow shinto rituals!

  38. Nitish Kumar Jurel says:

    Everyone: 8 million kami are too much
    Me, a Hindu : laughs in 330 million gods

  39. Dan Shaffer says:

    Thank you very much for this wonderful video Greg. You obviously put a lot of work into this segment, the first I’ve watched. I learned quite a lot. I enjoy your relaxing style. I’m happy to have found your channel.

  40. HermanLoud says:

    Japan's devotion is admirable, there is a reason why they are the creators of the ISO quality standard.

  41. Google This says:

    I just subscribed. I was born in Japan and all things Japanese intrigue me.
    I’m so glad I found your channel! Absolutely stunning camera work. Your closing shot is breathtaking! 😍
    Thank you!

  42. Jennifer Grove says:

    0:46 Dude! You read my mind!
    LOL Thank you!
    I don't feel comfortable with my own Culture anymore and if I practice any traditions – like Thanksgiving – I do so with alot of ambivalence. I would much rather respect the Traditions of other Cultures than my own.

  43. Ben G says:

    This is British or western version of Japanese culture.

  44. Aayush Shrivastava says:

    Is Torii linked to the Sanskrit word 'toran' which means door (actually inspired the word 'door')??

  45. Ghryst VanGhod says:

    this should be titled "where gods are spirits, and the religious (aka : holders of purely faith based ideas that have no evidence to support them) worshippers are pagans who worship the lesser spirits of the polytheistic world"

  46. Ruby Winters says:

    This isn't a secret really. They think work hard power are beyond powerful than just hoping to God pray that something just come out of the sky.

    I like their thinking, this is how it's supposed to be. God isn't genie, that you wish something hoping it'll come and think you're being punish if it won't come true.

    God doesn't work like that, if it works like that and God already decide what's written good bad then that's not fair isn't it. This life is full of opportunities and options with parallel universe where your action follow lead where you end up. Whether you read bible quran torah etc, it's supposed to be reminding of good things book of life way of life what you should do and shouldnt and find out why you shouldn't do things shouldn't eat drink this that, shouldn't do things, not treat it like spell, maybe domino effects to others example : if you steal from someone, that someone will suicide then that someone actually had a child and devastated by that and grew up being rebel and kill people that people has relative who….. Then continue the domino effect.

    Or corruption : the tax payer including the poor like farmers that barely eat inflation causing higher tax payer, the poor become poorer and the rich become richer with tax payer, while the farmer maybe couldn't fund their school anymore, the kids just stay like being farmer and illiterate or just had to sell their only bed.

    And cycle goes on. Life basically just like science and Newton law 3

  47. Crazygirl2055 says:

    Loved this video. Thank you so much. I recently traveled to Japan and while at the Jinja I kept thinking about religion or not but looking around I saw a lot of Japanese doing the same as me doing the touristy thing but with one difference. They paid their respects. I loved it.

  48. 42o乂ParaBoY says:

    Jesus Christ is the only way,truth and life

  49. Koreenth says:

    I play netflix docuseries while doing little chores but i take the time to watch and relish your videos. Its always a pleasure to watch them. Thanks so much

  50. Prime Tempest says:

    doesnt mean he knows everything, how rude not getting japanese to explain it, white guy gets white man to narrate on japan culture.

  51. Kane Smith says:

    "Japan, my perfect atheist society"
    Heh

  52. Alpacnologia says:

    Shinto has some of my favourite aesthetics in a religion

  53. David rodriguez says:

    aye, why your keyboard got a camel toe?

  54. David rodriguez says:

    is it me or does it sound like kami are quite insignificant then if there are so common?

  55. Pickle Gerard says:

    4:31 I'm pretty sure he spat the water back to the water station and that's giving me massive anxiety

  56. dreamingsamurai says:

    I always considered Shinto to be similar to belief systems of the ancient world (i.e. Egypt, Greece, Rome) where belief was more of a transaction system as opposed to a faith based system. Meaning, you didn't have to actually follow a set of beliefs and morals as much as you just give a donation/sacrifice to the deity for safe harvest/travel, victory in war/games, etc (basically scratching the god's back to help scratch yours). Every town had their gods and goddesses, and belief in one didn't invalidate believing in another. And people could be or become gods as well (like Egyptian Pharaohs being gods or Roman Emperors being deified after death).

  57. Kurt N says:

    Interesting how this 'expert' mispronounces "Kami" but the video host says it correctly. Not to mention the expert's bow is the silliest I've ever seen in that he sticks his butt out as he bows like he's about to jump into a swimming race. Rather odd. I spent an evening in Hokkaido Jingu (There are various terms used in conjunction with Japanese shrines (神社, Jinja), such as taisha (大社) and jingū (神宮)) getting drunk on sake, shochu & plum wine and playing sacred flutes. We finally went to bed at around 3 am after they had opened the most secret vault of masks that till then no foreigners had touched or worn. I have several rolls of film I took and am publishing them later this year. It's been long enough so I don't think anyone will get in trouble.

  58. John Ree says:

    I interact with Japanese a lot for work previously, they tend to not hold religion as a main thing in life. But that doesn't say they are disrespectful. Be it Shinto, Buddhism, or Christianity even if they don't paratice it. They pay respect to the spiritual sort of inclusive of all.

  59. People's Stories says:

    gates like these r in India too in sanchi STUPA

  60. People's Stories says:

    TORII IS CALLED TORAN IN SANSKRIT AND PALI…BORROWED FROM INDIA

  61. People's Stories says:

    shinto is like hinduism

  62. Macboer says:

    very good

  63. Lala Lala says:

    He a smart dude. Thanks 4 the video.

  64. draggedon says:

    Can the Kami be translated as anomalies?

    SCP intesifies

  65. robert Butcher says:

    The video says it’s about what you do, not believe, which sounds a whole lot like religion to me. You also say that these figures aren’t gods or spirits, but then don’t translate or say what they are, how are we suppose to take that?

    This is a religion, but it won’t get anyone anywhere. This religion won’t get you to heaven. Jesus is God. He is the way, truth, and the life, no one shall come to the father but by him.

    Christianity and Shintoism can’t go together. They can’t be combined or used together. They have total opposing views and beliefs.

  66. Seyton says:

    More more more ….

  67. Başbuğ İsmail KUKULA says:

    Shinto is look like a bit idolatry or paganism, normally they are not seperate religion and survive inside of another belief as a culture.Hanging something in sacred place is very common in the world.Although "temizuya"(water purifcation) similar Muslim wudu or Christian ablution.Interestingly "temiz" word in Turkish meaning is "clean" and root is Arabic "temyiz", both of them very old words.

  68. Barbara Mallias says:

    Awesome place

  69. MsJavaWolf says:

    Ok so kami are not Gods (I kind of got that before) but I often hear the term kami-sama, this does actually mean God right? Also when I hear kami-sama so often in anime for example, does that mean that some non-christian Japanese believe in a kind of monotheistic God? Or is it more like a figure of speech? I guess it's more the latter.

  70. deezynar says:

    I'm an American Christian. When I get into unspoiled nature I have a gut level response to it. It is a feeling of wonder, peace, joy, and gratitude, mixed in differing proportions depending on the thing that brought it on. Simple domestic things like clean sheets and a pillow case can stir up a response in me as well. My religious beliefs lead me to believe that I am responding to various types of blessings provided by the one and only God who is spoken of in the bible. I agree with the Japanese that there are things that touch us internally that are more than the tangible things we associate them with. Most cultures recognize these emotional responses and have some type of formal, or semi-formal system to honor them. Christianity does not address many of these specific things, but we can see in the bible how past believers spoke about being blessed by objects that made their lives more comfortable. For instance, Elijah was touched by the room that a woman set up for him to stay in when he passed through her town. I would not honor the clean sheets, or the beautiful view, but I would thank God for them, and try to protect the view, and to do my laundry more often.

  71. MANANA BLESSING says:

    Lol Jinja. Who is is from Uganda?

  72. MANANA BLESSING says:

    Why I'm I thinking of noragami right now

  73. Fylosofy says:

    Looks like a religion to me.

  74. Teneke Tiata says:

    Thank You! I learned alot watching this and want to learn soo much more👍

  75. Young Yuckboy says:

    3:43 lol

  76. King Crow says:

    07:55 that is the most British bows I've ever seen

  77. Reinhard Kämpf von Wolfkrieg says:

    For some reason Shinto reminds me of Nordic paganism

  78. Devin Kim says:

    Japan will continually sink into oblivion until they become believers of the only real Faith that means life. Jesus Christ is the only way

  79. Tyler Durden says:

    how does a guy who knows so much about this sound like he's talking about ginger?

  80. Rena Dango says:

    I reallyyyyyyyy liked David. No idea why but he seems like a really nice guy.

  81. Heath Company says:

    Piccolo is my favourite kami

  82. ぷるーとしゃろん says:

    Shinto is deep in the hearts of Japanese people.
    What is eight million gods (yaoyorozu no kami)?
    God dwells in everything, even the stones on the roadside. Such an idea.

    When you try to violate people or things,
    Good because no one is watching. Not.
    Otentosama (god of the sun) is looking at you.
    It is a commandment for yourself.

    There is such a way of thinking in Shinto.

  83. Secret Scarlet says:

    That guy's voice was soothing. XD

  84. Menaba White says:

    dear god why is that man's tie tucked into his belt

  85. Gabor Kovacs says:

    Still it's too superstitious for me. I mean whatever floats their boat, but I will stick with methodological naturalism. Much much better than Islam or Christianity but still a lie.

  86. Saizen says:

    Once I'm done with the military, I'm moving to Japan. Dont really care about the rumored racism for foriegners.

  87. Trollioli says:

    I'm more offended by the shape of your keyboard. What the heck is that monstrosity?

  88. 2010schelle says:

    This was very informative. I'm going to Japan for the first time in 5 weeks and I hesitated about doing those things at a jinja, I didn't want to seem disrespectful or just doing it for the likes. Thank you!

  89. Mahd animations says:

    Did you read QURAN

  90. estu putra says:

    The purification of the shinto looks like the wudhu in islam. Islam do the wudhu before entering the mosque and before the praying.

  91. Derek Placeholder says:

    Seems like "fairy" would be the closest English analogue of "kame".

    … is his tie tucked into his pants? Is that something people do?

  92. Giant Dad says:

    Torii Gates 😮

  93. 2tedros says:

    Sorry, there is no God (with capital G ) and plural at that: but there are. gods !

  94. Gnuling says:

    What's up with the points (diaeresis) on the e in Hatsumōdë (14:22)?

  95. Elouj Time Reaver says:

    May I spend time in the Ginja without giving an offering?

  96. The Entropyst says:

    he didn't get japanese instead of british dude just to explain about shinto because japanese discard some english vowels in their hiragana, katakana and kanji languages. Which in term makes it easy to understand in english language.

  97. The Entropyst says:

    but you must obey left hand rule as per buddhisam left circle in clock wise diraection around stupa or mountain is authenticate or allowed.

  98. Amanda L. says:

    I love Torii they are so gorgeous 😍

  99. Guesty says:

    Noragami is just… I love it so much i cant explain lol

  100. Rue M says:

    And this is why Japan is peaceful and safe🙌.

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