Shinto vs. Taoism

Shinto
Taoism

Comparison chart

Edit this comparison chart

Shinto

Taoism

Place of origin Japan China
Place of worship Shrines. Temple, shrine.
Life after death Yomi Taoists believe that the soul survives after death and has the ability to travel through space.
Goal of religion To serve the Shinto deities, or Kami, as they are known. To be one with nature.
Practices Visit to shrines to pay homage to Shinto deities; Shamanism, etc. Visit to shrines, to pay homage to Taoist deities; Tai Chi, etc.
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.
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.
Time of origin Approx. 700 B.C. Approx. 550 B.C.E (before common Era)
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.
Founder No founder. Lao Tzu
Belief of God Numerous deities. Most follow numerous deities.
Concept of God Numerous deities. Numerous deities.
Original Language(s) Japanese Old Chinese
View of the Buddha Buddha is followed by many Shintoists. Buddha is followed by many Taoists.
Clergy Priests, miko, etc. Priests
Use of statues and pictures Permitted. Common
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.
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.
Literal Meaning The Way of the gods. Those who follow the Way (Tao = Way)
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.
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

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us:

"Shinto vs Taoism." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 5 Mar 2015. < >

Related Comparisons Follow Diffen
Top 5 Comparisons
Make Diffen Smarter.

Log in to edit comparisons or create new comparisons in your area of expertise!

Sign up »

Comments: Shinto vs Taoism

Comments via Facebook

Anonymous comments (1)

March 16, 2014, 7:52pm

The goal of Shintoism, is not to serve the kami, but to respect them and learn from them. Who ever wrote this about Shinto is descriptive, but not correct. It is quite negative and offensive in many ways.

— 76.✗.✗.46
-3

share

Up next

Buddhism vs. Zen