Religion in Japan

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Religion in Japan manifests primarily in Shinto and in Buddhism, the two main faiths, which Japanese people often practice simultaneously. According to estimates, as many as 80% of the populace follow Shinto rituals to some degree, worshiping ancestors and spirits at domestic altars and public shrines. An almost equally high number is reported as Buddhist.


  • There are many points about the kami-concept that cannot be fully understood, and there is some disagreement even among modern scholars on this subject. The Japanese people themselves do not have a clear idea regarding the kami. They are aware of the kami intuitively at the depth of their consciousness and communicate with the kami directly without having formed the kami-idea conceptually or theologically. Therefore, it is impossible to make explicit and clear that which fundamentally by its very nature is vague. Only in recent times have Shinto leaders been endeavoring to develop a unified theology regarding the kami. Thus although increasing attention is being paid to this subject, there are still many matters that are not clear even among Shintoists.
    • Ono, Sokyo (1962). Shinto: the kami way. Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Company, Limited. ISBN 978-1-4629-0083-1.

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