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Japanese Kami: A Look at Shintoism Beliefs

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Shintoism beliefs form the basis of a religion practiced in Japan and in some Japanese communities around the world. The "shinto," meaning "way of the gods," revolves around the belief that spiritual powers exist in nature. And, those powers are called "kami."

What Constitutes Japanese Kami?


Adherents to Shintoism beliefs view any and all natural objects that are extraordinary as kami. For example, the majestic mount Fuji is a kami. Great lakes and rivers also figure on the list of Japanese kami. Even important and powerful people such as the emperors of Japan (except for one) are kami. Are these kami ruled by some supreme spiritual power? It is believed that they are.

Amaterasu, Japanese Sun Goddess


Followers of Shintoism beliefs also hold that Amaterasu, is the sun goddess, and ruler of all Japanese kami, keeper of the Japanese people, and symbol of Japanese unity. It is said that she is the mother of the emperors of the nation, the creator of the rice patches, creator of the art of weaving, mother of the cultivation of wheat, and even of silk worms. In other words, she is sovereign over all the spirits (kami) of the world.

Unanswered Questions about Shintoism Beliefs


If all that is said about the sun goddess, Amaterasu, and Japanese kami is true then there should exist at least some type of proof of these teachings. The following is a slightly modified excerpt from our article on the African goddess of the sea, Yemanya. The same questions can be asked in the case of questioning Shintoism beliefs and teachings about Japanese kami:

"If Amaterasu is the supreme spiritual power, ruler of all other spirits in nature, shouldn't she then understand ALL things about nature? Yes, she should. But, are there any scriptures that have been inspired by her--scriptures that prove that she possesses divine wisdom and understanding? As far as we know, no such scriptures exist.

The biblical scripture of Isaiah 40:22, written more than 2,000 years ago, teaches that the earth is spherical. There were no telescopes in those days so people thought that Earth was flat. The scriptures of Isaiah were inspired by the God of Israel, Creator of ALL things, and NOT by Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun.

The biblical scripture of Leviticus 17:11 says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood...." Life cannot be sustained if there is too much blood loss. This is a perfect teaching of biology. In Ecclesiastes 3:14 we have the first law of thermodynamics, also known as the law of the conservation of matter. The biblical scripture of Job 30:5-6 teaches that there were cave men in ancient times. It is quite evident that Shintoism beliefs regarding the wisdom of Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, are not even comparable with the wisdom of the God of Israel, whose name is Christ Jesus. Why did Amaterasu NOT teach these things about nature to those who believed in her? If she is the supreme being over all of the spirits in nature, she should know ALL about nature, and its spirits, Japanese kami.

Ecclesiastes 1:6-7 describes the circulation of wind and the waters of the earth as accurately as a meteorologist! Dinosaurs are described in the book of Job, and the passages of Genesis 22:17 and Jeremiah 33:22 state that the stars of the heavens cannot be counted. There is no technology that can tell scientists how many stars are in space. The scriptures of Genesis 1:11-12, 1:21, and 1:25 give an actual definition of biogenesis. Does Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, know these things? The Lord of Israel knows all of them. On what sure foundation can Shintoism beliefs be based? If Amaterasu does not know nature, who is to say that there really are Japanese kami over whom she supposedly rules?

The passages of Psalm 135:7, Jeremiah 10:13, Job 36:27-29, Ecclesiastes 1:7, and Isaiah 55:10 speak on hydrology, flawlessly describing evaporation of water, precipitation, lightening, and the circulation of the waters of the earth. This is just a small sampling of the wisdom of the God of Israel. Can the same thing be said about Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun?"

The God of Israel in Japan?


Unlike Amaterasu, who, according to Shintoism beliefs, is said to be the guardian of the Japanese people, the God of Israel, sent his Son to die on the cross for the salvation of ALL people. Although the term "Israel" refers to the descendants of Abraham, it also refers to any and everyone who is a believer in, and worshiper of the true and living God in whose Son is the only salvation for a person regardless of his or her national roots.

Questions About God?


If you are curious about what it means to receive the God of Israel as your God, but have questions, please do not hesitate to ask them. Simply scroll down to the form at the end of this content to start a conversation about this subject or to participate in one that has already begun.

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