Buddhism Vs Shintoism

1322 Words 6 Pages
The religions of East Asia are not that well known in our world today, despite having a very rich history and unique, contrasting qualities compared to the Abrahamic and Indian religions. The difference with these religions is that it is not just a religion to be followed, but it can also be a way of living and a philosophy to its followers (Weiming). Many similarities are drawn from these religions, but their teachings are vastly different. For example, Shintoism teaches its followers about the spirits called “kami” that inhabit the world, Confucianism teaches that personal excellence comes from virtues, and Taoism focuses on the balance of the yin and yang we have in our lives (Stanlick). These ways of thinking can represent a nation so …show more content…
In Japan, Buddhism was introduced as a gift to the emperors, with Shintoists receiving the Buddha as another kami. “Buddhism was now fully Japanese and had merged seamlessly with native beliefs. Not only were Buddhist and Shinto shrines built together on the same premises, but the idea began to arise that Buddhas and kami were in fact, two names for the same deities,” (DuBois, 61). Considering how unaccepting Japan was to the ideals of the outside world at the time, this had shown to be a major accomplishment. In China, Taoist and Confucius beliefs were integrated alongside the Buddhist way, creating what is now known as the “three teachings”. “The three teachings -- the gold and cinnabar of Daoism, the relics of Buddhist figures, as well as the Confucian virtues of humanity and righteousness -- are basically one tradition,” (Cohen). As explained in the quote, the history of the three teachings are so embedded within one another, that many can consider them as one religion in China. As a result to Buddhism’s convergence to East Asia, a new variant known as Zen Buddhism emerged. Heavily influenced by the other religions, Zen Buddhists believe that “awakening can be achieved by anyone but requires instruction in the proper forms of spiritual cultivation by a master.”

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