Invited Opinion Article - (2016) Volume 4, Issue 1

The Role of Shinto Religion as Reference to Look East Policy

Uqbah Iqbal*
School of History, Politics and Strategy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM 43650, BangiSelangor, Malaysia
*Corresponding Author: Uqbah Iqbal, School of History, Politics and Strategy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, UKM 43650, BangiSelangor, Malaysia, Tel: +60389215555 Email:




Look East Policy adds Japanese investors’ confidence in Malaysia, causing Japan emerged the largest foreign investor in Malaysia between 1980-2012, despite the absence of the Investment Guarantee Agreement between the two countries. But I found that the application of the Japanese values against the Malay community before implementation of the Look East Policy and its aftermath still not succeeded in making the community resembles the Japanese on this day of life, thinking and ways of working. The thinking and behavior of Japanese society is also often associated with Shinto religious role in various aspects of life whether in the political, economic or social aspects.

Shinto religion was originally a Japanese primitive belief. The existence of this belief has been identified since the Jomon period (3000 S.M S.M - 300) and Yayoi (300S.M-300 F) until the Showa era (1926-1989). Shinto was originally a form of nature worship but soon after it turned into a major religious and has a sacred place of its own. Japanese belief that every object or event that unusual, strange, magical and mystical happens because of the existence of power that cause it to happen. For example, natural disasters that leading to crop damage and human lives. Unusual events and mystery encountered by the Japanese in the early days has created a trust against kami. Kami is regarded as a spirit, something abstract and have supernatural powers. In fact it is said there are more than eight million of kami can consist of sea, air, river, animal and more.

Faezah Kassim in the book Agama Dan Falsafah Di Jepun: Perkembangan dan Pengaruh Terhadap Pemikiran Orang Jepun, she discusses religion and philosophy that are available in Japan. This book discusses the ages in Japan starting from the early days of the Jomon and Yayoi until the Showa era; where in each stage of the era took place with the development of the Shinto religion. In addition, this book also touches on the early history of the Shinto religion before the entry of Buddhism and Confucianism, as well as the development of Shinto religion in Japan. This book also describes the consequences resulting from the influence of Shinto religion on the thinking and behavior of the Japanese people. The author also discusses the contribution of the Shinto religion in the social, economic and political civilization in which it is so important in encouraging the formation of values that become the culture policy of Japan.

Reader Ian in the book Japanese Religions Past and Present discuss about religions in Japan. Between religions covered in this book is the Shinto religion. The author has been told about the Shinto religion in which it has been associated with kami, Shinto god. In addition, the myths and legends about the beginning of the creation of Japan, the land and the people in Japan also explained that initiated Izanagi and Izanami. In addition, this book also describes the Kojiki. The author has explained Kojiki briefly in a language easily understood than the original Kojiki works using the ancient writing. Kojiki (record of the past) and Nihongi (Chronicles of Japan) written in the 8th century played an important role in influencing the Shinto religion in Japan which eventually form the values of the Shinto religion.

Abu Talib Ahmad in the book Tamadun Jepun discuss the historical background and foundation of civilization in Japan where the origins of the Japanese people is from Kojiki and Nihongi saga that explain human are from kami that originating from the sky. In this book also describes Shinto has four main parts over time. In addition, during the Yamato era showed Shinto religion become a religion that strengthens loyalty through recognition of the Japanese emperor that Yamato royal lineage comes from Amaterasu kami. Meiji Emperor reins also touched as the Shinto religion appears as the official state religion in the Meiji era. Smart Ninian in the book Religions of Asia discuss about religions in Asia. Among the discussed religion are Hindu, Jainism, Buddhist, Islam, Sikhism, Confucianism and Shintoism. The author has explained the origin of the Shinto religion applies until mixing with Buddhism and Confucianism in Japan in the 6th century. The book also tells about kami especially the Sun goddess, Amaterasu Omikami that is important in the Shinto religion and has led to the unification of Japan in the 7th century [1-4].

Matsume Takeshi in the book The Cambridge History of Japan Vol 1: Ancient Japan discuss the early history of Japan which includes from the early days of Japanese people which stems from the Jomon and Yayoi, Yamoto, Nara and Asuka and worship initial kami and Buddhism in Japan. In chapter 6 of this book also tells about the beginning of kami worship that touches on Shinto religion in Japan. Kami concept has its own terms from Western and Japanese people themselves. The book also discusses the myths associated with the Shinto religion, which involves how Izanagi and Izanami kami created Japan at first. Daniel M. P. Shaw in thesis The Way forward Shinto and a 21st Century Japanese Ecological Attitude discuss the ecological attitude of the Japanese effects from the Shinto religion in the 21st century. In this study also tells the values contained in the Shinto religion, such as drunk, simplicity and purity. Through Shinto ceremonies such as Matsuri has sanctioned for drinking sake (omiki). Thus, through the Shinto religion has affected the behavior of Japanese society where the practice of drinking alcohol in Japanese society is regarded as something very normal [5-8].


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  8. Titiek S (2013)Bushido Pada Masyarakat Jepang : MasaLaludanMasaKini: 1: 1-12
Citation: Iqbal U (2016) The Role of Shinto Religion as Reference to Look East Policy. Intel Prop Rights. 4: 155.

Copyright: © 2016 Iqbal U. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.