Religion find religion everywhere, playing a role in

Religion is as big and vast as our planet, as deep and mysterious as the sea. It can spread like a wildfire, leaving nothing but devastation, or it can be a never-ending bliss of happiness. Imagine for just a moment, that someone as ordinary as you or me, were completely oblivious to any sort of religion. Were to go traveling around the world. If one were to do that, then come back to their normal lives, they will come back with knowledge about the cultures surrounding them. They will have been moved and influenced by religion. One may be unaware of the change that has impacted them. Whether knowing or not, religion is powerful. Religion is what most cultures are based upon.. Just look around, anyone can find religion everywhere, playing a role in our everyday lives. By adding new cultures and races into the picture, it is essentially adding to the melting pot. Now just dig a little deeper and you will strike the goldmine in religion, now that’s the folklore. That’s the real gold. Whether for learning of a religion, maybe for the education of a historical past of a culture. Lastly, maybe for the understanding of a culture now and their new traditions compared to how they use to be done. If you are looking to understand a culture of a religion may be a race then folklores are the place for you.
I found this out myself when reading the Japanese folklore. discovering that religion is a very important thing in places like Japan, where you pray daily to your ancestors or whenever to need extra protection. Not just that but you pray to the spirits to bring them peace and bring you happiness. In Kyoto and other places in Japan, they have shrines for nature and all the spirits or Kimi. not just that but their religion has intermixed with how they act as a nation and as a race. It’s where they get their life morals and it helps create a social norm. It’s quite beautiful. First let’s start with this question, what is Shinto? Well, there are actually a lot of names for this religion. So amongst the other names here are the most popular Shinto, Shintoism, and Kimi-No-Michi. When I started reading them I found out things like most stories happen in Kyoto due to the fact that was where the emperor was so it was a major place and that was near some major water source. Or how about Shintoism and the temples. For example, most places used an irori but the Shinto temples used an open-air bonfire, that they only lit on certain days. In a lot of the folklore not only did they pray for help from their ancestors but to the nature spirits or the Kimi. Shinto is Japan’s ethnic religion. Shintoism (Shinto) can be dated all the way back to the early 6th century AD. Shintos main focus is Kimi. Kimi can mean many things such as spirits, essences, or gods. Also could mean rocks, trees, rivers, animals and even people. It is said that some people may even be able to possess the nature of Kimi. Kimi is not only religious but also a recurring motif in Japanese folklore. For example in the story “the dragon-shaped plum tree”. In the story, an older man has a grand plum tree that for generations his family has been caring for it. Well, one day the emperor sees this grand tree and wants it for his own garden and so the emperor sends a golden-tongued samurai to go and get the tree from the old man. At first, the samurai had no luck and could not get the old man to give nor sell the tree, then he kind of tricks the old man into giving up the tree. Later as the old man goes home that night the old man’s wife accused him of cheating, saying she knew and how did he land such a young one at his age. Confused he asked his wife what she meant and she said the young lady on the porch crying. The old man goes to see what she is talking about and he sees the young girl. Asking why are you crying she states I’m the plum tree you are giving away, even though I’ve been here with your family for generations. See the girl is the dragon-shaped plum tree. She’s a Kimi motif. This type of motif is in almost every popular Japanese folklore. The spirit motif or the Kimi motif is normally connected to nature which is a huge part of the Shinto religion. For example “The Memorial Cherry Tree”. This story is about a tree spirit getting its revenge on a samurai who went and cut of its branch. Due to the anger of the tree to calm it down the emperor gave the cherry tree a memorial or a shrine. This is how Religion plays a huge effect on the Japanese culture in the past and today, and Folklore.


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