The Shinto beliefs and attitudes toward nature which are relevant to the problem of environmental preservation include three key points. First, great value is accorded sacred space and time, generally as shrines in groves, the boundaries of which are demarcated as distinct from the secular world. The location of Shinto shrines in local landscapes is an important dimension of their sacredness. As Japanese folklorists have often emphasized, the traditional Japanese village, in close proximity to a community shrine, is focused on agriculture, with seasonal worship of deities offered the fruits of production. The agricultural cycle provides the rhythms of ritual activities that punctuate the year. Cyclical time, periodic time repeats itself as an eternal process.


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