Name: Institution: Course: Date: The Yengishiki (Shintoism) Summary The article is based on beliefs and culture of the Shinto people as manifested through rituals by Yengishiki. Yengishiki uses different types of rituals as a way of expressing the beliefs and cultures of the Shinto people…
The prayers are used in the text to reflect the intertwinement of the spiritual nature and feelings of the Shinto people. In fact, the text begins by a prayer, “I declare in the presence of the sovereign gods of the Harvest…” (“The Yengishiki” par. 1). The article reveals that in Shinto culture, there is no absolute right or wrong and nobody is perfect. The article also shows that Shinto is not a pessimistic faith as they view human beings to be fundamentally good and that evils are caused by evil spirits. From the article, it can also be seen that the main purpose of the majority of rituals used in the text is to keep evil spirits at bay through prayers, purification, and offerings to Kami, their ancestor. The Harvest Rituals The harvest rituals are basically a form of religious rituals of the ancient culture of the Shinto people. The harvest rituals were performed by the Shintos as a way of thanking the gods for enabling them to have a bounty harvest. The culture of the Shinto required that a harvest ritual be celebrated on the fourth day of the second month every year at the office, where people would gather and worship the gods of Shintos. This was also expected to be practices down at the local administrative provinces by chiefs. The text, however, does not reveal who exactly the harvest gods were; instead, they are only specified as Kojiki. It appears that it is a common practice among the Shintos to offer the first fruits obtained from harvest to Kojiki (“The Yengishiki” par. 1). The Ritual for the Wind-Gods The ritual for the wind gods is a form of ritual which was performed by the Shinto people by giving offerings to their god to stop the bad winds and rough waters from destroying their properties and belongings. The rituals are performed alongside prayers declared before the wind god, whom they believe to fulfill his praises at Tatsuta. Unlike in the Harvest ritual, where the first fruits are sacrificed to the gods, here it is five sorts of grains, herbs, and leaves that are offered. Other things offered during the ritual include clothing of all sorts: bright, glittering, soft and coarse (“The Yengishiki” par. 2). Fire Rituals The fire rituals, according to the Shintos, are performed to the gods for purification purposes. They believe that once someone has done wrong, he is supposed to undergo purification before he can be allowed to fit into the society. This is mainly done with the help of the priest as people praise the god at a designated place. The different forms of offerings given include cloths which are bright, soft, and rough as well as other five different things, mainly aquatic things (“The Yengishiki” par. 7). The Ritual for Evil Spirits Shintos believe that evils are the works of the evil spirits. They also believe that diseases and catastrophes are caused by the evil spirit. Therefore, when such happens, a special ritual known as the ritual for the evil spirit is to be performed by giving offerings to the gods so as to chase the evil spirits away from the society. Different forms of offerings were given to gods such as cloths, beer, swords, a horse, and both sweet and bitter herbs, among items (“The Yengishiki” par. 10). The Road-Gods' Ritual This form of ritual is mainly performed in the presence of the priest who recites a prayer to the gods as an ...
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