Confucianism, Daoism and Shinto as Religions Compare And Contrast

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In this essay, we will look at the similarities and differences that Shinto shares with Daoism and Confucianism. We will also look at what ultimate reality is, how we should live in this world, and what is ultimate purpose is in each religion. Daoism, Confucianism and Shinto’s three religions are located within Eastern Asian. The Shinto religion was practiced by both Daoism and Confucianism with many religious, academic and ethical facets. Through modern-day celebrations, lectures, and social changes and developments, we see these parallels in the current day. Although the three faiths have many parallels, there are many variations as well.

What is ultimate reality in Confucianism and Daoism?

Confucianism and Daoism perpetuate the same cosmological theory that ancient China had inherited. The natural world is not in a state of decline. There is no all-powerful creator and no evil equivalent. There’s no definitive future launch, and there’s no foretold finish. Rather, the universe is cyclically evolving and behaving like a pendulum, emerging from two poles and rotating between two opposing yet complementing opposites.

Human beings are not trapped in a battle struggle between good and evil, and the side they pick does not end in a heaven or hell eternal fate. The focus is on peace, coexistence, and harmony. Tian (Neo-Confucians also use the word Taiji, Absolute Ultimate) is the ultimate reality for the Confucians. Tian is the worlds ‘ pro-creator and all the innumerable things in it. Tian also has a special relationship with humans and communicates his great design for humanity with selected individuals.

This communication does not take place in Abrahamic traditions through dramatic and ecstatic encounters like that between god and prophets. Rather, by their keen observation of nature and careful review of human affairs as documented in history and implemented in the present, Tian’s meaning is discerned by perceptive and articulate human representatives. In this way, Confucianism is not, in the conventional sense, a revelatory faith. Daoism, on the other hand, is a revelatory religion in its organized form. The Dao, the “mother of the universe,” is its ultimate reality.

Originally formless and undifferentiated, it later takes on human and divine forms, giving instructions to the faithful and revealing texts. In his message, Daoism can also be salvific, along with prescriptions for repentance and thanksgiving.

How should we live in Confucianism and Daoism?

The ancient Chinese religious view of the human condition has been inherited by both Confucianism and Daoism: humans, like everything else in the cosmos, are the product of the interaction between yin and yang. We have a flesh dimension and an incorporeal part made up of hun and po.

There is no idea of any separation or rebellion from an all-powerful god; therefore, there is a shortage of sin. This does not assume, though, that people are already fine and do not need to change from their present state. There is still a gap among people as they are and people as they should or can become.

The best way to live for the Confucians is to act ethically, in keeping with Tian’s religious rules. It is the duty of humanity alone to design and exemplify the moral imperative of Tian, thus becoming collaborators in the development of peace and wealth throughout the universe. Moral behavior can turn the child, the culture, and the environment in condensed spheres spreading outward from the person. “Do not do what you don’t want to do to others” is the basic moral guide to living correctly in Confucianism.

For Daoists, living healthy is the right way to live. Ethical behavior is certainly part of the ideal existence, but Daoists often stress the human body as a microcosm that perfectly reflects the worlds ‘ macrocosm. Therefore, taking care of one’s body using both internal and external “alchemical” processes is a good way of living in keeping with the Dao. At the same time, reflecting on the intimate connection between the soul, the family, and the world, Daoists recommend food, fitness, and health and energy conservation to approach the saint.

What is ultimate reality in Shinto?

In Shinto, the world is divinely created and ordained by the Kami, according to Shinto. In living and non-living things, in nature and the human world, the Kami reveal themselves. They are responsible for the world’s growth, so they tend to be pure and clean. Human beings, some of whom are Kami themselves, must pay constant attention to their friendship with the Kami because that is the only way to fulfill life. Because the universe is the development of the Kami, by serving as its protector and caretaker, mankind is obligated to uphold the sanctity of the earth.

Being extremely sentimental about nature, Shinto believers are easily moved by their beauty. Several literary works in Japan convey this Shinto recognition of the world’s sacred and sanctified essence.

How should we live in Shinto?

Initial Shinto relies little on ethics or conscientious life. There is no moral code revealed. Rather, it teaches right living primarily as a pure and fertile life. In terms of innocence and defilement, the human condition is more established. Death, disease, improper meat, or unacceptable actions are causes of infection that make people ineligible for Kami’s contact. These are transient circumstances, however. Constant attention to keeping the gods clean and holy would guarantee respect. As a consequence, Shinto practitioners conduct purification and sanctification ceremonies carefully to seek good interaction with the Kami.

What our ultimate purpose is in Shinto?

Unlike many other faiths, the human condition is not viewed by Shinto as a fallen state or inherently corrupted by guilt. Therefore, by definition, human beings are not evil; therefore, there is no need for redemption or transcendence. Simultaneously, Shinto has no belief in an all-powerful benevolent God who is an initial state of perfection has made humans. And, by definition, people are not perfect either. Rather, human beings are very much part of nature, seeking to live in harmony with it by engaging with its different spiritual embodiments, the Kami.

Daoism and Shinto are linked in their efforts to improve the environmental and social damage that has occurred as a result of industrialization. The practicing countries of Daoist and Shinto have experienced high levels of pollution and natural disasters. Consequently, several partnerships and government programs have been launched to aid and counteract these harmful effects. Many differences between Daoism and Shinto include globalization and acceptance into the Western world, the increasing popularity of traditional practices, and the introduction of religious teachings into their daily lives.

There are now hundreds of thousands of teachers, centers, organized religious bodies, self-cultivation communities, and Western practitioners of spiritual learning methods of Daoism. Likewise, there are now shrines in the U.S. in Shinto that help people plan for purification ritually. Acupuncture treatment, traditional Chinese remedies, and qigong are all common methods that all citizens often follow to this day. Some still observed traditional Shinto practices include: kagura, festivals in the shrine, misogi, and kami shelves.

Both Daoism and Shinto adhere to practices and add with the new twists. Taiji Quan is a type of martial art taught by Chinese citizens in Daoism. It is a martial art style that has inspired many types of martial arts and is encountered throughout the world by men. We perform a fighting form called Sumo wrestling in Shinto. Sumo wrestling has become famous not only in Japan but throughout the world. Taiji Quan and Sumo are two distinct sporting styles that have adjusted for contemporary sports.

Although there are many parallels between Daoism and Shinto, there are many variations. Throughout Daoism, it is claimed that Daoist’s and Buddhists continue to receive new revelations called “precious scrolls.” These precious scrolls emanate from gods like the Celestial Pool’s Golden Daughter. There is no Deity in the Shinto faith, however, one interacts with Kami.

Another difference is that Hong Kong temples are filled with worshippers in Daoism, on the Chinese New Year, who burn incense sticks to honor the spirits. In Shinto, in the new year, they will watch the first sunrise, and then try to visit their relatives and visit a shrine. In Daoism, the western extension is very clear. But in the religion of Shinto, it is only practiced in Japan, Hawaii, and Brazil.

There are also a few similarities between Confucianism and Shinto. Both the religions of Confucianism and Shinto have a clear and focused goal to achieve harmony. Modern Confucian culture emphasizes stable lives for families and clans, respect for elderly wisdom, respect for education, common good interest, hard work, and sustainable long-term growth. Similarly, Shinto culture emphasizes respect and love for your family and social structure, artistic life and athletic life (Sumo wrestling), and spiritual life. The importance of living in harmony with nature and one’s self is stressed by both religions.

For many years, Confucian principles have always had a major impact on the morals of Japan. Both Shinto and Confucianism share both the same ethical and moral similarities today. Shinto and Confucianism both share the same ideals in terms of human relationships. Modern Japanese people’s politeness, respectfulness, and helpfulness are because of the Confucian teachings of behavior.

On the other hand, there are many differences between Confucianism and Shinto. One distinction between Confucianism and Shinto is that in Confucianism shrine visits should be for spirituality purposes only. Throughout modern Shinto life, shrine visits frequently look more like tourism than religion. On the other hand, rites are strictly adhered to for spiritual purposes in Confucianism.

Three of the world’s most popular East Asian religions are Daoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism. Even though all of them share many similar aspects and teachings, all of them are unique and different. Every faith has its unique cultural characteristics, essential rules, and distinctive ceremonies and rituals. Each faith is the same, and after studying the three faiths, this is evident: Daoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism. Such cultures have been affected in many respects by the Western world today. Shinto, Confucianism, and Daoism’s modernism is evident through the social, economic, and ethical values of religions.


Brodd, Jeffrey. Invitation to World Religions. Oxford University Press, 2019.


Cite this paper

Confucianism, Daoism and Shinto as Religions Compare And Contrast. (2020, Sep 16). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/confucianism-daoism-and-shinto-as-religions/



How are Daoism Confucianism and Shinto similar to Indian religions?
Daoism, Confucianism, Shinto, and Indian religions share common beliefs in the interconnectedness of all things and the importance of harmony and balance in life. They also emphasize the role of ritual practices and respect for ancestors and nature.
Is Daoism and Confucianism a religion?
Daoism and Confucianism are both Chinese philosophies that focus on different aspects of human life. While Daoism emphasizes nature and living in harmony with the Dao, or the way of the world, Confucianism focuses on human relationships and the importance of creating a harmonious society.
what are the similarities of confucianism, taoism and shintoism?
Like Confucianism and Daoism, Shintoism also originated with a Chinese background by originally starting in Japan. They also share the commonality of visiting shrines and graves to pay respect to their religious deities. Both religions follow multiply deities and are not devoted to just one .
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