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Place of origin Japan China
Place of worship Shrines. Temple, shrine.
Practices Visit to shrines to pay homage to Shinto deities; Shamanism, etc. Visit to shrines, to pay homage to Taoist deities; Tai Chi, etc.
Goal of religion To serve the Shinto deities, or Kami, as they are known. To be one with nature.
Scriptures Kojiki, Nihon Shoki Daozang, a collection of 1400 texts organized in 3 sections. Includes the Tao Te Ching, Zhuang Zi, I Ching, and other.
Use of statues and pictures Permitted. Common
Belief of God Numerous deities. Most follow numerous deities.
Life after death Yomi Taoists believe that the soul survives after death and has the ability to travel through space.
Literal Meaning The Way of the gods. Those who follow the Way (Tao = Way)
Belief Shinto is both a religion and way of life of Japan. Numerous kami (gods/goddesses/spirits). Taoism is both a religion and a philosophy of China, and of Asia as a whole. It stresses humanity's relationship with nature.
Concept of Deity Numerous deities. The sun is one of the most important ones(they believe that the sun is a goddess). Most believe in numerous deities.
Founder No founder. Lao Tzu
Geographical distribution and predominance Shinto has influenced Japan for several millenia, with the height appearing before World War 2 China, Korea, to lesser extent Vietnam and Japan.
Original Language(s) Japanese Old Chinese
View of the Buddha Buddha is followed by many Shintoists. Buddha is followed by many Taoists.
Time of origin Approx. 700 B.C. Approx. 550 B.C.E (before common Era)
Clergy Priests, miko, etc. Priests
Status of women Women may become priestesses. But are still seen as less than men generally equal, spoken of highly in the tao te ching (oldest taoist text) but varies among schools.
Holy days/Official Holidays The Japanese national holidays, as well as local shrine festivals (matsuri). Chinese New Year, 3 Day Festival of the Dead, Ancestor Day.
Concept of God Numerous deities. Numerous deities.
Offshoot religions Tenrikyo, other Japanese sects. Confucianism was based on early teachings of Taoism, and many folk religions derive from Taoism.
Followers Shintoists. Taoists (modern spelling also Daoists)
Can atheists partake in this religion's practices? No. Yes
Definition Way of the gods. Teaching of the Way
Original Languages Japanese. Mandarin or Cantonese.
Virtue(s) in which religion is based upon Cleanliness/ Purity, Respect. Contemplation

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"Shinto vs Taoism." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 8 Oct 2015. < >