You may think that Japanese have a strange customs of going to Shinto Shrines when they have a new baby to introduce to and of being taken to Buddhist Temples after you die.

Omiya-mairi, introducing a new baby to God.

Today I would like to talk about religion in Japan. I suppose that knowing about religion in Japan can help you to understand Japanese mentality.

Shintoism is related to people’s life in Japan. We pray for luck and success in business, school, marriage, and life in general. Also you can have a traditional wedding ceremony at Shrine. People go to Shrine in every new year to pray for luck and health though the year. Also some Shrines have festivals and traditional music concerts.

I often visit my local small shrine, but one of my favorite Shrines is Meiji Shrine. It is feeling great to walk in trees at a heart of Tokyo. It is quiet and peaceful.

Japanese wedding ceremony at Shinto Shrine

It is said that the origin of religion in Japan may well be the Folk religion and Shintoism started with the Folk religion and continued centuries with the many changes. These beliefs were peaceful and good for everyone. The mentality of the Japanese may depend to a large extent on Shintoism as it is a part of our hearts. In this traditional religion, Shinto is believed in multitudinous gods.

Shrines are dedicated to the religions of Japan. Shintoism is found in no other country. Shrines are also dedicated to a god or gods, the spirit of some historical hero or heroes, imperial ancestors.

Buddhism came to Japan in 6th century and it was changed too. The base of Japanese culture such as writing, reading and architecture was brought by Buddhism.

Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto

In other countries, temples are dedicated to gods. Temples are beautiful, and worship services are regularly performed in many of them. In Japan, temples are dedicated to the religion of Buddhism. This religion teaches us to achieve the state of Nirvana. To do this, we have to follow the eight-fold path consisting of right belief, right word, right resolve, right act, right life, right effort, right thinking, and right meditation.

Visiting a grave to Temple

Buddhism is related to spirituality and death. The temples take care of the family ashes and burial tombs. Anniversaries of the death of a relative are conducted in temples. Other ceremonies are also performed at temples, but commemoration of death is a very important and common event at a temple. Buddhism is very precious to us.


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