古神道とは What is Ko-Shinto?
KO-SHINTO (Ancient / Old Shinto) is the indigenous Japanese belief existed before the nationwide influence of rice agriculture, silk production, ironware, as well as foreign origin religions after Buddhism. It is also the abbreviation of Fukko-Shinto which was advocated by Japanese classical scholars during Edo period for reviving Ko-Shinto.
Shinto since Yayoi period is the soul of Japan which finds KAMI from spirituality in all things in the universe.
Eight million (means countless) deities called YAOYORODZU-NO-KAMI are the subject to have the faith in.
Shinto originated from Ko-Shinto of the prehistorical Joumon period which lasted the longest in Japanese history over ten thousand years, in belief of nature, animism, and ancestry.
The different idea of spirituality can be faintly seen in Ko-Shinto from peaceful Joumon period which had almost no archaeological excavation of war weapons or killing traces, versus Shinto after the establishment of rice agriculture.
By Ko-Shinto balancing in between physical world and spiritual world, Ko-Shinto is conducted by Himorogi-style in which Shinto clergy to call down Kami into Kamunabi, the sacred nature divine body, while Shinto is by Chinza style to enshrine Kami in the divine body at the main shrine building which is built in people's community for mankind's convenience.
In Ko-Shinto, Kami in great nature and mankind co-exist, being one side the other, live together in prosperity with no discrimination among people. While Shinto states the blood related matters being Kegare, being disabled person as Kuni-tsu-tsumi (earthy sin), and any actions against rice agriculture and silk production being Ama-tsu-tsumi (heavenly sin), Ko-Shinto does not have that aspect. Joumon period was mainly by hunting and gathering from great nature, treating disabled people equally that they had their role of being storyteller and taking care of children. The dog with the trace of broken bone healed being buried by people proves how Joumon people treated dogs as significant family rather than just the hunter for human and kill once their are unable to hunt.
Ko-Shinto concept of universe, spirit, life and death are based on the divine cycle of great nature.
In both Ko-Shinto and Shinto, there is no doctrine, founder, absolute God which can be seen in major world religions. Based on this tolerance, Shinto is often perceived more as a spirituality, belief, faith, rather than a religion.
Regardless the long history of Shinto, its idea/philosophy is very simple and can be roughly classified into two:
KANNAGARA-NO-MICHI - Deciding whether your actions present beauty or ugliness, based on minding that the SUN is always watching you.
NAKAIMA - Among the time flow from the ancestry, past - current - future, live the best at this moment given to you, to pass the best to the future generations.