A Shinto shrine is used for prayer to the kami and purification.  This one has many carvings including dragons and baku.

Introduction

Spirituality is an important aspect to any culture as it has significant influence on literature, art, government, and the way society conducts itself. The major religions of Japan have historically been Shinto and Buddhism, while the belief system known as Confucianism also played a significant role in the development of the social fabric of the nation. Shinto pays great attention to how a body was laid to rest after death; this was also the case with Japan’s prehistoric religions when great care was taken regarding one’s burial – as can be found with the numerous items, particularly the clay figurines called haniwa, found in the tombs of the Kofun period (200 – 600 CE). With the arrival of Buddhism, bodies were cremated instead of buried and Japan went from tomb-building to temple-building.


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