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Shinto Shrines

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Traditional Culture

Shinto Shrines

The jinja, or shrine, is where believers in Japan's indigenous religion, Shintô, go to worship. Shintô originated in ancient peoples' fears of demons and supernatural powers, and their worship of these. It has no written body of doctrine, but it is Japan's main religion and is practised widely through ceremonies and festivals.
Shrine architecture
The main sanctuary of a shrine is called the Shinden or Honden. There are also ancillary buildings such as the Haiden, or outer hall, and the Hômotsuden, or treasury, but these are not arranged according to any particular specified layout.

There are many lucky charms and other such objects to be seen at a shrine. Some are used to determine the will of the gods and some as a way of communicating with the gods and asking for their protection.

The chief priest of a shrine is called the Kannushi. He is responsible for all the religious observances and the running of the shrine. The young girl assistants in a shrine are called Miko.

In ancient times, it was believed that people died when the soul left the body. To try and call it back, they used a form of magic called Kagura, which involved dancing and playing flutes and drums. This became formalized and developed into Noh and Kyôgen.