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  • What is the role of religion in day to day life in Japan?

    Posted by Mei Ling on June 12, 2023 at 5:47 am

    Is Japan a country heavily influenced by religion? Or is it mostly secular?

    Andre replied 1 year, 1 month ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Andre

    June 12, 2023 at 6:40 am

    Hi Mei Ling,

    Japan is a fascinating mix when it comes to religion. The two dominant religions are Shinto, the indigenous faith, and Buddhism, which was imported from the Asian mainland over 1,000 years ago. However, it’s not uncommon for individuals to practice customs from both religions.

    In day-to-day life, you may see Shinto influence in the form of “jinja” (shrines) visits during New Year or other special occasions, while important life events such as funerals are often conducted in Buddhist manners. Customs like throwing coins into a shrine box and clapping before prayer, or visiting a family grave during the Obon festival, are often practiced by many regardless of their religious devotion.

    While these religious customs are still prevalent, it’s also important to note that many Japanese people consider themselves non-religious in a formal sense. A large number of Japanese individuals often describe their faith as a cultural or familial practice rather than a personal belief system. In that sense, Japan could be described as having a secular society with deep-rooted religious customs.

    I hope this helps in understanding the unique blend of religion and secularism in Japan.


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