Creation In The Shinto Religion
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The Japanese religion of Shintoism supports a creation story that revolves around the activities of the kami. The kami are remembered as a group of ancient deities or gods. Shintoism also more generally uses the term "kami" to refer to supernatural spiritual essences that can be found throughout the natural world, such as in mountains and streams. The important names in the creation story of the Shinto Religion are:
The Gods of the Shinto Religion
Two kami named Izanagi and Izanami married. Their union resulted in Izanami's pregnancy. She gave birth first to the Japanese islands. These islands were believed to be the home of the planet's first people. The Japanese then worshipped the kami as their gods.
Izanami also gave birth to a series of kami children. The most important was Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun. Amaterasu is the most powerful god in the Shinto pantheon. Amaterasu is believed to be the mother of the Japanese royal line of rulers, which led to the rules of Japan being regarded as gods in the years prior to World War II. Amaterasu's status makes Shintoism unique as the one major religion that regards a female being as its most powerful deity.
Susano and Creation
Another important kami child was Amaterasu's brother, Susano. Susano is also a part of the creation myth. Susano travelled from heaven to visit the earth and ended up wandering for several years. He helped to make the earth hospitable for human beings by slaying an evil serpent.
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