The Shinto theory of creation of universe holds a remarkable similarity with the theories propagated in scriptures of Rig Veda in Hinduism. Though apparently both the religions have flourished in completely isolation, the theories of creation propounded by Shinto religion bears a significant similarity to Hinduism particularly in description of evolution of earth and the succession of human beings from Gods. The belief of God as being the originator of entire creation is central to both.
While Shinto describes the world before creation as a mixture of dark and bright parts of cloud, Rig-veda asserts that in the beginning only darkness prevailed, completely devoid of any sign of existence in the form of light, air, or ether.. Only God was present to initiate the evolution. According to Shinto, after the separation of heaven from earth, depending upon the density of waste material and the proportion of brightness and weight, a reed was born between earth and heaven.
It is cited that the first God Kuni-toko-tachi no Mikoto was born from this reed. Interestingly, Rig Ved also cites a passage tellling that Lord Brahma, who is believed to be the father (creator) of universe in hinduism, was born out of a flower. However, unlike Lord Kuni-toko-tachi no Mikoto , Lord Brahma was born from a flower that grew from the stomach of Lord Vishnu. Both Lord Kuni-toko-tachi no Mikoto and Lord Brahma are one of the first Gods in Shinto and Hindu religion respectively and bear a plant as the cause of their birth.
Both the theories give a sequential detail of formationm of earth and its components, beginning form prevailing darkness to the formation of different components of light. Shinto, however, gives a comparatively unique and consistent theory of creation whereas the details provided by Rig Veda are multi-faceted and at many occasions, inconsistent. While some portions of Rig-Veda describe Brahma as Lord Shiva as the first God, creator of the system, some other passages have described Lord Vishnu as the originator and driving force behind the universe.
It is mentioned that all the Gods had been created form the pores of the body of Lord Vishnu. As far as the physical developments of planetary systems and earth are concerned, many a times, both the theories prescribe a sequence of events evidently similar. The evolution of earth from darkness, formation of water, and emergence of life in water has been prescribed in both the theories, though these details are frequently confused by the inclusion of different roles played by different Gods.
Shinto proclaims that Izanagi, the second god created by the First God carved an island by immersing his spear in an ocean and thendrippng the water on it, which turned itself into a mass of land, which later turned out to become the habitat of Izanagi, and his wife, Izanami. They later made more islands and Japan was thus born. Shinto, also gives a detailed explanation of the formation and evolution of earth and other solar components, again infused by the dramatic and, at several occasions, confusing roles played by different Gods.