Historical dictionary of Shinto
1 volume: Illustrated, Chronology, Appendix (with lists of web sites), Bibliography
This short book gives a brief look at some of the traditions, beliefs and history of Shinto, a Japanese religious tradition. As the author points out in his preface, there is little about Shinto that is clearly defined. As a religious tradition it is unusual in having no agreed doctrines or hierarchy. If one is unfamiliar with Shinto, reading the Introduction is mandatory as it explains much about the religion and the many scholarly debates around it. Another good starting point is the entry on Kami, the local forces/spirits venerated in Shinto that are found sometimes in the natural world (trees, rocks, rivers, mountains, etc.), the animal world, or the human world. There is also a chronology tracing the important events and personalities in the history of Shinto. The Appendix offers a list of web sites with information on the major shrines and Shinto information sites; however some of the links weren’t working as of 11-10-11 although most of ones with pictures of the various Shinto shrines do work.