Archiv Listopad, 2008

Šintó a les (angl.)

Posted in Kami no Miči, aneb Šintó on 2 Listopad, 2008 by pan Psax

Shinto forestry

It is the forests, and not the buildings, that mark the true shrines of Shintoism. The deities are invited to these forests, where they and their environment are protected by the local community, which in turn is protected by the deities.

So although the chinju no mori or sacred groves around Shinto shrines are revered as the dwelling place of the kami spirits, it is the kami which are worshipped, not the trees.

Background to forests in Japan
Traditionally Japanese villages were traditionally surrounded by rice-paddy, vegetable fields and woodland/grassy areas used for firewood, grazing etc. (satoyama). In this way, Japan (although at one time 80% covered by forest) lost almost all its primeval forest cover many centuries ago. All forests have long been managed by local communities. At times the demands for lumber or charcoal have been severe. Oil, electricity, concrete and plastics only replaced firewood/charcoal as the main energy/building resource after 1945. The chinju-no-mori thus developed as part of a comprehensive approach to land management, in which the combination of paddy and mixed woodland still represent the only known, recognized model of a sustainable natural environment in Japan. Celý příspěvek