Shinto the ‘Way of the Gods’ , was the religion of Japan before the arrival of Buddhism from Korea during the sixth century AD. Central to Shinto beliefs are the kami, animistic gods perceived in all aspects of nature. They exist in the nooks and crannies of houses and inhabit streams, trees and mountains, while others are sacred to human activities such as agriculture and arts and crafts. The principal rites of appeasing the gods , considered essential to a stable society, include acts of cleansing, gratitude, tolerance and obediences to tradition.

This book, documenting a unique major exhibition from Japan, begins with a wide ranging introduction to Shinto which traces its role in Japanese culture,. The fully illustrated catalogue contains 110 entries, and each of its five sections opens with an authoritative essay from an international scholar. The objects, loaned by museums and religious shrines across the country, include masks, ceramics, mirrors, bells, sculpture, paintings, lacquer, ceremonial clothing, swords and armour. Some are National Treasures, rarely removed from their shrines, and many have never before been seen outside Japan. Brought together here for the first time, they offer a fascinating insight into the sacred art of ancient Japan.

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Edited by Victor Harris and published by the British Museum Press of London in 2001. Soft cover bound, this First Edition copy is in Very Good condition, covered in plastic and without a dust jacket. The size of the book is 276x218x17mm. ISBN 9780714114989.

224 pp incl bibliography, glossary and chronology. Minor water damage to top edge of last 24 pages and creasing to front cover. Clean and well bound. No inscriptions, markings or annotations. Illustrated with colour photographs throughout.