The story of Shinto

Religions and the concept of belief hold a strange pull on my curiosity. Aside from the myriad of customs, beliefs, and sects inherent in any religion, one of the most compelling elements of any dogma pertains to its origins. When did the core tenets crystalize? How did the state respond to the advent of the new religion? Any number of these questions are as intriguing as the ideology to which they're attached.

The Japanese religion of Shinto piques my already heightened interest in all things related to faith. Japan's many social customs are already replete with so much formality that one wonders how that behavior translates to the rigid structure of religion. In the video linked above, the YouTube channel Religion for Breakfast goes into the origins of Shinto and how the practice exists within modern Japanese culture. Spoiler alert: Western involvement didn't help preserve the religion in the slightest.