I am certainly no expert but the way it was described to me as part of cultural immersion there is in modern practice it’s more about spirits. The animate and the inanimate have spirits, and really the word for god and spirit… not really different. You say hello and good-bye to your home because it has a spirit, you have a spirit, the rock has a spirit. Some equate that to hundreds, endless amount of gods because, again spirit and god in Japanese… not really different.
It’s not hugely organized like most don’t consider themselves to be Shintoists. If they have a festival, it might have Shinto origins but its largely tradition.
History is history. With or without religion, the ability for a ruling class to declare themselves a rightful ruling class and the push to take someone else’s something that you want… well we can argue in circles about whether or not that would happen with or without religion.
Today, there is nothing in the Shinto religion that’s going to push you to incite violence not only one someone but on something (remember they both have spirits). It’s way more about tradition and nature, acknowledging the world around you.