Shinto

Shinto – Japanese religion with a complex history of engagement with Buddhism, folk practice, and imperial and international politics. Irit Averbuch identifies as shamanic a dance, accompanied by drums, cymbals, flutes, and songs, that induces a trance and invites kami, powerful other-than-human persons (perhaps “mysteries”), to possess the increasingly frenzied dancer. Stuart Picken suggests that such Kagura, ceremonial dances, might be best understood as chinkon, ceremonial pacifications of vengeful spirits. He also provides two other aspects of Shinto practices that might be considered shamanic: miko, entranced female mediums through whom kami elect to speak, and shugenja, ascetic purification in Shugendo. Picken also notes that there is speculation that the first empresses were shamans.

SOURCE:

Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007

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