Best known for the Yin Yang symbol and the art of Tai Chi, Taoism is an ancient Chinese religion based upon the 6th Century writings of Lao Tzu, recorded in the Dao De Jing. There are two strands of Taoism – Philosophical ...
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Taoism first came to Japan during the sixth century A.D. though, while elements of both 'Religious Taoism' and at a later date, 'Philosophical Taoism' have had an unmistakable influence on Japanese religion, Taoism as a distinct, institutional tradition, never really gained a following amongst the Japanese people.
However, beliefs concerning the 'Taoist Immortals' and Taoist Paradises were 'adopted-in' to various streams of Japanese folk belief and mythology, along with Taoist mystical and medicinal practices.
For example, the koshin-machi, a popular Japanese all-night vigil undertaken as part of a longevity disciplines, is based on Taoist belief.
Also, elements of Taoist magic exist in Shinto practice, and more noticeably in the mountain-centred ascetic disciplines of Shugendo.
But probably the most important expression of Taoism in Japan was the ritualistic tradition known as onmyodo.
Central to onmyodo were the disciplines of astrology and Taoist Five-Element theory.
In onmyodo philosophy there was no particular concern with (or belief in) life after death. It's primary focus was on the identification and avoidance of troubles and disharmonies in the here-and-now. Through an understanding of the natural laws of the universe, and through the application of ritualistic practice based on yin-yang/five-element theory, onmyodo sought to bring order to a world perceived as being, in the main, completely chaotic.
Originally, onmyodo was closely aligned with the Imperial Household, and matters of state.....
Opposing Views Religious Taoism Vs. Philosophical Taoism Opposing Views It traces its roots to China's Shamanistic past, drawing from these ancient traditions and their worship of the spirits of nature.
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