Tag Archives: shintoism

Shinto Absurdities

shinto temple

1. You are Izanami, the Japanese creator goddess. You died giving birth to the fire god, and your husband has come to the underworld to save you. You ask him not to look at you, while you talk to the gods of the underworld, but he accidentally does and sees your flesh has rotted. You want to come back to the land of the living, so how will you react?

A. Keep your cool. Finish talking to the gods of the underworld as you promised, and return to the land of the living with the man who loves you. Create lots of babies and islands, and have stories to tell with gods and humans. Shinto is all true, so there are definitely plenty of magical objects that can improve your looks or health.

B. Chase your husband through the underworld trying to murder him for peeping on you when you were vulnerable. Promise when he escapes to kill a thousand Japanese every day. Force your husband to cover Hades with a rock, permanently sealing you off from the land of the living. Make your husband into a widow and become his arch-enemy, and the enemy of everything you tried to create.

If you choose B, Shinto will make perfect sense to you.

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Santa Muerte & shinigami

There’s a syncretic folk religion that is catching on in Mexico and America. It’s a cult devoted to

 Santa Muerte who is depicted like a Grim Reaper wielding a scythe.

Popularity has shot up because followers believe she’s done miracles. Her mythology isn’t set, but some suppose she is some kind of fallen archangel. The followers are predominately women in places that have become disillusioned with the institutionalized Catholic church.

Wikipedia lists her under folk saints – popular fictional saints that certain Catholics believe in. They are basically mini-gods, not unlike ancestral Gods or Japanese Kami.

Naturally the Catholic church has tried to stamp it out in Mexico, and some vandals recently smashed a statue to her in a Texas cementary. And yet with the violence in Mexico her grisly following has shot up by several million, and immigrants have begun to bring her to America. So if you see a plastic statue to a grim reaper in the future, it might actually be a deity rather than cheap Halloween decor.

P.S.

Shinigami in Manga:

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