It is assumed that shintoosjapan’s ancient indigenous religion. Certain places like strange rocks, waterfalls and mountains were regarded as sacred or the abode of spirits before buddhism entered japan and these places developed into shinto shrines, which are around 100000 in number.
Shinto shrines and buddhist temples are seen in every japanese city, town and village. Buddhist temples are mainly concerned with one or more kami(spirit entities) for the benefit of the people such as healing , educational success and protection from accident.
Shinto and buddhism are not two separate with different groups of followers; they represent complementary aspects of the religious life of most japanese people.
The kami is understood as local manifestations of the buddha and bodhisattves, an eclectic mix of buddhist ,taoist and confucian ideas . Priests at yoshida shrine in kyoto interpreted kami as being inner spiritual qualities . Since 1868 , shinto shrines have been administered separately from the buddhist temples and today these are independent religious bodies on exactly the same level as any buddhist, Christian or nem religious organization in japan.
At special festival times such as new year, more than 80%of japanese population makes a first visit to a shintoshrine . They do not think that they are doing anything religious but rather a customary or traditional visit, at the same time visitors buy amulets at the shrines to invoke the protection of the kami for the coming year and many take the opportunity to be ritually purified in a simple ceremony performed by a shrine priest. Shinto ideas have drawn on a variety of sources- mainly buddhism
Confucianism and taoism – as well as local legends and oral traditions . For the followers of shinto , qualities of purity, honesty and sincerity are very sacred.
Shinto is a part of ordinary life in japan and 80% of japan's 125 million people participate at least occasionally in shinto rites With a hope to get a little bit of extra help from the kami.
The well being of the people can be achieved by offering prayers to kamis (spirit entities ), which should be part of daily life , or at least occasional visits to shinto shrines.