Ko-Shintō (古神道) refers to the original animism of Jōmon period
Japan which is the alleged basis of modern Shinto. The search for
Koshintō began with Restoration
Shinto in the Edo period.
Some movements which claim to have discovered this primeval way of
thought are Oomoto, Izumo-taishakyo, and Shinrikyō.
The Sino-Japanese word ko (古) means "ancient or old"; shin (神)
from Chinese shen, means "spiritual force" or simply "spirit", often
translated as "deity" or "god"; and tō (道) from Chinese Tao, means
"The Way". Thus
Koshintō literally means the "Ancient Way of the
Gods". The term
Shinto itself originated in the
6th century (to
distinguish it from continental ideas such as
being introduced), so paradoxically, the reconstructed Koshintō
predates any use of the word Shinto.
2 History of
3 See also
5 Further reading
6 External links
The following is deduced from studying the language of the
Nihon Shoki which does not appear in any Chinese philosophy:
In Koshintō, the present world or utsushiyo is put in contrast to the
eternal world or tokoyo. All individuals possess a tamashii, meaning a
mind, heart, or soul. A tamashii without a body is called a mitama.
Those whose tamashii has the nature of kami are called mikoto.
In the Age of the Kami, or Kamiyo, the Earth was ruled by kami, whose
forms were akin to humans, but had pure hearts and spoke in the
language of kotodama.
There are no records of "pure"
Koshintō in early Japanese literature.
By the time Japan was producing literature, its native religion had
already intermixed with
Taoism and Buddhism. Medieval development
Shinto was integrated into Buddhist symbology.
Koshintō research began at the same time as examinations into Early
Buddhism. In this era, Japan's shrine rituals were being "purified" of
their religious nature and turned into national forms, a process
State Shinto today. Religionists began looking for the origin
of these forms in a primitive "nature religion". Early folklorists
Kunio Yanagita were also seeking a purely Japanese tradition.
Onisaburo Deguchi, the founder of Oomoto, was an extremely influential
Koshinto researcher in the Imperial period. He influenced nearly all
modern Koshinto lines except for that of Takuma Hisa. Such research
continues today and is often connected with aikido and other martial
Ainu people#Religion, another indigenous religion of Japan
^ Breen, John and Mark Teeuwen,
Shinto in Historical Perspective,
Routledge Curzon (2000), ISBN 978-0-7007-1172-7
^ 『(別冊歴史読本) 古神道・神道の謎』
Kornicki, Peter and I.J. McMullen (Ed), Religion in Japan: Arrows to
Heaven and Earth, Cambridge University Press, (1996),
Shinto organisation f