Religions of Japan
What are the religious beliefs of the Japanese people?
How do these beliefs influence their daily lives?
The two major religions in Japan today are Shinto and Buddhism. The symbol
of Shinto is the Torii Gate. Almost everyone near Concord has seen statues
of the seated, meditating Buddha.
The information in these pages comes from the book "Religions of the
World" by Lewis M. Hopfe.
- Shinto encompasses many different beliefs and practices, but is the
religion most associated with Japanese patriotism. Its mythology describes
the formation of Japan, its shrines commemorate Japan's great heroes. Shinto
encourages the Japanese to appreciate the beauty of their land, and to
remember their ancestors. The derivation of the word Shinto means "Way
of the Gods"
- Buddhism began in India in the sixth century B.C. Its founder was a man
named Siddhartha. Its followers attempt to extinguish the cravings and
desires of the human body, and achieve Nirvana when they are released from
the bounds of their desires.
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