BBC In Our Time - Shinto Listening Guide


This is an optional listening guide to help you understand the assigned material. Below you will find questions to consider as you listen. You can find the original audio material by clicking here. There is also a very useful CBC discussion on Shinto with John Nelson here (optional).

[0:10] Introduction – How is the Ise shrine described? How many people in Japan practice Shinto?

[1:12] Important Terms What does Shinto mean? What are kami? You might want to look up the terms “deity” or “deities”, “veneration”, “manifestation”, “transcendent”, “amoral”, and “shamanism”.

[5:39] Shinto & Buddhism – What is the relationship between Shinto and Buddhism, especially when Buddhism arrives in Japan? You might want to look up the terms “emergence”, “imperial”, “indigenous”, and “doctrine”. Note the ways in which Japanese history is affected by China and Korea.

[10:09] What are the “two ways” Shinto responds to Buddhism? You might want to look up the terms “anthropomorphize” and “salvation”.

[11:35] Why doesn’t Buddhism just “take over”? You might want to look up the terms “monotheistic”, “symbiotic”, “guise”, “liberate”, and “ontological”. Note the examples of “relational logic” are given.

[14:40] Texts – What are the Kojiki and Nihonshoki? Look up the terms “sacred” and “revelation”.

[16:42] Significant Kami – Who are Izanagi and Izanami? Who are Amaterasu and Susanoo? How is creation understood in Shinto texts?

[21:48] Beliefs – Are there central beliefs in Shinto? How are the ideas of purity and pollution understood in Shinto? You might want to look up the term “eclectic”.

[23:58] Shrines – How are Shinto shrines described?

[25:53] Rituals – How are Shinto rituals described? Note the meaning of the word matsuri.

[28:58] The Shogun Period – How does Shinto develop in the medieval and pre-modern periods?

[31:57] Meiji Restoration – What is the relationship between Shinto and the royal family during the Meiji period? You might want to look up the terms “creed”, “ideology”, and “sect”.

[40:22] After World War II How does Shinto change after World War II? What is it like today?

Vocabulary

deity

veneration

manifestation

transcendent

amoral

shamanism

emergence

imperial

indigenous

doctrine

anthropomorphize

salvation

monotheistic

symbiotic

guise

liberate

ontological

sacred

revelation

eclectic

creed

ideology

sect