Religious Views of Japan

Religion of Japan

In Japan, most people do not specifically identify themselves to any religions; they bring together various religions and borrow some practices from each of the religions.

The main religions of Japan are Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto was the original, dominant and oldest religion of Japan while Buddhism was imported to Japan in the 6 th century.

The two religions coexist in harmony and complement each other in various aspects. Other minor religions in
Japan include Confucianism, Islam and Christianity.

Religion is not viewed with serious concern in Japan (Zuckerman, 2007). Birth records in Japan show that 84% to 96% of Japanese belong to either Shinto or Buddhism.

However, self-identification research indicates that about 70% of Japanese do not identify themselves to any religious group.

An average Japanese person follows various religious practices such as funerals, weddings and birth; but they do not consider religion itself important as a source of faith (McQuaid, 2008).

People who profess certain religions visit the shrine and the temple during New Year and attend local religious festivals referred to as Matsuri.


References list

McQuaid, J. (2008). A View of Religion in Japan. New York: Japan Society.

Zuckerman, P. (2007). Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns. In Michael, M. Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press.

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