Talk:Japanese new religions

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As indicated by the tag at the bottom of the page, I am aware this page needs expanding. Most of my past research on the Shinkyo has concerned their connections to Judaism, and thus this is what I know of well enough to write about. Anyone who has more to say about Shinkyo in general, or specific aspects unrelated to Judaism, please feel free. Thanks for your contributions. (I think I'm going to go nominate this for Japanese collaboration of the week.) LordAmeth 13:30, 8 May 2005 (UTC)


I have a bizarre impression. Surely some Shinshukyo, particularly christianity oriented ones are influenced by judaism or christian escatology. But I think it is not the majority of Shinshukyo. The majority of Shinshukyo in Japan are based on Shinto or Buddhisms (Lotus-sutra in particular). So it is possible this section misleads readers when they say "many". Surely in Taisyo period some people began to believe their relation to Jewish (the lost ten tribes came to Japan, Jesus Christ exiled to Aomori and was buried there and so on) but it has been never majority. So I oppose to say "many". The best is indication of factual number of Shinshukyo groups which hold such believe. Or population of faithfuls. For NPOV, we need to say those idea is the minority even among Shinshukyo. --Larus.r 15:22, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

You're probably right. I wrote 'many' because those New Religions that are associated with Judaism are the only ones I have studied. This is also the reason that, out of what I created originally, so much was devoted to the Shinshukyo's relationships to Judaism, and not to the New Religions as a whole. Change as you see fit. LordAmeth 18:27, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm by no means an expert at this, but I think placing Aum Shinrikyo, easily the most famous "New Religion," under a section called "Judeo-Christian" is misleading. Aum borrowed from many different religious systems, including but not primarily the Judeo-Christian tradition. There are apocalyptic/millennial and messianic traditions within Buddhism as well and Asahara Shoko took from those as much as he did from Judeo-Christian traditions. People are going to be looking out for and will recognize Aum especially well, so I think we should be particularly careful about making assertions as to whether it is or is not Judeo-Christian. Splintercat (talk) 08:53, 25 March 2010 (UTC)


As the second sentence states, they are "most often called simply Japanese new religions in English", so why aren't we using that title, or perhaps, New religions of Japan? Is there any good reason to overrule Wikipedia:Naming conventions (use_English) and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names)? --Dforest 16:19, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

I was originally going to call the article simply "New Religions," because that was the most common English-language term I had heard to refer to them. But "New Religions" could easily be mistaken to represent other new religions elsewhere in the world that do not follow the model of Japan's New Religions. I then thought of "New religions of Japan" as you suggest; but that would imply I think too much of a connection to new religions around the world, and not to the unique situation of new religions with Japanese origin. It would be too similar to the series of articles Christianity in Japan, Buddhism in Japan, History of the Jews in China and the like. Just as Shinto is unique from global animism/shamanism, and samurai are unique from generic feudal warriors, so the Shinshukyo are a unique set of sects, originating and developing uniquely and separately from new religious movements around the world. I think that by using the Japanese term, which is used commonly in English-language scholarship, we are not only being more accurate, but we are also distinguishing the subject from those it might be confused with. LordAmeth 01:51, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Why this title and not Shinkō shūkyō?[edit]

The article now starts:

''Shinshūkyō (新宗教) is a Japanese term used to describe domestic new religious movements. They are also known as Shinkō shūkyō (新興宗教) in Japanese, and are most often called simply Japanese new religions in English.

Google gives about 600,000 hits for "新宗教" but well over four times that number for "新興宗教". Now, the most widely used term is not always the best one, but if a lesser-used term is chosen in preference to a widely-used alternative, I'd expect to see some reasoning for this -- yet none is given. Retitle? -- Hoary (talk) 13:14, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Retitle! Oda Mari (talk) 17:37, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Move to Japanese new religions. What they are called in Japanese (or at least the Japanese Wikipedia) is less relevant than following WP:COMMON. Per Kauffner's comment, this term seems to be far and away the most common term for this subject in English sources.Cúchullain t/c 20:31, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

ShinshūkyōShinkō shūkyō – The article starts by saying that the subject area is also called shinkō shūkyō. In Japanese script, shinkō shūkyō is 新興宗教; shinkō shūkyō is 新宗教. A look in a search engine will show that the former is used more than four times more widely. (True, searches for [Roman-letter] shinkō shūkyō and shinshūkyō will show 50% or so more use of the latter, but conspicuous among the hits for the latter is this, an article about a specific sect of Shintō and thus about a specific shin(kō) shūkyō [and one written very differently -- 神習教 -- in Japanese].) Hoary (talk) 10:37, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

基本件名標目表 (Kihon kenmei hyōmokuhyō) = Japan Library Association Basic Subject Headings (JLABSH) PREFERRED TERM: 新興宗教 / Shinkō shūkyō
日本国語大辞典: PREFERRED TERM: 新興宗教
日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ): PREFERRED TERM: 新宗教運動 UF 新興宗教
デジタル大辞泉: PREFERRED TERM: 新宗教 UF 新宗教
Encyclopedia of Japan: PREFERRED TERM: New Religions (新宗教 / shin shūkyō; an abbreviation of the term shinkō shūkyō or newly arisen religions)
As a librarian, if I proposed this term to the Library of Congress, it would most certainly be the long-established JLABSH preferred term: Shinkō shūkyō, with cross-references to: a) Shin shūkyō b) Shin shūkyō undō c) New religions (Japan)
Note under LC romanization & romanization by Japanese library catalogers, the "Shin" element is universally separated by a space from the rest of the term. ---> Prburley (talk) 16:27, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Move to Japanese new religions. I get 3,260 (458 deghosted) post-1990 English language GBook hits for "Japanese new religions", 264 (119 deghosted) for Shinko-shukyo OR Shinkoshukyo. There are three books with the phrase "Japanese new religions" in the title, see here, here, and here. Kauffner (talk) 00:47, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
    • That's an interesting idea. I'm more surprised to see that even when one uses quotation marks, Google (whether in your Vietnamese or my Japanese flavor) refuses to distinguish between "Japanese new religions" and "new Japanese religions". The former is certainly used and may even be commoner than the latter. But the former sounds very odd to me. (Could it perhaps be "Japanese" prefixed to a calque on shin(kō) shūkyō?) Is my idiolect unusual in finding it strange? -- Hoary (talk) 11:45, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose move Comment in accordance with the Japanese Wikipedia: ja:新宗教. They often discuss matters like this at great length. Shii (tock) 13:42, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Whether they often discuss matters like this at great length is of no importance. They do discuss this particular matter at here. Somebody starts with the claim that 新興宗教 might be mildly pejorative. The writer offers no evidence for this, and so his or her claim is no more persuasive than is my live-in native-Japanese-speaking informant. There's a lot more unsupported chitchat, though one writer does say that the editor of such-and-such a reference book about 新宗教 so titles it because he too thinks that 新興宗教 is pejorative. Have I missed anything substantive? -- Hoary (talk) 12:04, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
      • Hmm, you're right... seems to have been decided early on in history before debates had more formal rules. Also I notice this article doesn't actually have an equivalent article on I do not like articles about Japan with no equivalent so I will stand back from this debate. Shii (tock) 17:12, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Merge in Statistics for major new religions in Japan[edit]

Right now this article has links to major groups under "see also." The other article could replace this without taking that much more space and readers would not have to go to the other article for the statistics. Groups could be wikilinked within the statistical table. Borock (talk) 03:50, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Agree. Both articles are fairly short. Obviously a list of groups with their sizes would be of interest to readers here. BigJim707 (talk) 00:32, 2 March 2013 (UTC)


@ JimRenge you reinserted the picture of what apparently seems to be a group of Nipponzan Myohoji members. The group is not even mentioned in the text nor in the statistics as being a prime example – even though it is regarded as a Japanese new religion. I find it difficult to see what is so symbolic in that picture to serve as being iconic for the movements mentioned in the text. If one would decide to insert pictures of various HQ buildings – fine it would at least be symbolic and abstract. Secondly and foremost when thinking about it I find it problematic to place a picture of individuals on the world wide web without knowing if each and everyone of them agreed for that to happen. The very least we could maybe be sure of is that the one who uploaded the picture authorised it.--Catflap08 (talk) 17:26, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

@ Catflap08. I have changed the picture. JimRenge (talk) 18:45, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

I added some more pictures in the section on statistics. I would have loved to put in emblems only, but they are not available on Commons for every organisation or group. --Catflap08 (talk) 19:24, 7 January 2015 (UTC)


I removed the periods used by Shimozono because there was nothing in the article's text discussing them. I also added the available data for 2012 from the Japanese government, but I think the entire chart needs to be redone since the sourcing for the earlier data is unclear. The Japanese government has all of its religious statistics from 1949 on available on-line so I might do that if I find the time, but it will be difficult to determine what new religions should and should not make the list. Does anyone know the source for the list we have now? Some of them, like Yamato-no-Miya seem quite obscure. -Cckerberos (talk) 04:44, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

@ Cckerberos Thank you very much for your help. What I can gather is that the only thing that is common to all theses groups is the time line in which they were founded. Some are indeed obscure and bizarre, some would be regarded as cults and others are simply offshoots of more or less traditional sects. What might be worth a thought to select one common source i.e. official source for all numbers stated? In some cases there is a striking difference to groups own released numbers and the official ones. If numbers are stated that originate from one of the groups they should be put in brackets and a footnote attached. --Catflap08 (talk) 08:02, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
@ Catflap08 The natural source would be the Japanese government's figures, though there are two points worth considering there. First, the government only reports on religions that have registered as non-profit religious corporations. Second, the numbers included in the government report appear to be self-reported by the religious groups. This is why the 2012 report gives a total of 197 million believers in Japan out of a population of 127 million. Even accepting that an individual may belong to multiple groups, it seems a stretch. The largest Shinto organization claims 90 million followers, for example, which no doubt counts anyone who ever set foot on a shrine during a festival or other occasion rather than serious believers. On the other hand, some organizations such as Happy Science and Soka Gakkai are listed in the directory but do not have any membership numbers included, which seems a little odd. In any case, though, it seems unlikely that there is a more comprehensive source. --Cckerberos (talk) 09:46, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

@ Cckerberos It is interesting that you should mention that, especially in case of Soka Gakkai the number of adherents published by the Agency of cultural affairs is said to be considerably lower that Soka Gakkai states. I guess the same sort of thing takes place with other groups. Maybe there a various governmental sources. It might take some time, but maybe we can one day state the numbers according to various sources. The figures I would not trust are the ones published by the organizations themselves though.--Catflap08 (talk) 10:54, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Membership numbers Soka Gakkai?[edit]

This article claims 20,000,000 members of Soka Gakkai, but the article about that religion claims only 12,000,000 members worldwide. AxelBoldt (talk) 18:47, 29 January 2017 (UTC)