What Can We Learn from Shinto Shrines?
How long have the Yaoyorozu no Kami, the many deities of Shinto, and the shrines built to worship them been around for?
We honestly can’t really say. Shrines and worship have been in Japan since before systems of writing were developed to keep records.
So how did the religion-like but not quite religious, mysterious culture of “Shinto” come to be? It appears to have started when influential people in ancient Japan designated places they believed they could feel the power of nature or natural phenomena as sacred.
If you go around the shrines of Oki, this theory might not seem so far off. This is because while shrines worshiping large trees and rocks can be found here, you will also find shrines worshiping ancient influential people of Oki as well as deities not worshiped outside the islands. Furthermore, the realationships between deities have been passed down in legends from generation to generation within the region.
The shrines and deity worship in Oki tell us about the values of the ancient people living here. The people of the Oki Islands have been practicing ancient Shinto traditions for over a thousand years, and this preservation of culture teaches us a lot about the past and present.