Shinto and Anime

The word Shinto in Japanese means the way of the gods. It is an adoption of the Chinese word Shendao 神道. However, in Japanese, the kanji 神 is pronounced “shin” or “kami”, which means spirit or god and the kanji 道pronounced “tou” Japanese andkyoto-inari dao in Chinese, and means philosophical path or field of study.

The most ancient recorded use of the word Shindo or Shinto dates from the second half of the 6th century. The word kami in Japanese can be translated to English as spirits, god or essences; in this context, the word essence refers to the energy that is in every one of us and all around us in the universe.

The interesting thing is that, in Japanese, kami is considered to refer not only to a god or divinity, but also to the sacred essence or energy that we can find in different forms of life in our world, such as trees, plants, rivers, rocks, people, certain places, mountains, ecosystems and, of course, animals.

So, basically anyone can be said to possess the energy or essence of kami, since kami, people, plants, animals and nature are not separate entities, but rather coexist in harmony and balance, sharing the one and same world.

So the complexity of how we are interconnected with each other and with our surroundings has also a lot to do with philosophy, and the many questions that philosophers have posed and pondered over for many centuries; just like in the animes that editors have mentioned. This might even get you thinking and wondering about adopting new strategies to honor that connection by respecting the world we live in, the nature and all the beings that are a part of it, in order to achieve a life of harmony and happiness. The universe will give back positive vibes to those who honor it.

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