Does Pokemon have more Shinto or Budhist themes?

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Does Pokemon have more Shinto or Budhist themes?

Post by charizardpal » Sun 05.13.2007 10:01 pm

I don't know much about Buddhism but as for Shintoism...

Pokemon represents a different shinto god. That's why you find some in the rivers, forests, some in boulders, and some in the foot-hills of the mountains. Now when a pokemon lives long enough on Earth it asends to a higher plane called 'evolution.' I'm not exactly sure how this relates to Shinto mythology, but if you recal the various astrological stories about women faling in love with people on Earth but then asending to the constellations/moon for various reasons, you'll realize that some connection (even a tenacious one) must exist.

Furthermore, at the Pokemon Towers trainers gather to mourn for dead pokemon, because without these prayers (according to Shinto religion) the pokemons'' souls will not find peace, and will become evil vengeful spirits (the Marobone ghost-pokemon) that haunt the Earth doing bad deeds like attacking passing trainers.

Another connection with the Shinto religon is the huge emphasis on harmony with nature in the pokemon games. Usually natual trails sharply contrast with a booming high-tech city in every pokemon game, and there is usually some ethical point raised about controlling nature (Mewtwo, the Red Gyrados, Kyrougue, the 2nd Red Gyrados in Diamond), in every pokemon game and movie. Bad people who mistreat nature (manifested as the tiny pokemon spirits) are badly punished. (Especially in the anime episodes where giant pokemon like tentacruels attack villages that encroach on their territory.)

Pokemon also have shrines, usually referred to as "Gyms" spaced out in every significant town. There young children gather to practice rituals to improve mental training while doing menail preservation work on the shrine. At the front of every shrine is an idol of the shrine's shinto god, and beneath are written names, presumably of the god.

You'll also note that in the burned tower in GSC, the Ho-ho was continually worshiped by turbine-wearing priests, and the bgm sounded like traditional music from a shrine.

There also seems to be a lack of interest in the personal use of automobiles. I suppose in the idealized word of Pokemon people have adapted to using mass-transportation, walking and bicycles to get about instead of trampling the underbrush with large mechanical machines. The Japanese also often advocate a return to/harmony with nature. In fact, nature is so revered that one of the four major islands of Japan has been purposely kept un-populated, (except for some monks) and left to it's natural beauty. (Waterfalls, jungle, lakes and hills.) Consequently, it receives millions of pilgrameges anually.

Satoshi Tajiri's desire to create a lush and nature-dominated world may have was probablly brought about by annoyance that many of the forests he explored as a kid have been destroyed to make room for housing and new roads. I'm sure religious themes tempered him while he designed the game. But I'm not sure which tempered the game more and I don't know if the emphasis on nature is more Shinto or Buddhist in nature.
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RE: Does Pokemon have more Shinto or Budhist themes?

Post by dudeman12312 » Tue 11.06.2007 7:17 pm

thats pretty cool i understand B)
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RE: Does Pokemon have more Shinto or Budhist themes?

Post by Wakannai » Tue 11.06.2007 7:19 pm

it's about time.

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RE: Does Pokemon have more Shinto or Budhist themes?

Post by Hatori » Tue 11.06.2007 8:09 pm

Dude, how do you know all of this? I stopped playing Pokemon about a year ago... on my Ruby version. ;)
I love the Pokemon games, but I don't know enough about shintoism to see what you're relating is to shintoism. Anyway, I know enough about Buddhism to know that it's sort of hard to relate it with Pokemon from the top of my head.

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RE: Does Pokemon have more Shinto or Budhist themes?

Post by Kisshu » Tue 11.06.2007 8:11 pm

Haha... seems like you answered your own question!
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