Shintoism originated in Japan over 2000 years ago. Japanese culture finds its main religious expression in a mixture of Shintoism and Buddhism.
“Shinto” means “Way of the Kami”. It used to be the state religion of Japan until 1945. In practice, many people follow Shinto but feel free to choose Buddhist rites for funerals etc. Much of what has been written about Chinese culture is relevant to Shintoism.
Worldwide followers (Estimated): 3 million worldwide.
Place of worship: Jinja. Places in Japan have their own shrine dedicated to the Kami. The Gate to a Shinto Shrine (Jinja), the Torii designates holy ground. As Shinto is a religion of worship of nature spirits, or Kami, most Shinto shrines are located outdoors. The Gate marks the gateway between the physical and spiritual worlds.
Festivals/Observances: New Year is celebrated at Jinja shrines/temples.