Sample Review Paper on “Shintoism and Spirituality” (2015) by Walton

“Shintoism and Spirituality” (2015) by Walton

Introduction

Shintoism is a religion that is well established in Japan. It is characterized by the ritual practices conducted to appease the spirits. The religion worships a number of deities that protect human soul against various calamities. A clear demonstration of this religion is brought out in the movie episodes by Walton that features a story of Miyu, a vampire girl who is on a mission to hunt down an extremely dangerous demon. Miyu is determined to send back the spirit that is in form of demon to the dark world where it belongs. However, Himiko, a spirit, persuades her to desist from feeding on human blood. This essay seeks to show how vampires connect to spiritual forces that are related to the Shintoism religion. Specifically, the area to concentrate on is about Miyu, the vampire, and the spirits that seek to control her.

Miyu was born by shinma (god-demon) and human beings. She is therefore powerful than human beings and understands where shinma belongs (Walton). Having a connection between human and shinma, Miyu is able to protect and scare away a shinma who intended to attack or disturb human beings. Her mission to save humanity was characterized by multiple challenges that emanated from the spiritual world (Walton). Her demonic spirit larva is Shinma who came from the Western side. Shinma tried to control Miyu’s appetite for blood but ended up exchanging blood after an attempt to kill her failed. Therefore, he has some characteristic of vampires, which may explode any time. The same case is observed in Shintoism religion, where spirits are believed to live and exist in natural places.

Some of the places where these spirits find refuge are in animals, mountains, people, rivers, and stones. Therefore, sacrificing in these places gives the spirits peace hence reconciles and lives with human beings peacefully (Kakinouchi and Hirano 90). In this case, the Vampires exist as human with extraordinary power, which enables them to feed on human beings (Melter). Thus, the Japanese believe that spirits must be contained to reduce destruction the same way vampires must be kept at bay, especially in the presence of human beings. Episode 1 and 2 of the video contains many instances of human interaction with the vampires (Walton). The Shinma escapes from the darkness to come and feed or destroy life in the natural world. Therefore, vampires are the spiritual forces that are prevalent amongst the Shinto. These forces affect humanity depending on the circumstances and the vampire characteristic (Melton 60).

Another example is Himiko’s attack and brutal encounter with vampire before Miyu saved him. Kei developed affection for Ranka who belonged to the shinma family of vampires. Miyu fought for her love for Kei with Ranka as a way of establishing her presence in the relationship. However, she was unlucky in her endeavor. The prevalent spirits in vampires keep on visiting human beings to cause harm. Some of the harmful acts include sucking of blood and causing suffering to specific individual as seen in the video. These spirits would be at peace if they remain in the dark world where they live with other vampires. Thus, Miyu looked for the shinma to take or return them to specific places they are used to or supposed to stay and consequently bring peace to humanity. This segregation is necessary for the growth and development of a healthy environment (Yassa 13). The Japanese build shrines which are the dwelling places for spirits or gods. The practices conducted in these places are carried out only by ordained members of the community who are considered clean. They sacrifice by offering money among many other items to invite the spirits to come and intercede (Yamakage, Leeuw and Rankin 40). This world is separated from the outside world by the torrii (sacred arch). Members pass through it as a way of cleansing oneself before inviting the spirits to honor the by offerings.

Conclusion

Many instances can be attributed to the spiritual work of the deities who work through extraordinary human beings. The spirits may be good or bad depending on the context and behavioral attributes observed. Human beings are subjects to the forces that emanate from the spiritual world where vampires exist. Being at peace with the spirits through obedience and devotion is imperative for the wellbeing of the community because of the spirits mostly communicate through actions. If they are not at peace with human beings, they tend to be aggressive, leading to catastrophes such as death, diseases and bad weather. However, a peaceful coexistence  is marked by peace, prosperity and good health. Vampires can be regarded as the spiritual forces seen in the Shintoism controlling human actions on a daily basis. According to Shintoism religion, these forces are beyond human capabilities. Their presence may bring good or bad tidings for human beings. This is why vampires are considered to be part of the extraordinary forces that watch over humans.

 

Works Cited

Kakinouchi, Narumi, and Toshiki Hirano. Vampire Princess Miyu. Seville: Mangaline Ediciones, 2014. Print.

Melter, Rendura. “Vampire Princess Miyu OVA 3 English Dubbed”. YouTube. Nov 6, 2015. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Melton,  Gordon J. The Vampire Book. Canton, MI: Visible Ink Press, 2011. Print.

Walton, Ricardo. “Vampire Princess Miyu OVA 1 English Dubbed”. YouTube. May 14, 2015. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Walton, Ricardo. “Vampire Princess Miyu OVA 2 English Dubbed”. YouTube. May 14, 2015. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Walton, Ricardo. “Vampire Princess Miyu OVA 4 English Dubbed”. YouTube. May 14, 2015. Web. 18 Dec. 2015.

Yamakage, Motohisa, Paul de Leeuw, and Aidan Rankin. Essence of Shinto. New York: Kodasha USA, 2012. Print.

Yassa, Maria. “Stella and the Vampire Princess: Thoughts on Form, Formlessness and Alterity in the Psychotherapeutic Work with a Young Woman”. The Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review 36.1 (2013): 12-17. Web.