Buddhism In Japanese Culture Essay

2090 Words 9 Pages
In order to understand the culture and history of Japan, it is important to look at the topic of religion. Religion helps to shape the morals and beliefs of people, and also establishes shared cultural experiences, such as burial practices, recognition of holidays and festivals, worship, and prayer. Many religions require the construction of architectural features in order for these beliefs to be taught and for cultural experiences to have a place to be shared. These religious works of architecture can be found all across Japan and are integrated into both natural environments and modern metropolises in order to be accessible to all the people who need their services. The two most popular religions in Japan are Shinto and Buddhism, which both have had a significant …show more content…
Approximately 44% of the population identifies as Buddhist, with many of this number practicing Shintoism as well (Japan - U.S. State Department). This is a possibility because in contrast to western religions that are mainly monotheistic, Buddhism and Shintoism allow for the worship of several deities and some see the Buddha as another kami to pray to (Religion 66). The main tenets of Buddhism focus on living a good and devout life in order to reach a higher plane of understanding known as Enlightenment. Followers of Buddhism can be aided in reaching this goal by visiting temples and praying or engaging in acts of worship. Temples often consist of a pagoda and a kondō, or main hall that visitors can circumnavigate in order to focus their worship or view images of the Buddha to pray to. Temples do not have Tori-i gates, but they might have an entrance, such as the Great South Gate at Todaiji in Nara, where large sculptures of Buddhist warrior deities stand guard to protect the temple from evil (Great South Gate (Nandai-mon))

Related Documents

Related Topics