6. Polytheist religions

6.3. Shinto

Shinto is an ancient Japanese religion, closely tied to nature, which recognizes the existence of various "Kami", nature deities. The first two deities, Izanagi and Izanami, gave birth to the Japanese islands and their children became the deities of the various Japanese clans. One of their daughters, Amaterasu (Sun Goddess), is the ancestress of the Imperial Family and is regarded as the chief deity. All the Kami are benign and serve only to sustain and protect. They are not seen as separate from humanity due to sin because humanity is "Kami's Child." Followers of Shinto desire peace and believe all human life is sacred. They revere "musuhi", the Kami's creative and harmonizing powers, and aspire to have "makoto", sincerity or true heart. Morality is based upon that which is of benefit to the group.
shinto gods
There are "Four Affirmations" in Shinto:
—1) Tradition and family: the family is the main mechanism by which traditions are preserved.
—2) Love of nature: nature is sacred and natural objects are to be worshipped as sacred spirits.
—3) Physical cleanliness: they must take baths, wash their hands, and rinse their mouth often.
—4)"Matsuri": a festival which honors the spirits.

Sacred Writings: The Kojiki, The Nihongo

Created from three joined tomoe, the mitsudomoe is a popular symbol in Japan.