Nature And The Gods


Mark Vernon examines Hokusai's famous print, "The Great Wave of Kanagawa":

It's a religious image, representing the very different approach that Shintoism has towards nature, compared with Christianity. In Christianity, human beings are at the centre of nature: creation is for humanity, along with other creatures, and it's humanity's task to care for it. Hence, in part, the offence we feel when nature turns against us.

In Shintoism, nature is recognised as infinitely more powerful than humankind - as in the wave - and that humankind is in nature with the permission of the gods but with no particular concern from the gods.