Japan Religion

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All around the world, religion is a dominant idea for many cultures; exemplifying a certain way of life, serving as a basis for faith, and bringing charity to the world, religion is a extensive concept. For several cultures and countries religion may vary according to demographics, socio-economical class, and ethnicity. Main concepts of religion in Japan are natural and superstitious based. The leading religion in Japan remains Shinto, while other religions have come and go, interweaving themselves among the Japanese society.

For any Japanese person who may practice Shinto, another religion that may dually be practiced is Buddhism. Are these religions common to one another in theory? Do they serve the same purposes? And what other religions claim a popular following in Japan? While Buddhism was brought over to Japan via China and Korea in the 6th century, Shinto seems to have always resided in Japan (Japan-Guide.com, 2007).

The religion of Shinto is still today very mysterious because "in some areas there is still no certain knowledge…in the course of the centuries many Japanese have written extensively on Shinto but these are largely expressions of their individual points of view. Except for the relatively short three-quarters of a century of regimentation after the Meiji Restoration when there was an artificial, government-created authoritative interpretation of Shinto, there has not been any large body of interpretation that is generally accepted" (Ono, Sokyo ix).

Buddhism was founded by the teachings of Guatama Siddhartha who was born around 6th century B.C. in Nepal. The spread of Buddhism took many centuries, and didn't reach Japan until 6th century A.C. (Buddhanet). Although there are many sects of Buddhism, the...

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...ism and "new religions" seem different in many aspects, there are common themes and theories among them. This being said, it is also observed that many different religions around the world share a number of commonalities. Shinto and Buddhism define a lot of cultural morals and values that the Japanese use in conduct everyday. "New Religions" also are seen to permeate into the daily lives of Japanese. These religions practiced together make Japan the diverse but unified country that it is today.


"Buddhism." 2007. japan-Guide.com. 09 Apr. 2007 .

"Buddhanet." Buddhanet. 2007. 09 Apr. 2007 .

Hori, Ichiro. Folk Religion in Japan. Chicago: University of Chicago P, 1968.

Ono, Sokyo. Shinto: the Kami Way. Ruthland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc, 1969.

"The Four Noble Truths." The Big View. 13 Dec. 2006. 09 Mar. 2007 www.thebigview.com
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