Which Religions Are In Japan?

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Have you ever wondered which religion is predominant in Japan? What religions exist in Japan? Do the Japanese believe in the Bible? In this article, we will talk about Japanese religions and some curiosities.

Talking about religions in Japan is a little confusing. At the same time that half the population claims not to have a religion, nearly 100 million inhabitants claim to be Buddhists and Shintoists. Those who deny still participate in their practices and customs.

What is Japan’s official and predominant religion?

There are divergences in knowing which is the predominant religion in Japan. Some say it is Buddhism, others say it is Shinto, but it is a complicated answer because about 80% of the Japanese practice the Shinto rituals tied to the precepts of Buddhism.

Japan’s traditional religion is the Shinto (Shintō - 神道) which literally means “Path of the gods”. Shinto incorporates spiritual practices derived from diverse Japanese, local and regional prehistoric traditions, characterized by the worship of deities that represent the forces of nature. There are more than 88,591 shinto shrines spread across Japan.

The history of Buddhism in Japan was widespread in several different periods, until it became dominant in Japan. Buddhism encompasses diverse traditions, beliefs, and practices generally based on the teachings of Buddha . There are over 85,439 Buddhist temples across Japan.

Coexistence of religions in Japan

Shinto and Buddhism coexist peacefully, most Japanese claim to belong to the 2 beliefs, including Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines are often found together in the same places.

It is common for Japanese people to marry a Shinto ceremony, and have a Buddhist funeral. The Japanese do not usually visit these places regularly for worship. Both religions greatly influence the Japanese lifestyle.

A good number visit the temples and shrines most of the time for events, tourism, rituals and needs. About 100 million Japanese claim to be Shinto and 80 million Buddhists. Both religions are full of superstitions and traditions.

Religions in japan - list and curiosities
Japanese temples and tori portals

Shinto in Japan

Shinto is the term for Japan's indigenous religious beliefs and practices. Shinto has no founder, nor official scriptures, nor fixed creeds, but it has preserved its main beliefs and rituals over time.

The word Shinto came into use to distinguish Japanese indigenous beliefs from Buddhism, which were introduced in Japan in the 6th century AD Shinto (along with Buddhism) is closely linked to Japanese society and culture.

Shinto is Japan's ethnic religion that focuses on the belief that spiritual powers manifest in natural places, such as mountains, rivers and other aspects of nature, including people and animals.

What does the Shinto religion preach? - Shinto fold the harmonious relationship between man and nature.

What is the origin of Shintoism? - Originally, the shinto it had no name, doctrine or dogmas. As mentioned, it was created to distinguish itself from Buddhism. The tradition of shinto explains the source the world, Japan and the Japanese imperial family.

We recommend reading: Shinto in Japan - Japanese Religions

Religions in japan - list and curiosities
Festival in Tokyo

Buddhism in Japan

Buddhism is a religion that originated in India between the 4th and 6th century BC and is centered on the teachings of Siddartha Gautama, known posthumously as The Buddha, whose purpose is to help any living being to end the cycle of suffering (samsara) and achieve the extinction of suffering (nirvana) becoming a bodhisattva (one that reaches the nirvana).

The religion migrated out of India and spread throughout Asia. Buddhism had a major influence on the development of Japanese society. In modern times, the most popular schools of Buddhism in Japan are those in the Pure Land, Nichiren, Shingon and Zen.

Even though only 35% of the Japanese claim to be Buddhists, 90% practices Buddhism in some way, whether by visiting temples or having a related object. About 60% of the Japanese have a Butsudan (Buddhist shrine) in their homes.

We recommend reading: Buddhism in Japan - Japanese Religions

Which Religions Are In Japan?
Buddhist statue

Christianity in Japan

Are there Christians in Japan? Many wonder if there are Christians in Japan. Yes, but only 1% out of 126 million people are Christians, a large part is from the Nagasaki region, Japan's largest Christian community.

The history of Christianity in Japan began in 1549 when a Jesuit missionary, Francisco Xavier arrived in Kagoshima accompanied by a samurai, Ansei Yajiro. Despite great opposition from Japan's leaders and Buddhists, Christianity led by the Jesuits received full support from the rulers, Oda Nobunaga and Hieyoshi Toyotomi.

But in July 1587, Generalissimo Hideyoshi, afflicted with unhealthy anger, determined that the missionaries could not remain in the country. There were persecutions, expulsions and destruction of churches.

And in 1612 Christianity is outlawed. An inquisition was instituted in 1640 by the Xogun Iemitsu Tokugawa initiating a persecution of Christians. Only in 1792 did this inquisition end and in 1873 Christianity was recognized in Japan.

There are currently approximately 3 million Christians in Japan, and nearly 10,000 churches and temples. Christianity in Japan is still considered by many Japanese to be the religion of foreigners.

One of the difficulties of the growth of Christianity in Japan, is the commitment to renounce the polytheism of Shinto and Japanese Buddhism. There are 32,036 Christian priests and pastors in Japan.

It is interesting to analyze that the fact that Japan does not have a commitment to spirituality, does not mean that people are not good. A survey conducted worldwide indicated that 57% of the Japanese claim not to have a religion, while in Brazil 92% claims to belong to a religion. and we noticed a controversial one in people's attitude and lifestyle.

Religions in japan - list and curiosities
Tea Ceremony

Other religions in Japan

Below we will see some other religions present in Japan, as well as some curiosities about them:

Shinshukyô (新宗教) 

New religions such as shinshukyô and shinkô-shukyô have emerged and have been expanding rapidly in Japan, skillfully using the mass media, marketing and advertising techniques, establishing their own educational institutions, promising miracles and material and spiritual benefits in this lifetime. , and showing a more active proselytism.

Jehovah’s Witnesses (Ehoba no shonin エホバの証人)

At Jehovah's Witnesses are Christian and currently there are 215,703 of them in Japan, and 18 groups are English-speaking. The Japanese translation of the new world, the bible used by them, is one of the only ones that has furigana reading.

Japan is known for a busy and busy lifestyle, and the population does not believe in the Bible. Still, Japan is the most dedicated country in the preaching work, where 1 in 3 do a voluntary work of dedicating at least 50 hours every month in house to house service (in Brazil, it is 1 in 10).

Which Religions Are In Japan?
Kingdom Hall in Osaka

SGI - Soka Gakkai International

As another religion influenced by countries outside Japanese customs we have the Soka Gakkai International. THE SGI is a non-governmental organization (NGO) affiliated to the United Nations since 1983 and present in 190 countries and territories.

Its fundamental objective is to promote peace and respect for human dignity. Its members carry out extensive activities in the fields of Peace, Culture and Education that include exhibitions, cultural and educational exchanges, as well as humanitarian aid worldwide.

Ryukyuan (琉球神道)

Ryukyuan is a system of indigenous beliefs in the Okinawa people and the other Ryukyu islands. While specific legends and traditions may vary slightly from place to place, the Ryukyuan religion is generally characterized by the cult of ancestors.

Unlike Shintoism where men are seen as the personification of purity, there is a group of superior women from the goddess Amamikyo.

Ainu is another indigenous belief system of the Ainu people of Hokkaido and parts of Russia's Far East. They believe that spirits or gods live in everything.

Festival in Okinawa

Judaism (Yudayakyōユダヤ教)

There are approximately 2,000 Jews in Japan. With the opening of Japan to the outside world in 1853, some Jews migrated to Japan. Amazingly, some Jews found refuge during the Second World War in Japan.

Islam (Isuramukyōイスラム教)

There are a good number of Muslims in Japan. In Japan the majority of Muslims were immigrants, an estimated 70 to 100,000 Muslims immigrated to Japan.

Confucianism (Jukyo 儒教)

Confucianism is a doctrine (or philosophical system) created by the Chinese thinker Confucius. Confucianism is considered a philosophy, social ethics, political ideology, literary tradition and a way of life.

There are many other religions and groups in Japan, but for today we are going to stick with that. If you have any data to add, you can comment below. Thanks for the comments and shares.

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13 thoughts on “Quais as religiões do Japão?”

  1. Claro que sim, curvar é apenas um sinal de respeito, não uma adoração, falamos itadakimasu tb, não tem nd de mais… Agr que vi seu comentário, o site só notifica os que comentam pela primeira vez…

  2. Ninguém deve seguir ninguém nessa vida, acho sim que devemos tomar como exemplos as boas atitudes de outros humanos sim, mas se fazer seguidor de esse ou daquele indivíduo é para maluco. Jesus, buda, confucio, mouhamed, e tantos outros pensadores e filósofos nos deixaram alguns conceitos de bondade assim como boas atitudes e bons exemplos mas, não podemos fazer deles os mais corretos em tudo pois quem nessa vida veio foi para aprender e se penitenciar pelo que deva ter feito de errado nessa ou em outra vida. O ser humano devido suas carências tende a classificar qualquer um que acredito ser o melhor de todos como sendo o supra sumo da bondade e do direito, classificando imediatamente eles como divindades, filho de Deus e tantos outros conceitos criados. Acho sim que temos que ser comedidos em nossos pensamentos e procurar fazer o melhor nessa vida e ajudar dentro dos nossos limites nossos semelhantes.
    As religiões são na sua maioria prejudiciais para nós humanos, principalmente por terem sido criadas por outros semelhantes como nós se dizendo representante de Deus para impressionar os incautos e consequentemente usando as ditas religiões para lucro próprio e seus parceiros.
    O papa prega humildade e bondade e tem para si um País e vive dentro da maior opulência e riqueza.
    Os pastores pregam um bando de mentiras para usurpar seus fiéis, pois lhes pergunto qual pastor não é podre de rico, acho que somente aquele que começou agora.
    Enfim, procurem saber sobre tantas outras religiões como elas aconteceram e seus fundadores e mandantes como estão socialmente nessa vida. Posso garantir que não foi através de orações que ficaram ricos ou muitíssimo bem de vida e sim enganando seus fiéis para ter uma arrecadação maravilhosa.

    • O mais irônico de tudo é q as religiões falam tanto em jesus, adoram como se fosse o pai, sendo que na terra ele era pessoa mais humilde e direcionava qualquer ato de adoração que alguém tentava fazer para o pai dele, fugindo do destaque…

      Eu com certeza não entendo as pessoas, é bem visível essa de roubo de dizimo, se eu não estivesse em uma organização sem dizimo e que estudam a bíblia ao invés de seguir tradições, provavelmente eu seria ateu ou de alguma religião não crista.

      Porque no meu ponto de vista, religiões é sim algo prejudicial para os humanos, é algo que satanás tem domínio kkkk, está até escrito! Hoje em dias as pessoas vão atrás de religiões que prometem bençãos… Procuram qualquer caminho aleatório que pareça fácil sem nem examina-lo.

  3. No one should follow anyone in this life, I do think that we should take as examples the good attitudes of other humans, yes, but if you follow this or that individual é for crazy. Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Mouhamed, and so many other thinkers and philosophers left us some concepts of goodness as well as good attitudes and good examples, but we cannot make them the most correct in everything because who in this life he came was to learn and to do penance for what he must have done wrong in this or another life. The human being, due to his lacks, tends to classify anyone who I believe to be the best of all as being the supreme of goodness and right, immediately classifying them as deities, son of God and so many other created concepts. I do think that we have to be restrained in our thoughts and try to do the best in this life and help our fellow beings within our limits.
    Religions are mostly harmful to us humans, mainly because they were created by others like us, claiming to be God's representative to impress the unwary and consequently using the so-called religions for their own profit and their partners.
    The pope preaches humility and kindness and has a country for himself and lives within the greatest opulence and wealth.
    Pastors preach a bunch of lies to usurp their faithful, for I ask them which pastor is not. filthy rich, I think only the one who started now.
    Anyway, try to find out about so many other religions as they happened and their founders and principals as they are socially in this life. I can guarantee that it was not through prayers that they became rich or very well off, but by deceiving their faithful to have a collection 231;It's wonderful.

    • The most ironic of all é that religions talk so much about jesus, they worship as if he were the father, and on earth he was the most humble person and directed any act of worship that someone tried to do for his father, escaping the spotlight…

      I sure as hell don't understand people, é This tithe-stealing thing would be very visible, if I wasn't in an organization without a tithe and who study the bible instead of following traditions, I would probably be an atheist or of some non-Christian religion.

      Because in my view, religions é yes something harmful to humans, é something that satan has dominion lol, it's untilé written! Nowadays people look to religions that promise blessings; They look for any random path that looks easy without even examining it.

  4. As testemunhas de Jeová não são cristãos, talvez alguns se apresentem como tal, mas para fins de conversão. No Japão eles vivem incomodando as pessoas, principalmente acordando cedo as pessoas que irão trabalhar no turno da noite.

    • Como assim não são cristãos? Elas só vão nas ruas porque Jesus mandou, você acha que eu gosto de ficar andando na rua levando porta na cara? As pessoas entendem completamente errado, só porque acreditamos que o pai é maior que o filho não somos cristão? Jesus quando teve na terra nunca pediu pra ser adorado mas para adorar o pai dele… Mas nunca deixamos de seguir jesus…. Sem Jesus a vida não teria nenhum sentido ou lógica… Ele foi o resgate! Ele é o Rei do reino de Deus…

      As testemunhas de Jeová se esforçam em ESTUDAR e seguir a bíblia, pode ser um incomodo, mas lembre-se dos tempos de Noé! Não tem como adivinharmos quem trabalha a noite, mas também não podemos deixar de fazer esse trabalho que JESUS fazia, é uma obrigação que todo cristão devia seguir…

  5. oi boa noite.
    já fui criado por japoneses.
    conheço bem suas crenças eo respeito por eles .
    como eu era aluno e como um filho deles .
    sabia me comportar respeitar .
    e mostrar lealdade .
    e seus filhos e filhas me mostram que eles também eram minha família.
    e hoje devo muito a eles .