Saturday, May 19, 2007

Shintō Rising

What in Amaterasu's name is this?

Check out the last paragraphs of the linked article--and try to remember that this gentleman is married to a prize-winning Japanese author and that he was an Asia correspondent for The New York Times for 20 years:

Shinto, like Japan itself, originated in the mists of mythology. Two ancient texts record those myths, but Shinto has no sacred scripture, no Judeo-Christian Bible or Muslim Koran.

Shinto's gods number 8 million, led by Amaterasu-o-mi-kami, the sun goddess.

The lakes, rivers, mountains and rice fields each have gods to watch over them.

None, however, are ascribed the power of God or Yahweh or Allah.

Moreover, Shinto and Buddhism coexisted after Buddhism was imported from China. Japanese, unlike Westerners who belong to only one denomination, see no conflict in following the tenets of both faiths...

??? (Sound of a single eyebrow being raised)

OK. Maybe it is part of a new series, "an introduction to religions of the Orient." Mr. Halloran is a military affairs specialist, but who knows, maybe this is a new gig.

Let us backtrack.

April 20 - Report on progress against Islamic terror in Southeast Asia

That has got a religion angle--but there is no explanation of Islam at the end. Puzzling.

April 29 - Analysis of Chinese submarine capabilities.

It is about the Unseen, I will grant you that...and traditions. Traditions of seamanship.

May 7 - An upbeat status report on the fight against Asian piracy.

Arrrgghhh! But no faith-based piracy noted.

May 16 - Possible rise in dissent in the DPRK.

A lot of stuff taken on faith there--but not a lot explaining juche, the world's 10th largest religion, (hat tip on link to The Marmot's Hole)

May 17 - Shintō is a hot old faith on a roll.

OK, now you have got me. There is no pattern.


Anonymous said...

Good job exposing frauds. People need to be made aware of this stuff.

MTC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MTC said...

Ken -

I did not make myself clear: Mr. Halloran is not a fraud. This one article is aberrant--read his other work--and the editors should have flagged it.

Anonymous said...

MTC...I know, you're totally right. Wrong word choice, I guess the tone didn't convey. I wanted to say, "Good job for noticing this and bringing it to people's attention."