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Shinto: The Kami Way

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  526 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Shinto, the indigenous faith of the Japanese people, continues to fascinate and mystify both the casual visitor to Japan and the long-time resident. This introduction unveils Shinto's spiritual characteristics and discusses the architecture and function of Shinto shrines. Further examination of Shinto's lively festivals, worship, music, and sacred regalia illustrates ...more
Kindle Edition, 128 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Tuttle Publishing (first published 1962)
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кай жук It discusses shrines and the procedure of worship in great detail.…moreIt discusses shrines and the procedure of worship in great detail. (less)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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John
Sokyo Ono's The Kami Way provides a decent introduction to Shinto for Westerners. At 128 pages, the book is extremely concise, and it feels even shorter than that in the reading. It is meant only as introductory text, so naturally, criticism of its brevity or incompleteness is not really fair; but while those already familiar with Shinto may learn a new thing or two, they will not likely find themselves with a deeper or enriched understanding of the kami no michi.

A weakness of the book is its
...more
Nimue Brown
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only prior sense of Shinto came from watching Miyazaki films, realising this is a creator who is drawing on a tradition, and that I want to know more about the tradition. This book was purchased on spec, and is the first thing I’ve read on the subject.

In many ways it’s a dry and academic little book, but it is packed with information. It provided me with some very interesting surprises, and I have come to the tentative conclusion that Shinto makes a very interesting comparison with Druidry.

...more
Matthew Cirilli
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent introductory text for Shinto. The last chapter is the most interesting because it actually gets into the real belief system. Other chapters involve a lot of information about shrines and the historical background of the religion.
Nicholas Pozo
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Although the writing is a little dry at times, and often becomes a little too encyclopaedic, this is still a worthwhile introduction to Shinto. The style is more a product of the broad ground the book tries to cover in such a short space.

The Kami Way covers in broad strokes the most important aspects of Shinto, which is what you want from an introduction to any topic. However, I found that in many aspects Ono seems to hold back from actually engaging with the real substance of the topic. It's
...more
Edward
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is disappointingly brief, but understandably so. It's intended as a primer on Shinto, and as such assumes less than basic knowledge on the part of the reader. Shinto itself is also difficult to condense or summarize, as the author explains. It's the kind of subject that will either result in an easily digestible beginner's pamphlet or a dense, university level thesis delving into intricacies that only an expert could understand.

A large part of the difficulty is actually rooted in
...more
Michael Havens
Apr 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in Japan
Professor Sokyo Ono's 'Shinto: The Way of the Kami' is an outstanding resource over the indigenous Japanese religion of Shintoism. It covers in brief everything from its history, shrine architecture, belief systems,rituals, and holidays, and its historical and cultural relevance to Japanese culture. It must be emphasized that this book is for the layman and not for the student of Theology or Asian History or Culture. It is meant as an overview only, as the only 112pages attest to.
The only
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CJ Spear
It was short and to the point, any longer and I probably would have had difficulty finishing it. The author provides an excellent introduction to the Shinto faith, but he does tend to stick to the technical aspects. He also focuses heavily on the religion during the Meiji Restoration, which is fine, but I would have liked to know more about the origins. I don't think much is known about the origins unfortunately.

Another strike against the book is just its age. It was written in 1962 and Japan
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Michail Dim. Drakomathioulakis
Greek text follows the English one/ Ἑλληνικὸ κείμενο ἀκολουθεῖ τὸ Ἀγγλικὸ

This book serves as a great introduction to Shintō [神道, also known in English as Shintoism], the traditional and indigenous faith of the Japanese people. The Japanese word Shintō [神道] can be translated as the Way [道 / dō] of the Gods [神 / kami, also pronounced as shin].

The book outlines the basic Shintō mythology and its sources, and it roughly presents the concept of kami [神, "gods" or "deities" or "spirits" or deified
...more
Luke
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it
If you're interested in Japan, you're probably aware of Shinto imagery. Even if you've never been, even if you're not really that interested in religion, you'll know some of its signifiers. Red gates, either in profusion or alone in the sea. Trees tied with paper. Clean temples and guardian animals.



You just don't know it yet.

Reading Ono's Shinto: The Kami Way was my attempt to try and underpin my personal interest in the religion –as an observer, rather than a participant –with some knowledge.
...more
Jerry Wall
Shinto, religion or philosophy?
Shinto defined as the way of the Gods. Kami might be classed as prophet in other languages.
Kami is what you seek in living. p. xi
Kami is an honorific to noble, sacred spirits, which implies a sense of adoration for their virtues and authority. p.6
Torii gateway to a shrine from tori (bird) and i, to be means bird perch. p. 28
Book concentrates on physical setup of shrine for Shinto, most of work has to do with physical plant.
Shinto shrines have no relation with the
...more
Arno Mosikyan
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
"
Originally Chinese (Shêntao ) in a Confucian context it was used both in the sense of the mystic rules of nature, and to refer to any path leading to a grave.

Unlike Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, Shinto has neither a founder, such as Gautama the Enlightened One, Jesus the Messiah, or Mohammed the Prophet; nor does it have sacred scriptures, such as the sutras of Buddhism, the Bible, or the Qur'an (Koran).

In its general aspects Shinto is more than a religious faith. It is an amalgam of
...more
Shannon Roberts
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
"In its general aspects Shinto is more than a religious faith. It is an amalgam of attitudes, ideas, and ways of doing things that through two millenniums and more have become an integral part of the way of the Japanese people."

This is the second book I've read on Shinto, and it's only increased my fascination. I think this is probably the idea starting point for anybody wanting to understand the history and particular of Shinto--it's got a really nice breakdown of all the elements of a shrine,
...more
Chris Maats
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t find much on the Shinto religion/worldview/culture and then I ran into this little book from the 1960s. It’s a short introduction, not at all poetic or romantic in its style of writing, just an informative explanation from an eminent scholar on the subject. And it does give you a good sense of the historic evolution of Shinto in Japanese society and the bond it forged between the Japanese and the land that surounds them.
Scott Kinkade
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. It's very informative as to the Shinto religion of Japan. I learned a lot from reading it and would recommend it to others looking to expand their knowledge of this fascinating religion. The author touches on various aspects of Shinto, but seems to prefer talking about shrines and how they operate.
Gregski
A good overview. Very brief coverage of major topics like workshop, shrine architecture, festivals, and Shinto’s place in Japanese society. Interesting notes about historical and political changes to Shinto in different eras.
Lee Belbin
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this to be a concise introduction to Shinto. I would have liked a little more on the ceremonies but the potted history, status and influences were interesting. I wondered however how much recent history may have changed the text? I suspect fairly little.
Emily
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
read via the library audio book offering- was a great overview into Shinto and the history behind the religion in Japan.
Michael Swanson
Interesting, but pretty light on insight into the spiritual experience.
Abbie Philpott
A good general overview but I felt it oversimplified a lot of things, but then still discussed them in an overly complicated way.
Borislav Itskov
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a great introduction for anyone who doesn't know a thing about Shinto :)
Jessica
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shinto, the Kami Way "continues to fascinate and mystify the casual visitor to Japan." I found this book a fascinating and mystifying glimpse into the Kami way. I think the Kami would be pleased.
Hansaka
Very Brief.
Also it is more about the state rather than the culture/philosophy of Shintoism.
Jennifer Linsky
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, basic grounding in Shinto, though a bit dated.
James Caldwell
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shinto the Kami Way is a very short, very succinct introduction to the Shinto religion that doesn't cover the mythologies behind the faith, but rather an explanation of the faith itself. It's a very enigmatic religion full of mystery, some of which I'm certain can be explained through further study, much of which I'm certain probably can't.

The author Sokyo Ono, a scholar on Shinto writes: “…even some who are professionally associated with shrines, are unable to state in clear, succinct language
...more
Agathokles
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in Japan
An excellent first introduction to Shinto. It is very comprehensive, and while other people said it was a bit dry at times, I did not experience it as such.

The only thing I really have to note about this is that it limits itself to Shrine Shinto - which while an important part of Shinto does not encompass the whole of it. I would be interested in reading more about the Shinto of the household for example. It goes into the subject a little bit, but not much and not satisfyingly so.

Another
...more
Sunny Shaffner
During two years spent living in Japan, I found that Shinto shrines were some of the most peaceful and enchanted feeling places in the country. They were a way to connect with nature and be surrounded by ancient trees even within a city. The relationship to nature, the beautiful torii gates, and interesting rituals made me want to learn more about Shintoism. I was also fascinated to see Shintoism and Buddhism existing so peacefully side by side and to discover that many Japanese people ...more
Cris N.
This book is pretty good as an introduction to the major Japanese religion known as Shinto and most of its basic ideas. But honestly, it appears as if the author kept everything limited to a general overview and explanations often seem too vague. Its good to get you started if you have not the slightest clue what Shinto is and also have no background in Paganism and Pagan ways of thinking (since Shinto, like other Asian folk religions, is basically a form of Paganism).

However, I have to say
...more
Mandi Barber
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
An excellent introduction to Shinto faith and customs, both contemporary and traditional. This book is incredibly readable, always interesting, and filled with great pictures and illustrations of architecture, ornamentation, and the like.

What I love most about this books is the way it explores not only the "what," but the "why." It's more than a list of customs and festivals. Sokyo Ono explores the origins of many traditions; the influences of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Japanese court life; and
...more
Andrew
Apr 22, 2015 marked it as didn-t-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, religion
There's definitely a difference between academic and, as another reviewer mentioned, encyclopedic. The book is a non scholarly approach to Shinto, at least as far as I read. I think it would be a good book to put on the shelf to refer to, but to just read this all the way through, as short as it is, feels more like a chore then the pursuit of edification. I understand what the writer is saying, but there's nothing to connect to in order to remember any of it. Since this book has been published, ...more
Nurul Lina
A very basic info on A to Z of what have I experienced in Nikko and somewhere other in Japan, recently. It was just, I am regret the book was not there on that time. But now I knew and can relate much things of Japan, including those I have seen in their anime and animation. And now I know why Buddhism there is different than in other country. A good reading.
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“A mirror has a clean light that reflects everything as it is. It symbolizes the stainless mind of the kami, and at the same time is regarded as a sacred symbolic embodiment of the fidelity of the worshipper towards the kami.” 0 likes
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