Music Between Religion Worship And Entertainment In Japan

1154 words - 5 pages

   Japan is a country that has a great impact on the world from many perspectives. Not only because of their strong economy and great technology, their culture also gives people extraordinary impressions. Japanese music as an indispensable part of Japanese culture, it is also being popular in different continents. However, “Japanese Music” is a broad topic and there are far more things we need to study and observe to completely understand beside to listen the music itself. Although Japanese music is a big topic, it can specify to different Japanese Music style or genre. In my opinion, Japanese music between religion worship and entertainment are highly linked together. Comparing the Japanese ...view middle of the document...

   Shintoism is one of the biggest national religion in Japan, and it is the only region that’s originated in Japan. In the beginning Shinto is mainly about nature worship and Animism. The name “Shinto” was not exist until 5th-8th century. Until Buddhism introduced into Japan and Japanese use the name “Shinto” to classify the indigenous religion and the foreign religions.
   After many years of time, Shinto absorb ideas from Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism and gradually became a thorough religion. Japanese believe there are eight-million god (exaggeration but not a exact number), and those gods represent natures, animals and their ancestors. Their ways to worship the gods are by narrating the folktales and performing different kinds of folk dance such as Kagura, which is a dance performance for ritual ceremony.
   In modern days, Shintoism worship is compulsory to every Japanese, it is still inheriting and it have a great impact on Japanese citizen. Japan have tens of thousands of Shrine(Shintoism temple), every Japanese family will visit the temple for fiesta or ritual ceremony whenever new year arrives or some Japanese festival occurs. The Japanese fiesta are very different from other religion such as Islam. Japanese fiesta take place in a Shrine, they hang a lot of lantern and people set the table there to sell foods or play some game and the Shrine will become very boisterous. During a fiesta, people from the Shrine will perform dance such as “Kagura” that related to the theme of festival. Since Shinto believe in many gods, there are different dance performance to worship different god. “Kagura” literally mean “music of god” and it is one of the largest portion of Japanese folk dance.
   After we have the basic understanding of Shinto, we knows that Shintoism worship and entertainment in the court such as Gagaku have similarities. Their source of music are the same “Gagaku” from foreign countries. Also by understanding the Japanese religion “Shinto” we knows that the concept of Japanese worshiping are far different from the religious group such as Islam. Although Japanese are superstitious with their believes, they do not consider worshiping as serious, sacred activity but more like folk entertainments, which means part of the Shinto worship is also an entertainment in Japanese daily life.
   Although both the Gagaku and Shinto worshiping music are originated from the same source, they became different during many years of evolution. The Gagaku are more formal, performed in a court. The performance take place in...

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