The Shifting Landscape of Japanese Religion

The indigenous Shintō faith, the introduction of Buddhism, the influence of Christianity, and the rise of new religions after World War II have all shaped the Japanese religious landscape. Understanding the shifts in Japanese belief is one route to understanding the people and society.

Japan’s Religious Ambivalence: The Shaping and Dismantling of a National PolityShimazono Susumu

Religion is often regarded as playing a comparatively minor role in Japanese society, but is this really true? Religious scholar Shimazono Susumu examines the historical evolution of religion as a social force in Japan.

Japanese Religion Comes Full Circle: Millennials in Search of Their Spiritual RootsShimada Hiromi

In the wake of the “new religion” movements of the 1960s and “new new religions” of the 1970s and 1980s comes the newest thing yet—young Japanese men and women drawing inspiration from Japan's ancient spiritual heritage. Religious scholar Shimada Hiromi offers a historical perspective on this latest phenomenon.

The Japanese World View: Three Keys to UnderstandingYamaori Tetsuo

A distinctively Japanese view of life and death has persisted since ancient times, despite overlays of imported culture and religion. The distinguished religious studies scholar Yamaori Tetsuo looks at the physical and environmental roots of this world view and its distillation in Japanese religion and mythology.

Kami: The Evolution of Japan’s Native GodsHashizume Daisaburō

Since ancient times, Japanese people have revered kami, the gods of Shintō. And for over a millennium they have also practiced Buddhism, sometimes conflating Buddhas with their native divinities. Sociologist Hashizume Daisaburō traces the changes in the Japanese view of kami over the centuries.

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