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Religious Freedom In Japan Essay

1795 words - 7 pages

Japan became one of the most industrialize countries in the world; it has grown rapidly in the economic arena, however, religious liberty in Japan is still in maturing. Different from the United States and other Western countries in where the principle of separation of church and state took place, Japanese tradition continues with the usual patter in where governments control religion. Most Japanese people do not identify themselves adherent to a single religion; instead they incorporate different elements from various religions. Japan enjoys religious freedom. Minority religious like Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are practiced as well. But census perform in Japan show that 70% of its population prefers not to affiliate with any religion, 65% do not believe in God, 55% do not believe in Buddha. This numbers create many question in whether Japan’s modern lifestyle and religion beliefs create conflict among the Japanese population. It’s this rapidly modernization of Japan leaving traditions outside Japanese culture?

Japan’s religious belief and Japan’s modern, materialist society create and ideological conflict that kept on growing. Contradictions between the old and the new, modernity and tradition are part of the contemporary issues of religion in Japan. Ideological conflicts like this create repercussion leaving a schism in the psyche. Because of this, beliefs and life styles of the Japanese community grow to become more difficult giving as a result internal confusion and isolation. As Japan’s economic power grows, Japanese people are able to enjoy many goods and more modern urban areas and cities. Japan industrial era and religion’s messages creates conflict in the Japanese society. People are facing struggle while trying to correlate their religious belief and the world around them. As a result they are force to decide if they want to adapt their religion to fit their society or vice versa.

Religion in Japan today is freely practice. Japan’s religion populace breaks down to Shinto with approximate 90%, Buddhism with 70% and 10% others. It is common in Japan for an individual to adopt different belief from more than one religion. This is due to the fact that Japan is associated with “cultural borrowing”. Over the years Japan has borrowed cultural traits, from neighborhood countries. As an example, Buddhism came to Japan thanks to China and Korea. Japanese embraced Buddhism so truly that took national character and its own roots were forgotten. Buddhism is based upon four noble truths. The first one is that life is full of suffering. Second is that people suffer because of t5heir desired for things. Third says that is possible to end with all suffering if the person is aware of its own desires and putting an end to them. The fourth and last is right thought, right speech. It also introduces a set of laws known as the Five Precepts. In where the following concepts were included: do not harm any living thing, do not steal, avoid...

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