East Asian Mythology: China and Japan

The Japanese Buddhist and Shinto Pantheons

Is mythology alive in Japan today?

Shrines and temples venerating Buddhist and Shinto mythological figures are common in Japan. If the people tend to be secular, they also visit such temples and shrines for cultural or nationalistic purposes and, in some cases to pray for assistance in various passages of life. The Grand Shrine to Amaterasu at Ise, for example, is a much-visited pilgrimage site, and the priestess of the shrine must be a member of the imperial family, that is, for fundamentalist believers, a descendant of the great goddess.


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