Religion In Japanese Pop Culture

2102 Words 9 Pages
Religion is prevalent in many aspects of Japanese culture, even in pop culture. Specifically, religious themes and aesthetics are common in manga, Japanese graphic novels and comic books, or anime, which are animated movies and television shows commonly based on manga. Religion can be weaved into these mediums in various ways to create different effects. For example, religion can be used solely for cosmetic effect, or the story itself could be centered around religion as a plot device. Depending on the intent of the author and the usage, religion can have differing effects on the audience. Some of these effects are very advantageous, but sometimes religion can actually make readers turn away. The different presentations of religion in contemporary …show more content…
Religion in Japan can best be viewed as a combination of those five, with different amounts coming from each. Most of them came to Japan from China or other areas of the world, but Japan does have a native religion. Shinto is Japan’s indigenous religion which focuses on kami, or divine beings that are believed to shape and influence the world. Shinto consists of rituals and myths based around kami, which are usually respected in shrines found throughout the country. Three other religions, Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, came from China and Korea early in Japan’s history. Daoism in Japan was never truly a formal religion, and is mostly concerned with cosmology and lucky and unlucky numbers, days, or directions. Confucianism was also not considered a formal religion, but is based on the teachings and traditions of Confucius, a Chinese philosopher. Such teachings include social harmony and structure. Although Buddhism came to Japan from China, it originates from India, where it is believed that the Buddha meditated until he reached enlightenment. Buddhism is very popular in Japan, and many monasteries and sects of Buddhism exist in Japan. The other major religion is the most recent one, which came from Europe and the United States. Christianity, although not very common, is still prevalent in Japanese society. Many aspects of Christianity have been …show more content…
Shinto, one of the oldest, is still practiced today. Individuals will still visit shrines at appropriate times, and still ask kami for help regarding marriages, schoolwork, or business, among others. Buddhism is also often still practiced, and usually in tandem with Shinto. Both have found fluctuating animosity throughout the centuries, and one has been preferred over the other at different times, but as of now the general opinion is more neutral. They are not practiced nearly as much as they were in the past, and even those who do practice them mostly consider themselves nonreligious. There is also a growing interest in Christianity, although the following is very small. Generally, there is not a large or changing opinion about most religions, other than wanting to follow what is

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