Hi,friends.I will write about Japanese religion today.Some people from overseas countries believe that most Japanese have a strong faith in religion like Buddhism or Shinto.But I don’t think so.Most of my friends or coworkers don’t seem even interested in any religion and not talk into it at all.They tend to believe and rely on advanced science rather than God or superstition these days.If anything,you would be teased or avoided if you are so into religions here from time to time .Some Japanese may think that “why we need to believe God without reasons”.Back in the day,my grandmother used to tell me that If you did something bad,God is supposed to see it and gonna punish you.That really hit me and effective for small kids,but once you have grown up,you try to put things in perspective and think logically.That gradually makes us not believe God.Of course,seeking specific answers is really important to develop our living standers or advance human societies,but if it’s too much,we would lose the emotional feelings and be like robots.I don’t mean to insist which one is better or not.Just “balance” is that I’m taking about.
①Do we all Japanese belong to Shinto and Buddhism?
According to a survey in 2016,the numbers of Shinto followers in Japan were 85 million,there were 88 million Buddhists and 2.5 million Christians.But total number of people who belong to above three major religions is approximate 176 million,more than the Japanese entire population about 130 million today.This means most of Japanese are on both the Shinto and Buddhist religions.Just so you know,I’m on Shinto so to speak.Shinto and Buddhism have co-existed in Japan since the 6th century,when Buddhism was imported from Korea,partly thanks to the tolerant nature of Shinto.Shinto is an indigenous one based on worships of nature.It has no founder,no dogma,no scripture and its most essential concept is purity.It is said the greatest Shinto impurity is death,and it’s always considered taboo.On the contrary,Buddhism mentions how to escape the agonies of your life and reach nirvana,or enlightenment.Therefore,most Japanese usually visit Shinto shrines for occasions related to this life such as Omiyamairi,baby’s first shrine or weddings.On the other hand,we visit Buddhist temples for events related to life after death,such as funerals.
②When do Japanese visit shrines and temples?
Lots of families in Japan have small household Shinto and Buddhist altars in their homes to pray everyday.The most important event for Shinto takes place in New year,when million of people visit shrines to pray for happiness and healthy year,that called “HATSUMODE. “Of course I’m also supposed to visit it next year.
Thank you for reading for this article today.