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Guide To Japanese Historical Periods

Jomon Period

Japan Time Line Edo Period Momoyama Period Muromachi Period Kamakura Period Heian Period Nara Period Asuka Period Kofun Period Yayoi Period Jomon Period

From This Period

Uho-doji (Divine Rainmaking Boy)


The indigenous religion of Japan, Shinto is a form of nature-worship dating back to an unrecorded antiquity. Originally nameless, the Japanese later called this faith "Shinto," or Way of the Gods, in order to distinguish it from imported Chinese thought systems such as Buddhism. In Shintoism, the Japanese worshiped the myriad nature spirits believed to inhabit natural phenomena such as rocks, waterfalls, trees and mountains. Later, under the influence of Buddhism and Confucianism, they also came to revere the spirits of their ancestors. Called kami, these Shinto deities were not originally represented anthropomorphically. Instead, the area where they were believed to be present was demarcated. Later, with the adoption of the highly developed Buddhist artistic tradition prompted Japanese artists to create Shinto paintings and sculpture.