Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pop. Culture in Shinto

Being an important aspect of Japanese culture, it makes sense that Shinto would play a huge part in pop culture in Japan. Aspects of Shinto are scattered all across anime and manga, and characters within these programs even make their way onto various items used for worship in Shinto. It is clear that creators all across Japan respect and admire Shinto culture.

Themes of Shinto, such as kami, are often found within anime and manga. For example, the series Dream Saga tells the story of the Earth being destroyed and recreated whenever it is polluted by humans. It features the Shinto God of the sea and storms, Susanoo, and Amaterasu, the sun goddess. The manga Urusei Yatsura is a parody of Amaterasu being locked into the Ama-no-Iwato cave. Aside from these examples, there are several other series that use these themes.

Image result for shinto in anime
Anime Characters Visiting a Temple
(Series: Lucky Star)
Characters within anime and manga often visit temples, and are shown giving prayers and wishing for better days ahead. This often occurs on or near New Years, and is done to give blessings for the new year. Often times, an entire episode or chapter is set aside for this visit, and it often displays important aspects of their culture, such as wearing yukata and receiving a fortune for the new year.

Anime characters are also displayed on items such as ema, wooden plaques with prayers written on them. These are often sold at local shrines. Due to the popularity of anime and manga within the Japanese culture, these are often very popular and loved by members of society.

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