The Ainu (Animistic Religion)

Bishop's Encyclopedia of Religion, Society and Philosophy

The Ainu are a people traceable to Hokkaido, Japan, known for their animistic view of the world. They have their origins in a merging of cultures, some of whom lived as long as 13 000 years ago (1).

The Ainu believe that all of reality is pervaded or inhabited by spirits or souls. Although the spiritual and physical world are separate, inanimate objects, such as trees, tools, and rocks, posses spirits and are believed to be immortal. The human body is seen as a container for a spirit, and that after death the spirit exits the body through the mouth and the nostrils and arrives in the next world. In the next word the spirit is reborn as a kamuy, and when the kamuy dies (which also takes place in the next world) it is reborn back into the natural, physical world.

The Ainu believe that there is a…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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