Spirit and Religion in Japan
Christmas in Japan
Not Nativity Scenes, but Christmas trees decorated with large neon dolphins, fish and hearts.
Ancient Shinto Artifacts
Shintoism is sorta like Japanese Paganism - an all encompassing high regard for the spirits in nature. The Britsh Museum hosted an exhibit of Shinto artifacts; I took photos of the oldest pieces.
How did the world's most accelerated technological consumer society spawn the twentieth-century's most insidious religious attack?
A shrine in Tokyo built to honor the war dead. Leaders of Japan's efforts during WWII were buried here, as a result this shrine evokes some anger and grief from other Asians. I visited Yasukuni in the summer of 2001, and found it to be a challenge.
I was surprised to see a large family of spiritually embued porcelain badgers had taken up residence in a Tokyo subway station. I shouldn't have been surprised.
Band Member, Dars Gevil
Tokyo Indie Music Festival
Links (October 2001):
Profiles of Various Religions in Japan,
Drawn from the University of Virginia's Religious Movements site:
Backyard Nature - A personal account of Japanese spirituality by a foreigner with a camera.
- A recasting of Japanese folk religion and the oldest native Japanese faith.
- A religious import that peacefully coexists with older faith traditions in Japan.
- Christianity in Japan
- "After Christianity's great initial success, Japanese authorities began to view the Western religion as an intrusive foreign element and a threat to national stability. The Christian tradition required exclusive dedication which clashed with the traditions of Japanese religions. Even today, many Japanese people view Buddhism as a household obligation and Shintoism as a communal obligation, and they incorporate both into their lives through various festivals and ancestor rites."
- Nichiren Shoshu
- One of the largest schools of Japanese Buddhism, founded in the 13th century.
- Soka Gakkai
- Soka Gakkai is one of Nichiren Shoshu's several "infant" sects.
- In 1837, "'God the Parent'" possessed an entranced Miki and announced his intention to use her as the "'Shrine of God'" and a median between God and humans.
- Kanichi Otsuka was born in 1891 with Divine Power. At his wife's urging, he later created a religion to share his capacity for healing and skull/brain enlargement.
- Seicho No Ie
- "The Truth of Reality of Life," 40 volumes written in the 1930s by Masaharu Taniguchi, explains how to actualize creative spirit right now.
- Sukyo Mahikari
- Cleansing, empowering, ancestor worship, this religion emerged first in the late 1950s as Okada Yoshikazu challened The Su God, also known as Revered-Parent Origin-Lord True-Light Great God.