Fedianina, Vladlena
Moscow City University. Japanese Language Department. Head

Shinto studies in Russia: translated texts and academic literature

The research traces the history of Shinto studies in Russia in 20th and 21st cc. to point out Shinto texts in Russian translation and scientific literature about Shinto written in Russian. These translated sources and academic literature contribute greatly to the integration of Shinto studies in broader context of religious studies in Russia.

Shinto is an essential and inseparable component of Japanese culture and it complicates its study as an independent religion tradition. So study of Shinto in Russia is conducted mostly as a part of Japanese, not religious, studies. Russian researchers of Japanese culture, history and politics pay close attention to some aspects and problems of Shinto.

A great contribution was made by philologists, specialists in folklore and historians, who translated important primary sources (“Kojiki”, “Nihon shoki”, “Fudoki”, “Manyoshu”, norito and semmyo) and provided them with detailed comments.

Analysis of problems associated with Shinto was provided by researchers who had studied ancient texts and Japanese literature; by Japanese art historians; in collective and individual monographs on Japanese history and historiography.

The first work focused only on Shinto was published in Russia in 1985. Later other monographs with the main focus on Shinto appeared. They examined historical transformations of Shinto; the impact of Shinto on the formation of ideology and national consciousness; some Shinto cults and rituals; translation of primary sources; interaction with other religious traditions and elements of cultural life. It has helped to study Shinto by scholars who are not involved in Japanese studies.