Sunday, March 14, 2010

Japan, Part Nine

Japanese Temples, Part Two

The three major religions in Japan are Shinto, Buddhism, and Confucianism, although the latter is far more a philosophy than a religion. Other religions are also common, including Christianity--but the Japanese rarely belong to only one religion. In fact, most Japanese will claim that they are not religious at all, and a few minutes later stop to pray at an office shrine.

Here is a Bahaii temple, one of the many other religions represented in Japan.

We learned that since WWII the Japanese have become smitten with the Christian wedding ceremony, so frequently people who continue practicing Shinto and Buddhism (almost everyone practices both) get married in a Christian church. That's the best example I know to show that the Japanese have a very different attitude toward religion from that of westerners.

Because there are no funerals in Shinto, Buddhism provides them. No one seems bothered by the difference between the importance of ancestors--implying that their spirits remain in shrines or around the family home in some kind of conscious awareness and individuality--and the Buddhist belief in reincarnation.

To my knowledge, the Japanese attitude toward religion is unique, and I don't think westerners will ever really understand it.


Learn to Speak Japanese

How to import a car from Japan. Click here.

Click here for Seven Reasons to Visit India.

This series of posts on my trip to Japan begins here.

The journal of my trip to India and Nepal begins here.

The series of posts on my trip to Italy begins here.

Geezer-Chick's guest blog on York, England is here.

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