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Shinto & Buddhism

Discussion in 'Shinto DIR' started by Lord_Vader, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. Lord_Vader

    Lord_Vader Member

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    You know I am really confused now, is Shinto Buddhism or esoteric Japanese teachings. I once meet this Australian guy who studied Ninjutsu in Japan for many years with a few different Ninjutsu families and he always was telling me, that the birth of Ninjutsu was the result of Japanese people who were practicing an esoteric / dark form of Shinto and developed Ninjutsu to protect them self because they were hunted down by the Japanese emperor and his samurais.



    I came across this website which relates to this martial arts and their religious practice, but it lo0oks more to me that they practiced a form of Buddhism, even when you read the books from Stephen K Hayes who was the first white man to be accepted into the secret martial art.



    http://www.geocities.com/yowie_26/18.htm



    So can some one here please shed light on Shinto and its origin and its relationship to Buddhism?



    Lord Vader :bonk:
     
  2. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Certified People sTabber

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    God is in the Rain
    I heard that once. I forget where though.
     
  3. Pardus

    Pardus Proud to be a Sinner.

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    Ninja's were originally chinese and they taught the japanese peasents ways to fight back against the japanese elite.
     
  4. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    I've actually never heard this. But since japanese martial arts (inluding ninpo taijutsu) is so much different than the chinese arts, it's more likely they came from Korean traditions than chinese. However, my understanding is that traditional Ninjutsu looks very much different than todays version. Even the Bujinkan school differs from the Koga Ryu school enough to say that the oral tradition passed down changed much.

    About the religious aspect of it, you can find the "magic" used by the Nin in many different places. Different Shinto, Buddhist, Hindu and Taoist practices. Did it come from one, or them all? Who knows. However, it is most likely it came from Shinto practices. The Nin people were very low class farmers, and would have practiced the local and traditional customs of Japan, and that is Shinto. When the wars broke out in Japan, the Samurai were sent into the mountains to gain High Ground for the battles. But these mountains were the homes of the Nin. So the Nin had to develop their own style of fighting to combat the Samurai. Thus came Ninjutsu.
     
  5. ChrisP

    ChrisP Veteran Member

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    Well this might be a little too exact, but the ninja skills do originate on the main land.
     
  6. Master Vigil

    Master Vigil Well-Known Member

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    Chinese martial arts differ so much to japanese and korean martial arts. Looking at wushu compared to ninjutsu, and there is no correlation. Looking at the Hwa Rang and Tang Soo Do comared to ninjutsu, there is a correlation. And the korean influence on japanese martial arts occurred long before the ninja's flourished in the feudal period. The only problem I have with the ninja's spirituality and "magic" being influenced by anything other than Shinto is the fact that the ninja's were the lowest class of people. They would of had no chance in those times to be familiar with anything other than the local customs, which was shinto. And there is absolutely no reason why their magic and spirituality couldn't have come from Shinto.
     
  7. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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  8. Ukonkivi

    Ukonkivi Member

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    I'm not going to really focus on the Ninja stuff and address the Buddhism and it's relation to Shinto part of your post.

    Shinto is a collection of beliefs that exist in Japan long before the term was around.
    It goes back somewhat to Jomon and even Paleolithic times. And most likely comes from Siberia, in my opinion.

    Then as time when on, China started coming over and establishing influence with Japan.
    And gave them some nifty parts of their own culture, such as the writing system, Kanji, which Japan eventually short handed and gave some changes to. Much like how the Roman Cyril gave writing to the Slavic Russians. And with is came also religious influence, Taoism and Buddhism, especially Buddhism. At first the two were fairly separate, but as time went on, and many people practiced both, Buddhism, which had already strayed much from original Buddhism under Chinese influence, and Shinto, the two had fused together extremely heavily. And so now you will often see Buddhist advertisements include things such as the god Inari and Shintoist include such concepts and Buddhist ideas of the afterlife. Buddhism being heavily influenced by Chinese animism gave Shintoist who also believed in Buddhism several other gods to pay attention to, and Buddhists, to win over the folk believers, take on even more gods, Japanese ones, in the process.

    Most if not all martial arts in Japan has some Chinese influence. Including Ninjutsu.
    Ninja can be seen as basically like a older, Japanese version of our modern day Snipers, Special Ops soldiers, Spies, Assassins, and other more "darker" and "cool" operations that people often like to make movies about.
    Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid is essentially a "ninja". But so is the fictional character Naruto dressed in Orange.

    And here I suppose is where the religion comparison can come in. The more "Naruto", "Wizard-like martial artists" aspect of the Ninja history. Indeed Hollywood style Ninjas are only a BS thing if you don't believe in the mythology. Because the legends essentially do say that ninja had "maho" or "magic" powers. An idea that can be attributed to the animism of Japan.

    And for this, I bring out another Naruto related mention, Jiraiya. Jiraiya is NOT just a Naruto character, whether you believe in him or not, is up to your beliefs. But it's just as likely that he existed at most of the characters in the "Holy Bible". He was said to be a ninja who was able to wield powerful magic, to the point that he could morph into a toad. The same can be said of other Naruto characters, Tsunade, and Orochimaru.

    And while doing deathly acts, these people, like the Samurai, were likely religious to some degree. Both the Ninja and Samurai seem to have some mentioned link to Buddhism.

    But I must say, I know not more than that. And I must say I must surely assume some ninja had favorable attitudes to Shinto, not just Buddhism, as well.
     
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