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How religious would you say Japanese people are?

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I would say that they're not religious in the concept that they would pray at certain times of a day like Christians and Muslims, but they are religious in a sense that it shapes their value system. Japan's concept of kami isn't just confined to their gods, it also resides in the things around them. Which is why I remember parents telling their children to take care of their stuff and other living things as kami resides in them. Also add to the fact that aside from Shintoism, Japan also practices Buddhism. The latter is a religion that's quite lax compared to Judeo-Christian faiths. In a sentence, I would say that the Japanese are more spiritual than they are religious. I'm Christian and this is how I see it.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

In a day to day sense, not really, but my mother in law makes me throw handfuls of salt and her when she goes to visit her relatives graves or goes to a funeral (which happens a lot).

Also when I was pregnant she made me clean all the bathrooms in our house. She gave a religious reason for it but 9 years later I'm still annoyed by it lol

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not particularly, outside of cultural habits that have formed from it.

I don't think it affects people's day to day lives much. The average person doesn't consider themselves an atheist from my experience, but I also feel like religious matters simply aren't given much thought.

As an atheist it is actually really refreshing to live somewhere where it just literally never comes up, good or bad.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan as now is no religious country at all.

Japan is good place for many newcomers from abroad,some many different kinds or religions or sects like JW etc since japanese people does not have strong ties either to buddhism or shintoism.

Japan id good place for strangers from all around world to hunt for new sheep here...

I feel both buddhism and shintoism is just kind of cultural tradition for them than religion thing.This may dissapear in decades to come...

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

One of Japan's saving graces is the lack of religion. Sadly many outside religions see easy pickings for their cults in the" lost souls" here. If you believe in God, thats fine but why do you need to recruit others? Its not a pyramid scheme.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The Japanese are not religious at all.

But come to think of it, MANY people who CLAIM to be religious act more in contrast with their own religion than nonbelievers.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Lack of strong religious conviction is one of Japan’s beauties.

But come to think of it, MANY people who CLAIM to be religious act more in contrast with their own religion than nonbelievers

Overall, that’s a good thing. People living by what’s actually in the texts of the monotheisms in particular would be a nightmare.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Overall, that’s a good thing.

No its not. Religion by and large is a good thing, but so many people use and abuse it to manipulate, control, and worst of all kill other people.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

One of Japan's saving graces is the lack of religion.

Could not agree more.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

No its not. Religion by and large is a good thing, but so many people use and abuse it to manipulate, control, and worst of all kill other people

That’s true but there is a problem with the texts themselves. Given their ages, it is inevitable that they contain ideas which have no place in the 21st century.

Awful beliefs are justified by reference to these outdated writings.

Modern moral religious people ignore or ‘reinterpret’ the barbaric stuff. That’s the point I was making.

Best not to see any text as ‘sacred’ in the first place.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

No big difference…

The percentage of distribution within the population might differ a bit, but you find of course the same big spectrum as in other comparable developed industrial nations, from atheists, occasionally only warship goers, two or three bigger religions with tax bonuses, maintaining their historical or newer shrines and temples, providing own kindergartens schools , universities and a lot of engaged people and also providing anything religious from birth, marriage to death, but you can find also quite many small and splintered sects, a very few quasi-militants and regrettable yes, there once were or maybe still are even underground activities , of which one had been culminating into that infamous Sarin attacks and killings, related to Aum and the legal or illegal aftermath similar sects.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Very religious, with almost no proselytizing.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Religion by and large is a good thing,

I beg to differ/

12 ( +13 / -1 )

That’s true but there is a problem with the texts themselves. Given their ages, it is inevitable that they contain ideas which have no place in the 21st century.

I feel that those ideas can all still be relevant within the parameters of what is accepted within today's societies.

Awful beliefs are justified by reference to these outdated writings.

those awful beliefs will be justified one way or another. We don't need religion to kill each other.

Modern moral religious people ignore or ‘reinterpret’ the barbaric stuff.

many of those in the past did as well. good and evil are both always with us.

Best not to see any text as ‘sacred’ in the first place.

to each his own. I personally see them as sacred. Even if you don't believe in them

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Religion by and large is a good thing,

I beg to differ/

Feel free to do so. I won't take it personally because we have differing views. As you can see with Jimizo, we differ, but respectfully. You and I can do the same.

My issue is with posters who turn into A-holes because there is a difference of opinion.

We are all here to express our true feelings through dialogue and discourse. That's why I use my real name on this forum- because I never say anything here that I wouldn't people that I know to find out I said it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@savethegaijin

You throw your mother-in-law at funerals?I'd take that with a pinch of salt.

Seriously,the way in which animals and nature are generally treated here contradicts Buddhist tenets.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

More superstitious than religious. A lot of woo woo is peddled here, too.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Religious or spiritual? Spiritually, at least, Japan appears well.  Generations have found the degree that it permits self to feel as if you’re a part of something larger than yourself.  It can, if allowed, make one feel grounded in the spirit of family and ancestry thousands of years in the making going ever forward. Generations of community of spirit and mind in a world that – all too often – feels soulless and impersonal.  That place, anchored and treasured in mind where one is secure through the years, despite external storm and turmoil. A feeling and a purpose, disregarding how much you make or how popular you are. 

Religious?  Hard to sense, in that it is largely a unit of measure that people seem to must measure up to, that largely ignores an individual's faith or spirit or sense of purpose.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not very religious because they do not understand the reason for praying.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

From my experiences talking with different people from Japan, I see it as that they're less religious and more continuing certain practices out of tradition and habit. I've ask many of them if they are religious and all said no; so I asked why they went to shrines to pray and they said it was just something they did at certain times of the year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They're very religious. Religions are rituals. Rituals strengthen bonds, create commonality and mark shared important periods in their lives that can be identified by those who engage in them. Religion is a "how to" for living, dying and what to do with the deceased.

Japan has a plethora of rituals. Putting together hands, bowing and saying itadakimasu & gochisosamadeshita; ringing a bell, clapping, and bowing at shrines/temples; no standing chopsticks in rice bowls; New Year's/Obon visits to shrines; amulets for safe driving or health; purifying property with a Shinto priest before putting up a building; gift giving during summer and winter; throwing money into the money box at a temple/shrine; wreathes to hang above doors or on the grill of your car; the belief in spirits in inanimate objects and nature; the list just goes on and on. Everybody here does and knows these things.

This country is filled to the brim with hundreds of large temples and shrines. Add to that a few thousand smaller temples and shrines. They're everywhere. They don't proselyte but they all have a vast amount of rituals they almost all do and share. It's there source of "we Japanese" and it is religious.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How religious would you say Japanese people are?

It's hard to say. Religion is a personal matter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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