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Questions about Shinto/Christian Wedding 2006/3/7 06:26
My J-GF and I have briefly spoke of getting married someday and she said she wants a Shinto and Christian wedding,,
Two weddings? Is this normal?
If we were to one day get married, my family of course will go to Japan for it, but I do not know much about Shinto weddings (only seen pictures). How religious is it, I mean, my mother and grandmother for example are hard core Christians and if there is any thing Buddist about it, I know they will be very disapproving and may not show up. (By the way, my J-GF is a non-practicing Buddist).
Is there such thing as a non-religious Shinto wedding?
Any info, suggestions, ideas...Thanks!
by Night Owl  

... 2006/3/7 11:02
No, there is no such thing as a non-religious Shinto wedding. How about having a Shinto wedding in Japan without your parents and a Christian wedding in your home country with your parents?
by Uji rate this post as useful

agree with Uji 2006/3/7 11:23
I agree with Uji; you should have two weddings. That's what my friends did too.

A Shinto ceremeony doesn't have anything to do with Buddism either. Different religions!

Nevertheless, many people have Shinto weddings or Christian weddings whatever religion they practice. Or is that because they don't actually practice.
by liaison rate this post as useful

wedding 2006/3/7 11:38
Does your girlfriend mean that she wants a Christian style wedding that is very common now but is a style only and not affiliated with any denomination? If so then that can be arranged at most hotels. If she wants a church wedding then you have to abide by the guidelines of what that church requires you to do, such as attending marriage preparation classes.

Also if you have a wedding in a church why would it be necessary to have one in a Shinto shrine or vice versa?
by jj rate this post as useful

Forget the Christian wedding... 2006/3/7 13:45
...that I understand.
It's the Shinto wedding I am very unfamilier with.
How much does religion play in the wedding itself.
Can changes be made by the couple to suit them as can be done with Christian weddings?
Can anyone tell me or direct me to a site to explain from beginning to end what takes place?
by Night Owl rate this post as useful

Japan and religion 2006/3/7 14:53
Shinto is a religion. A Shinto wedding (obviously) is proceeded by a Shinto priest and is all about religious rituals and recieving the Shinto god's blessing.

But a lot of people in Japan don't care much about religion, so a lot of hard core Buddists or hard core Christians attend Shinto weddings. And a lot of couples do both Shinto ceremony and Christian ceremony due to many sircumstances, just like a lot of Japanese people get married in Shinto, die in Buddism and go to Christian schools.

You have to understand the Japanese way of facing religion if you're going to marry one.

As mentioned, your option is to do the Shinto wedding ceremony without your folks, or to do a NON-RELIGIOUS ceremony in Japan if your gf doesn't mind that. A non-religious ceremony (obviously) can be done in any style (Kimonos, sake, you name it. It's up to you), except that you won't be recieveing holy blessings during the ceremony.
by Uco rate this post as useful

PS 2006/3/7 14:56
The Religion section of this very site will get you started on learning about the basics of Japanese culture.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Thank you Uco 2006/3/7 15:33
Your response was very helpful.
I also found several other sights that explained it to me and alos helped me understand the Shinto religion, I think the Shinto wedding will not be a problem with my family.
by Night Owl rate this post as useful

Shinto ceremony 2006/3/9 01:07
I had a Shinto ceremony and the ceremony takes place in front of the kami or God/spirit which is enshrined in that Shinto shrine. During the ceremony your wife and you together will read out a message in Japanese provided to you by the shrine in which your promise in front of this kami to take care of your better half. I had my ceremony in the beautiful shrine of Shiogama and the message started something like this "kakemakumo kashikoki, shiogama no oogami no mae..." (In front of the Shiogama kami ...)
To make it a bit easier for your hard core Christian relatives, it would be best to take care to pick a shrine that has less religious overtones. The kami enshrined in the Shiogama shrine was the kami who gave the use of salt to the people of Japan for instance. Explain that it is just a blessing that you are receiving and that you don't "join" the Shinto religion.
by Kappa rate this post as useful

A question about Shinto 2006/6/16 03:04

I moderate an Asian/"White" Discussion forum. A member of our group, an American gentleman, claims that Shintoism is a religion of racial supremacy. He claims that it recognizes the Japanese people as being supreme to all others.

I am sure that many supremacist ideologies exist in different communities. But I have never heard anything of the sort being associaed with Shinto. Can someone please explain?

He considers himself an authority on this subject, but I believe he is mistaken.

Thanks in advance!
by Draconisz rate this post as useful

... 2006/6/16 12:06
Shinto comes in many forms and some extreme wings of it are, indeed, nationalistic and supremacist, just like the extreme groups in other religions of this world.

But to call Shinto (or any other religion) a "religion of racial supremacy" just because there are some extremists who interpret and abuse the religion in such a way, is extremist in itself. The American gentleman in your forum sounds like he is trying to flame. Or maybe he is a militant atheist?
by Uji rate this post as useful

State shintoism 2006/6/16 16:46
The American gentleman in your forum sounds like he is trying to flame. Or maybe he is a militant atheist?
I'm a "militant" atheist and I guess that the American gentleman is a gentleman who just had a look at the pre-WWII Shinto and since that fitted his agenda, he didn't look any further. I believe it is a prejudice against Japan rather than a prejudice against religion. State Shintoism as it existed then was increasingly used in the advertising of nationalists' popular sentiments, but it was a rather recent invention. To quote wikipedia: In 1890, the "Imperial Rescript on Education" was passed, and students were required to ritually recite its oath to "offer yourselves courageously to the State" as well as protect the Imperial family. The practice of Emperor Worship was also further spread by distributing imperial portraits for esoteric veneration. All of these practices were used to fortify national solidarity through patriotic centralized observance at shrines. This use of Shinto gave to Japanese patriotism a special tint of mysticism and cultural introversion, which became more pronounced as time went on.

Now we come to the difficult part :-) With the economical rise of South Korea and China and the military threat of North Korea, we also see a rise of nationalism in Japan of today. With the discussion around the succession of the throne, whether or not Aiko-sama should succeed her father, we see the remands of the Emperor Worship theories being brought up by certain politicians. Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine, the centre of State Shintoism before the war, is often interpreted as his support for Japanese nationalists.

However, to get back to the original question, I think that Shinto was mis-used by the nationalists to support their ideas of superiority and their wish to create colonies just like Europe had. However, Shinto is much larger and the current Shinto is quite different from the State Shintoism that only existed for a relatively short while. To judge current Shinto upon State Shintoism is silly.
by Kappa rate this post as useful

is shinto a reiligon 2008/2/23 15:06
Shinto is a religion. A Shinto wedding is proceeded by a Shinto priest and is all .... To judge current Shinto upon State Shintoism is silly. ...
by mr.king rate this post as useful

weddings 2008/2/23 18:45
Many Japanese couples have weddings in 2 religions and I think that this is a lovely idea. In my native country (in Europe)only weddings celebrated at city hall are legal but many people also have a religious ceremony, either the same day or another day. When in Japan I pray in shines and temples as my extended family has always been very open to various religions. Some family members are Protestants, other Catholics,and they attend masses in the other church every so often as a mark of respect.Of course this may not pay in the end if God turns out to be an atheist.
by Red Frog rate this post as useful

Religion in Japan 2008/2/24 15:22
I was married at a shrine in Japan, but would not consider it a religious ceremony whatseover. A ceremony at a shrine is really just an opportunity to experience Japan's cultural heritage.

Religion is often an enormous source of confusion, and misconceptions about Japan. First, Japan isn't really a religious country, and in the western sense of the word, Shinto isn't a religion at all, but a cultural "tradition" in Japan. There simply isn't the standard system of practice, faith or worship that you see with Christianity or other religions. Shinto is something akin to Greek or Norse Mythology, and therefore isn't something anybody actually "believes" in. Nobody in Japan believes the sun is a god called Amaterasu that was once hiding in a cave, anymore than modern Greeks believe Zeus is the source of thunder.

Similarly, Buddhism isn't exactly a religion in the western sense either, and few Japanese would be considered "practicing" Buddhists today. But if you were to ask Japanese about religion in Japan, they would likely respond with "Well, I guess Japan is Buddhist and Shinto", but without having any understanding of the profound level of meaning religion has to people in other parts of the world.
by Inago rate this post as useful

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