Of Japan's two great religious traditions, Shinto is far less known and understood in the West. Although there are a number of books that explain the religion and its philosophy, this work is the first in English to focus on sites where Shinto has been practised since the dawn of Japanese history. In an extensive introductory section, authors Joseph Cali and John Dougill delve into the fascinating aspects of Shinto, clarifying its relationship with Buddhism as well as its customs, symbolism, and pilgrimage routes. This is followed by a fully illustrated guide to 57 major Shinto shrines throughout Japan, many of which have been designated World Heritage Sites or National Treasures. In each comprehensive entry, the authors highlight important spiritual and physical features of the individual shrines (architecture, design, and art), associated festivals, and enshrined gods. They note the prayers offered and, for travellers, the best times to visit. With over 125 colour photographs and 50 detailed illustrations of archetypical Shinto objects and shrines, this volume will enthral not only those interested in religion but also armchair travellers and visitors to Japan alike. Whether you are planning to visit the actual sites or take a virtual journey, this guide is the perfect companion.
Joseph Cali was born and raised in New York City and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in painting. He has lived and worked in Japan as a designer, illustrator, writer, and teacher since 1983. John Dougill is professor of cultural studies at Ryukoku University in Kyoto and has lived in the Japan for 25 years.