Japan Religion Essay

1825 words - 7 pages

All around the world, religion is a dominant idea for many cultures; exemplifying a certain way of life, serving as a basis for faith, and bringing charity to the world, religion is a extensive concept. For several cultures and countries religion may vary according to demographics, socio-economical class, and ethnicity. Main concepts of religion in Japan are natural and superstitious based. The leading religion in Japan remains Shinto, while other religions have come and go, interweaving themselves among the Japanese society.
For any Japanese person who may practice Shinto, another religion that may dually be practiced is Buddhism. Are these religions common to one another in theory? Do they serve the same purposes? And what other religions claim a popular following in Japan? While Buddhism was brought over to Japan via China and Korea in the 6th century, Shinto seems to have always resided in Japan (Japan-Guide.com, 2007).
The religion of Shinto is still today very mysterious because "in some areas there is still no certain knowledge…in the course of the centuries many Japanese have written extensively on Shinto but these are largely expressions of their individual points of view. Except for the relatively short three-quarters of a century of regimentation after the Meiji Restoration when there was an artificial, government-created authoritative interpretation of Shinto, there has not been any large body of interpretation that is generally accepted" (Ono, Sokyo ix).
Buddhism was founded by the teachings of Guatama Siddhartha who was born around 6th century B.C. in Nepal. The spread of Buddhism took many centuries, and didn't reach Japan until 6th century A.C. (Buddhanet). Although there are many sects of Buddhism, the main teachings are universal in The Four Noble Truths. These teachings from Siddhartha himself lay the foundation of Buddhism itself.
The first Nobel truth; Life means suffering.
"To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death. (The Big View).
The second Noble Truth is that the origin of suffering is attachment to worldly desires.
"The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof… The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursue of wealth, prestige, striving for fame and popularity" (The Big View).
The third Nobel Truth is the cessation of suffering is attainable.
"Extinguishing all forms of clinging and attachment… Suffering can be overcome through human activity simply by removing the cause of suffering" (The Big View).
The Fourth Noble Truth is to follow the Eightfold Path.
"A gradual self-improvement by following the way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence and excessive self-mortification"(The Big View).
Although the Four Nobel Truths are...

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