The Beauty of the Shinto Jingu - Meiji Shrine - On A Recent Trip to Japan

Meiji Jingu (Shrine) Shinto Temple in Tokyo, Japan

Much of the Minimalism present in the world today owes a debt to the aesthetics of Shinto shrines, called jingu in Japanese. If you've eaten Japanese food or watched Japanese anime, you know there's something unique about Japanese culture, which at some point in the past couple millennia refined Oriental culture into an exalted logical system. Its beautiful and extreme refinement led to codification of ancestor worship in the form of Shinto. Jingu temples manifest in a Buddhist-to-non-Buddhist spectrum, and the purer forms take on a thoroughly iconoclastic interior organization, sporting geometric icons seemingly representing pathways to worship. Folded origami paper hangs beckoning the devout, crisp water flows inviting, bell ropes tempt ringers, while outside fox idols seduce travellers into idolatry.

As much as Japan absorbs outside culture for the benefit of the collective, the outside world ought to assess the value of Shinto, as the world blends further and further.