We Dance

Shintoism has more followers in Japan than any other religion including Buddhism.  A polytheistic and animistic religion,  Shintoism,  like other Eastern faiths,  includes the practice of meditation and prayer,  and Japan boasts  100,000 Shinto shrines.    But Shintoism has no central authority and its practices vary greatly among its adherents .

Altho possibly apocryphal,  it is said that Joseph Campbell,  the famous academic who wrote  The Power of Myth,  reported the following conversation at an international conference on religion.

An American philosopher told a Shinto priest,  “We’ve been to a good many ceremonies,  and have seen quite a few of your shrines.  But I don’t get your ideology.  I don’t get your theology.”

The Japanese paused as though in deep thought and then slowly shook his head.

”I think we don’t have ideology.”  he said.  “We don’t have theology.   We dance.”

– Dana Susan Lehrman


Leave a Comment