Sample Essay on:
Japanese Religion

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

An 8 page overview of Japan's primary religions. These include Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. The author of this paper emphasizes that these religions have merged over time into one distinctive Japanese religion. The various elements of each, however, remain distinctive in that religion. Bibliography lists 10 sources.

Page Count:

8 pages (~225 words per page)

File: AM2_PPrlgJap.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

These are: Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism. Each of these religions is fascinating on their own but they become particularly fascinating when interlaced as is often the case in Japan. By far the most predominant religions of Japan are Shinto and Buddhism. Most Japanese, however, practice both faiths. Buddhism has had the most influence on the people over time with various Buddhist sects breaking off from the primary branch. These sects include Jodo, Shingon, Nicheren, and Sokagakkai. While Christianity is also represented in Japan that representation consists of only a small fragment of the people. Takayama (1998) reports that in early Japan between the 6th and 8th centuries the countrys major religions were merged together to result in a "single interlocking religious system". To clarify, these very distinct religions became merged to a degree in their Japanese manifestations: "some symbols, doctrines, and practices of the traditional religions interchanged with one another and overlaid and coalesced, creating their own separate systemic, multi-layered pattern: Japanese religion" (Takayama, 1998, 65). Because of this syncretism, this merging of major religious philosophies and beliefs, understanding Japanese religion can sometimes appear to be an insurmountable task. Author Joseph Campbell tells the story of a social philosopher from the U.S. who attended a religious conference in Japan. Unfamiliar with Asia or its religions the philosopher set out to visit the various shrines and temples in the area. He observed both ceremony and ritual but in the end was still confused. He confessed to a Shinto priest that he simply did not understand the ...

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