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© Asobi Ogino

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Shinto Practitioner

It is almost as hard to define an ‘average’ Shinto practitioner as it is to define kami, because so many people live their lives incorporating the Shinto values of harmony, gratitude, and purification in different ways. Shinto is unusual in that it can be practised alongside other belief systems. For example, there are many Buddhists and Christians in Japan who also participate in Shinto rituals and traditions.

Many of the images on the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum website are available for reproduction. Please contact us for more information.

Especially for this exhibition, our guest curator Yuko Ogino has written a series of essays on the relationship between Shinto, hemp, and Japanese history, and also her own personal relationship with Shinto. Here we present an excerpt. You can read the complete essays by downloading the pdfs at the links below.

Yuko on her personal Shinto practices:

One of the first words I taught my children was “Itadakimasu”. Those familiar with Japanese culture may know that this is a phrase that is said before a meal. Japanese people at this time do not associate “Itadakimasu” with any kind of religion, but it does have roots in Shintoism. By chanting Itadakimasu before each meal, we reflect on the weight and value of life. Everything is something to be grateful for. At the heart of Shinto is gratitude for all that keeps us alive. 

In what way do you incorporate Shinto practices into your daily life? Could you give examples, if you have any?

What concepts/ideas/thoughts coming from Shinto do you think are the most valuable?

How do you see Shinto’s role/position in contemporary Japan?

What do you think about the use of hemp within Shinto practices?

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