Religious Freedom in Japan Essay

Religious Freedom in Japan Essay

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Japan became one of the most industrialize countries in the world; it has grown rapidly in the economic arena, however, religious liberty in Japan is still in maturing. Different from the United States and other Western countries in where the principle of separation of church and state took place, Japanese tradition continues with the usual patter in where governments control religion. Most Japanese people do not identify themselves adherent to a single religion; instead they incorporate different elements from various religions. Japan enjoys religious freedom. Minority religious like Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are practiced as well. But census perform in Japan show that 70% of its population prefers not to affiliate with any religion, 65% do not believe in God, 55% do not believe in Buddha. This numbers create many question in whether Japan’s modern lifestyle and religion beliefs create conflict among the Japanese population. It’s this rapidly modernization of Japan leaving traditions outside Japanese culture?

Japan’s religious belief and Japan’s modern, materialist society create and ideological conflict that kept on growing. Contradictions between the old and the new, modernity and tradition are part of the contemporary issues of religion in Japan. Ideological conflicts like this create repercussion leaving a schism in the psyche. Because of this, beliefs and life styles of the Japanese community grow to become more difficult giving as a result internal confusion and isolation. As Japan’s economic power grows, Japanese people are able to enjoy many goods and more modern urban areas and cities. Japan industrial era and religion’s messages creates conflict in the Japanese society. People are facing struggle while tryi...

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Kawakami, Hajime. 1964. Kawakami Hajime Chosakushu, Vol. 8 (Collected Works of Hajime Kawakami). Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo..

Keiko, Matsu-Gibson. 1995. “Noma Hiroshi’s Novelistic Synthesis of Buddhism and Marxism.” Japan Quarterly v.42, Apr/June p. 212-22.

Masatsusu, Mitsuyuki. 1982. The Modern Samurai Society: Duty and Dependence in Contemporary Japan. New York: AMACOM.

Mathews, Gordon. 1996. What Makes Life Worth Living? How Japanese and Americans Make Sense of Their Worlds.Berkeley: University of California Press.

O'Brien, David M. 1996. To Dream of Dreams: Religious Freedom and Constitutional Politics in Postwar Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Wolferen, Karel V. 1993. The Enigma of Japanese Power. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co.

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