Shintoism

(Chinese: shin, god; tao, way)

The original national religion of Japan, with millions of adherents. It has neither dogmas nor sacred writings, and is a compound of pantheism and the worship of ancestors and heroes. It teaches that all nature is controlled by gods, from whom the first emperor sprang; hence the mikado is the descendant of the deity, and is the high-priest. Its moral code can be reduced to these principles: follow the inspiration of your own heart, and obey the emperor. In A.D. 552, Buddhism was united with Shintoism, and the fusion, known as Rio-bu-Shinto, was the national religion until 1868, when a revolution separated the two.

New Catholic Dictionary

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