Shukyo - Religions in Japan

There are two major religions Buddhism and Shinto, along with a few other religions in Japan. This article will give you information regarding those religions.

Japan's two major religions are Shinto and Buddhism. Buddhism was imported from the mainland in the 6th century, while Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture. Most of the Japanese consider themselves Buddhist or Shintoist or both. In Japan religion is also a private family affair. Religions in Japan are separate from the state. In a school graduation ceremony, there is no religious prayers or symbols. In everyday life, religion is rarely discussed. Religions are defined in Japan as a certain fundamental set of beliefs and customs which are generally agreed upon by a group, goes far beyond archetypal structures or rituals. Until the 19th century, the concept of religion was not an established idea in Japan. These two religions have been co-existing relatively harmoniously and have even complemented each other to a certain degree. Today, religion does not play a big role in the everyday life of most Japanese people. Less than 50 percent of Japanese people identify themselves as active members of a religious group. In Japan, many Japanese Buddhist temples are situated on the same sites as Shinto shrines, an odd sight if one is trying to distinguish the two different Japanese religions. The Japanese people typically follow the religious rituals at ceremonies like birth, weddings, and funerals, they may visit a shrine or temple on New Year and participates at local festivals. In 2015, according to the annual statistical research on religion by the agency for cultural affairs, the Government of Japan, 70.4 percent of the population practices Shintoism, 69.8 percent Buddhism, 1.5 percent Christianity, and 6.9 percent others. Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan, coexist with various sects of Buddhism, Christianity, and some ancient shamanistic practices.

Japan's two major religions are Shinto and Buddhism. Buddhism was imported from the mainland in the 6th century, while Shinto is as old as the Japanese culture. Most of the Japanese consider themselves Buddhist or Shintoist or both. In Japan religion is also a private family affair. Religions in Japan are separate from the state. In a school graduation ceremony, there is no religious prayers or symbols. In everyday life, religion is rarely discussed. Religions are defined in Japan as a certain fundamental set of beliefs and customs which are generally agreed upon by a group, goes far beyond archetypal structures or rituals. Until the 19th century, the concept of religion was not an established idea in Japan. These two religions have been co-existing relatively harmoniously and have even complemented each other to a certain degree. Today, religion does not play a big role in the everyday life of most Japanese people. Less than 50 percent of Japanese people identify themselves as active members of a religious group. In Japan, many Japanese Buddhist temples are situated on the same sites as Shinto shrines, an odd sight if one is trying to distinguish the two different Japanese religions. The Japanese people typically follow the religious rituals at ceremonies like birth, weddings, and funerals, they may visit a shrine or temple on New Year and participates at local festivals. In 2015, according to the annual statistical research on religion by the agency for cultural affairs, the Government of Japan, 70.4 percent of the population practices Shintoism, 69.8 percent Buddhism, 1.5 percent Christianity, and 6.9 percent others. Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan, coexist with various sects of Buddhism, Christianity, and some ancient shamanistic practices.

Shinto:

In Japan, it is a polytheistic religion. People, who have commonly major historical figures, also as natural objects have been enshrined as gods. Most of the ceremonies associated with the birth of a child and the rites of passage to adulthood are associated with Shinto. 

In 1868, after the Meiji Restoration, Shinto was restructured as a state-supported religion. After World War ||, this institution was abolished.

Buddhism:

After the Shinto, Buddhism claims the largest number of adherents. It was officially introduced into the imperial court from Korea in the 6th Century. By maintaining direct contact with central China, several sects were introduced. Buddhism was adopted as the national religion in the 8th century.

Throughout the country, national and provincial temples, nunneries, and monasteries were built. In the 13th century, most of the major Buddhist sects of modern Japan, however, have descended from those that were modified by monks.

Christianity:

In the mid- to late 16th century by first Jesuit and then Franciscan, Christianity was introduced into Japan. Initially, both are received as a religion and as a symbol of European culture. Christians were persecuted, and Christianity was banned in the 1630s, after the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603).

There are also some minor religions in Japan:

Islam:

Islam is mostly represented by small immigrant communities from other parts of Asia. Several Japanese Muslims range from thousands to ten thousand, while it has been estimated that the Muslim immigrant population amounts to 70,000- 100,000 people.

Bahá'ís Faith: 

In 1875, by `Abdu'l-Bahá, this religion began after a few mentions of the country. Kanichi Yamamoto was the first Japanese who lived in Honolulu, who accepted the faith in 1902. Soichiro Fujita was the second convert. In 2005, almost a century later, the Association of Religion of Data Archives estimated some 15,700 Bahá'ís.

Judaism:

In Japan, Judaism is practiced by about 2,000 Jews living in the country. In 1853, with the opening of Japan to the external world and the end of Japan's sakoku foreign policy, some Jews immigrated to Japan from abroad.

Hinduism: 

By a smaller number of people, Hinduism is practiced in Japan. Mostly by migrants from India, Nepal, Bali. Including the aforementioned, various Hindu deities, are worshipped in Shingon Buddhism.

Sikhism:

In Japan, Sikhism is presently a minority religion mainly followed by families migrated from India.

Jainism:

Jainism is also a minority religion in Japan. There were three Jain temples in the country as of 2009.

The religions which are called now as New Religions were founded after the mid- 19th century.  Most of the religions have their roots in Shinto and Shamanism. But by Buddhism, they were also influenced. 

India

31 Views