Free Guide in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe and other Kansai area, Japan
In Japan, temples are Buddhist temples and shrines are Shinto shrines. Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan. Shinto is polytheistic. It has many gods called Kami and is based on nature worship and ancestor worship. Shinto has no specific founder or any books of scripture. Because of Shinto’s polytheistic nature, Buddhism and Shintoism coexist peacefully in Japan. Some Buddhist temples have small Shinto shrines on their grounds.
Most Japanese people believe in both Buddhism and Shintoism at the same time. Japanese people are tolerant about religions and are interested in rituals and practices rather than doctrine.
On happy occasions, for example, weddings, or the celebration of a new-born baby, ceremonies are usually conducted at Shinto shrines. On unhappy occasions, for example, funerals or memorial services, ceremonies are usually conducted at Buddhist temples.
Japanese wedding ceremonies are traditionally conducted in a Shinto style, but these days more young people prefer church-style weddings although they are not Christian. Shinto is polytheistic, so we have no reason to oppose church-style weddings.
I would say I am Buddhist AND Shintoist. But it’s hard to answer who is Buddhist and who is not, who is Shintoist and who is not. Most people are open to both Buddhist and Shinto teachings. Buddhism teaches me how to live my life with good thoughts, while Shinto teaches me gods always watch me and reward or punish me. More differences are, Buddhism says about the world next life and emphasizes ancestors worship, so funerals are conducted by Buddhist monk, while Shinto relates to our daily life and emphasizes the nature worship, so rituals are performed to celebrate or wish good fortune for the events in our life, such as wedding, birth, harvest, and whatever to be successful.
Tokyo Free Guide
SHIZUOKA FREE GUIDE
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