Talk:Religion in Japan

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Atheism in Japan[edit]

Although this article deals with religion in Japan, I think the number of Agnotic and Athiest memebers of Japanese society needs to be addressed. I would appreciate it if this request was taken seriously, and not treated with ignorant comments such as "athiesm is evil," "athiesm is a lack of faith," and etc. Perhaps if it is found through debate that this information is not pertinent to the article, perhaps a new article addressing Athiesm/Agnosticism in Japan should be created, or the information should be added to an already existing Athiesm/Agnosticism article dealing with the worldwide prevalence of these views.

Thanks, -- (talk) 21:17, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Atheism isn't a religion, many Japanese people are religious and are finding that spiritual belief is a part of human guidance. And what's more is that this article constitutes the beliefs of people in Japan not ergo "lack of...". Furthermore since Japan does not take religious surveys because they respect people's beliefs it is no wonder that there are no estimates of the Japanese agnostic - if there ever existed such a person. Put simply there are no ways to tell if atheism even exists in Japan LOTRrules (talk) 14:11, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
According to this international survey: , over 60% of Japan claim to be atheist, whilst only 10% claim to be sure of God's existence. Another international survey (found here: came up with similar results (60% atheist/nontheist), and a 2006 Gallup poll (linked in the last survey) found only 30% of the Japanese population are religious. These statistics alone merit a 'non-religious', 'atheist'/'nontheist'/'agnostic' section. Many other 'religion in [insert country]' articles have sections on atheism and non-belief. Don't see why Japan is an exception. (21 August, 2008)
Atheism, although not a religion, is relevant to religion in Japan. I may be wrong, but I think the purpose of the article was to list and describe the religious beliefs of people in Japan, Atheism being one of them (well, it's a disbelief but you get the point). Also, simply respecting people's beliefs doesn't mean that people wont be curious and inquire what others believe. And there are ways to find out if Atheism does exist (I really just don't understand why you doubt it's existence, if it can exist in some of the most religious countries in the world, why wouldn't it in a more secular one?), like, oh I don't know, conducting a survey! It's not like everyone is so unwilling to tell people what they think. CristianoAntonio 2013年3日10月、11時 —Preceding undated comment added 15:06, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

The list of "prominent" Japanese atheists and agnostics very much gives undue weight to that particular belief system, especially seeing as it occurs in an article about religion in Japan. I've no real problem with having the section itself, but it must be made clear that irreligion is not the same as atheism and, indeed, the term atheism, especially when applied to a country where Buddhism has played such a large part, can have very different and conflicting meanings.-- (talk) 07:17, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

I agree with the comment above. The list of "prominent" Japanese atheists makes no sense in the context of this article. I have moved it to the talk page for possible reuse. JimRenge (talk) 18:07, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Notable figures[edit]

Notable atheists and agnostics in Japan include:

  • Yamagata Bantō, a scholar after whom the Yamagata Banto Prize was named[1]
  • Nakai Chikuzan, one of the founders of Kaitokudo
  • Nakae Chōmin, a political theorist and journalist best known for helping the development of liberalism in Japan
  • Shin'ichi Hisamatsu, philosopher and scholar who rejected theism, claimed that God or Buddha, as objective beings, are mere illusions[2]
  • Prince Ito Hirobumi, four-time Prime Minister of Japan, who reportedly said, "I regard religion itself as quite unnecessary for a nation's life; science is far above superstition, and what is religion – Buddhism or Christianity – but superstition, and therefore a possible source of weakness to a nation? I do not regret the tendency to free thought and atheism, which is almost universal in Japan because I do not regard it as a source of danger to the community."[3]
  • Yanagida Kenjuro,[4] a scholar and official member of the Communist Party
  • Hiroyuki Kato, who headed the Imperial Academy from 1905–1909 and said, "Religion depends on fear."[3]
  • Denjiro (Shusui) Kotoku,[5] a socialist and radical anarchist
  • Masami Kurumada, a manga artist known largely for Saint Seiya and Ring ni Kakero
  • Haruki Murakami, a Japanese novelist who wrote, "God only exists in people’s minds. Especially in Japan, God's always has been a kind of flexible concept. Look at what happened to the war. Douglas MacArthur ordered the divine emperor to quit being a God, and he did, making a speech saying he was just an ordinary person."[6]
  • Toshihiko Sakai, a socialist, writer, and historian
  • Takatsu Seido, leader of the Propaganda Committee in Japan's Enlightened People's Communist Party
  • Ando Shoeki, who denounced Confucian scholars and Buddhist clergy as spiritual oppressors of his age, though he still venerated the gods of old Japan as a pantheist would, equating them with the nature[7]
  • Osamu Tezuka, a cartoonist and manga artist best known for creating Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, and Black Jack.[8]
  • Fukuzawa Yukichi, who was regarded as one of the founders of modern Japan and found it impossible to combine modern learning with belief in gods,[9] openly declaring, "It goes without saying that the maintenance of peace and security in society requires a religion. For this purpose any religion will do. I lack a religious nature, and have never believed in any religion. I am thus open to the charge that I am advising others to be religious while I am not so. Yet my conscience does not permit me to clothe myself with religion when I have it not at heart...Of religions there are several kinds – Buddhism, Christianity, and what not. From my standpoint there is no more difference between those than between green tea and black...See that the stock is well selected and the prices cheap."[10]
  • The section title and structure were mis-framed in terms of Western concepts, but that is not a basis to remove the statements about religion by famous Japanese speaking on the topic. Japan had a syncretic system for more than a thousand years, which has now returned, for the most part. Most Japanese are more ambivalent about religion--having at least two to draw on--than people from other countries, particularly monotheistic countries. Accordingly, by Western standards, many Japanese are already "irreligious". Please do not attempt to inject your bias into this article and censor sourced material that is highly relevant to the topic of the article.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 18:51, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Japan's religion[edit]

I added Islam to a traditional religion part but did not change next part as Islam is new and has very small belivers. No need to panic :) Revth 17:14, 28 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Panic from what? LOTRrules (talk) 14:06, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
"Islam is new and has very small belivers (sic)" Well, if living in the cities I do hope the tiny folks take care not to be stepped upon or fall victim to a rushing conveyance unable to see the tiny folks below the visual sight impeded by the vehicles hood or whatever the peril may be. Obbop (talk) 22:18, 17 April 2012 (UTC) Comment by the Mighty Obbop, Disgruntled Old Coot.


someone has changed TodaijiDaibutsu0224.jpg IwashimizuHachimangu.jpg

to pictures of a penis. i have deleted the links until someone restores the original pics and links again.--Darthanakin 03:52, 8 December 2006 (UTC) Christianity is one of the most important and prolific religions in Japan, with upwards of 76% of the population being Christian. this part is clearly false, I shall delete it.--Darthanakin 03:54, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and have already taken the liberty. Thank you for removing the images, the problem seems to be fixed now, so I have reverted your removal. —INTRIGUEBLUE (talk|contribs) 03:59, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Dutch Catholics[edit]

Are you sure that there was Dutch missionaries preaching Cahtolicism in the 16th and 17th century??

Yes. 00:09, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Early Nestorianism[edit]

I read in some site that a mysterious peaceful religion arriving from China in the 1st millenium AD was a form of Christian Nestorianism. The site seemed suspect, but it also had lots of info on hiddenChristians.


A popular prayer when in trouble is "Kami-sama, Hotoke-sama, dōka otasuke kudasai."

Actually no. This is akin to someone saying that a popular prayer in the United States is "Jeebus, Allah, Buddah, I love you all! Save meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" because they saw one episode of The Simpsons where Homer says it. The integration between Shintoism and Buddhism actually goes back a few centuries ago (cf. honji suijaku theory).

A Japanese schoolboy might well pray at a Shinto shrine to receive a chocolate for St. Valentine's Day, a Christian holiday.

I'm rather skeptical about this claim. How common are such shrines?

I would not call St. Valentine's a Christian holiday. It's date is selected after a christian saint, and the name recalls him, but apart from this that holiday has nothing to do with christianity and christian tradition. That holiday is entirely commercial.
Ditto. Came to the talk page wondering if somebody had pointed that out. Oh, and to the poster above: erm, yeah, Shinto shrines are abundantly present in Japan. How can you be sceptical of something you obviously have no idea about? 00:02, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm Japanese and just had to laugh when I first read it. Yes, shrines can be found in abundance, which is not to say that people actually go there for making such minor prayers.

Contradiction of another article[edit]

"Some churches in America take an active missionary role in converting Japanese in Japan, and America, but even in America, 97% of Japanese Americans adhere to Shinto and Buddhism."

This claim directly contradicts this from the Japanese American article

"Japanese Americans are typically members of Protestant Christianity. Only a small minority are also followers of Mahayana Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and sectarian Shinto."

These can't BOTH be right. I'm going to place a similar message on that article's talk page. I don't know which view is correct; maybe someone who knows better than me can fix this.

Rhesusmanrhesusman 17:20 UTC 17 April 2005

It's always hard to mince numbers with the syncretic outlook the Japanese have on religions, but you are right. Something doesn't seem to fit here. 00:09, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Why is Christianity mentioned so much?[edit]

I call attention to the statistics on NationMaster [4] ( where they say the Japanese "observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)" This says to me that Christianity in Japan is practiced by so few people that it should be moved to another category titled "Other Religions" along with shamanism and other cults. Cite me specific facts that show that the Japanese belive in Chrisitianity in equal proportion to the other two, otherwise I will make this change.--Scipantheist 15:41, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The section in question reads like a historical note. I don't think the fact that Christianity is not put at "other religions" means that "Japanese belive in Chrisitianity in equal proportion to the other two." -- Taku 16:50, Apr 24, 2005 (UTC)
True, only 1% of the japanese population is christain 17:22, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't get it either. Christianity is really minor but there is more written about it than Shinto and Buddhism! The little note in other religions should be all that is needed in this article. For those interested a seperate article on history and situation of Christianity in Japan seems like the place for it. --Timtak 04:48, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I removed the large section - it came as quite a shock when I saw the article. I got rid of most of the info and added the links to other articles that discussed the religion in japan - also I removed it to the minority section where the minority relgions are discussed. LOTRrules (talk) 23:45, 1 March 2008 (UTC)


I've made several corrections to the Shinto and Buddhism sections. The facts I've cited are all strictly from the Lonely Planet Guide to Japan, so please consider carefully before deleting them. I am still concerned that there is a large bias on behalf of Christianity here. As far as I can tell missionaries have met with little success in Japan, and the only real christian influence is in the desire of some Japanese for a Christian marriage (perhaps because they admire the West). Let me know what you think. --Scipantheist 22:44, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think Taku is right. The article in no way suggests that large numbers of Japanese adhere to Christianity in the sense that Westerners would say someone adheres to Christianity. I do think it's fair to say that Christianity has had an historical impact on Japan out of proportion to the numerical strength of its followers today. My understanding is that Christianity actually did make substantial inroads (including the conversion of some daimyo) when the Portuguese first brought it in, but the bakufu at the time eventually wiped it out. This substantial historical presence combined with the Japanese propensity to do things like have Christian weddings even if they're not Christian warrant the religion getting its own section. Moreover, this article is in English, and a large proportion of the English-speaking readership might want to know how many Christians are in Japan and to what denomination they adhere. If this were the Japanese language version of the article, that might not be as important. That's my feeling on the matter. Rhesusman 0:15 UTC 25 April 2005

Let me be blunt. I consider Christianity to be an outside religion. You can argue that Buddhism is also a foreign religion, but the Japanese have had centuries to make it their own, and they have done so. As to the historical role of Christianity, I have read that many daimyos "converted" to Christianity just to trade with the Portugese. I will acknowledge that the Japanese like to have western style weddings, but clearly the number of actual christians has always been less then or around 1%.--Scipantheist 15:41, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Trust me, I'm the last person who would be inclined to be biased in favor of mentioning Christianity more than is appropriate. Christianity is an outsider religion to Japan, I would agree with you fully there. I'm simply saying that it has had an impact out of proportion to the number of people following it. According to Marius Jensen's The Making of Modern Japan, Catholics might have been as much as two percent of the population at the end of the sixteenth century. That may not sound like much, but that's a bigger percentage than today, and it must have meant something if the Tokugawa were THAT concerned with squelching it. I'm not disputing with you the percentage of Christians in Japan today is around one percent; the article says as much. The small size of a religion does not preclude its having a significant cultural impact. Jews are only one and a half percent of the population of the United States, but have had a disproportionate cultural impact. Christians in Japan may not have made quite as much a of a mark there as the Jewish community has in the United States, but the impact of Christianity on Japan is certainly greater than and fundamentally different from that of other foreign religions like Islam. Christianity is an outside religion, but it has been an important in ways that other outside religions have not and the article should reflect that. Rhesusman 10:10 UTC 25 April 2005

Well, popular opinion is against me on this. I still say that, in as far as Christianity has been influencial it has been for political reasons (such as the Japanese wanting to be like the West) and not for any truely religous reason. If you want to put it back as a main category, along with Buddhism and Shintoism, go ahead.

Well I don't want to put it back in the main category. I thought you wanted to reduce the size of the section. If that's not what you're after, than we really don't have much of a dispute here. Rhesusman 16:10 UTC 25 April 2005

Perhaps it would be more appropriate to do some more work on collecting information about Buddhism and Shintoism then, rather than trying to make less of the Christian contribution.

New Religions[edit]

I created a new wikilink in the new religions section to Shinshukyo. The Shinshūkyō are a fairly widespread phenomenon in Japan, and I think they deserve attention as their own article. I'll see what work I can do to start it. Any help would be most appreciated, as this one's going to be difficult to write NPOV. LordAmeth 12:06, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Other Religions[edit]

I moved Christianity back under an Other Religions category. As stated in the discussion under Why is Christianity Mentioned So Much?, I don't think it is practiced by enough people in Japan to be considered anything other than a minority faith (<1% practicing). If someone would like to challenge the importance of Christianity with me, show me evidence that it is more important than religions like Islam in Japan.--Scipantheist 03:05, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

I just got this information, and mainly from Wikipedia itself. But I think that Christianity has still had a sizable influence on Japan, even though most of Japan isn't christian. I believe that many weddings are christain-styled, and that Christmas is celebrated.
Also, related fun fact: Next time you catch an atheist saying "bye," tell them how it's a massively contracted version of "God be with you." (talk) 02:03, 3 April 2017 (UTC)

Percentages of adherents[edit]

Is there any data (knowing how the Japanese love statistics) regarding practitioners of all faiths, divided by percent? Chris 21:29, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Valentine's Day[edit]

May have a Saint in front of it for some - Japanese are in it for the chocolate.

POV in article is horrible[edit]

This article needs to be rewritten. - ZenPupDog

What does that mean? --James 00:43, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
The article reads like some sort of Christian Missionary briefing and is out and out wrong. Japanese are both Shintoists and Buddhists - those percentages only reflect those who consider themselves one or the other and thus are offkilter. - Sparky 19:50, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

I totally agree and I'm adding a tag to the Christianity section. Just look at this paragraph:

"Though Japanese Christians make up a small fraction of the population, they tend to be visible beyond their numbers. Its practitioners tend to be more devoted and proselytizing than other religions, and they attract sympathy among many young Japanese who view Western culture in a positive light. Furthermore, Christian organizations tend to give large amounts to charity, and have founded some important educational institutions such as the International Christian University, Kwansei Gakuin University and the Jesuit Sophia University."

I'm tempted to delete that on the spot, but I'll give people a chance to rewrite it, or add sources (but really, no sources can justify all of that). 06:51, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Protestant vs. Catholic[edit]

  • In Japan today, most Christians are Protestant?

According to Japanese wikipedia, catholic is the most popular. I do not know furthermore and I do not care but I am just pointing out both of the statements can not be right. I assume artcile in native language is usually correct but not always.--Shoons 14:20, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Japanese Buddhism[edit]

Buddhism is divided into three forms, the more orthodox and impersonal Theravada Buddhism, which is prevalent in India and Southeast Asia, and the more personal Mahayana Buddhism, which spread to North India, China, Tibet, and from there went to Korea, where it came to Japan. The third is Vajrayana Buddhism. From the beginning, the largest form of Buddhism in Japan was the Mahayana school.

Grammar issues aside, in what regards is Theravada Buddhism less "personal" than Mahayana Buddhism? This statement appears to be laced with opinion. I wanted to clean it up, but felt it more mindful to begin a discussion prior to editing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

American Or Allied Occupation[edit]

While Americans made up the bulk of the occupying forces after the second world war, would it not be better to refer to the occupiers as Allied forces, rather than American forces, since other nations were involved as well? Rayhol (talk) 02:14, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Missing Content[edit]

This article is sorely lacking in a crucial aspect of the subject - the Japanese rejection of "religion" as such. The vast majority of people in this country, while they may attend Shinto festivals, pray at shrines, and be registered and eventually buried in a Buddhist temple, will, if asked, deny that they are religious, that they are observant, or even that they truly believe in the tenets or deities of either Shinto or Buddhism. There are aspects of Shinto and Buddhism which are seen as being integral to being Japanese, and taking part in a local street festival (matsuri) may be seen as no more "religious" than Guy Fawkes Day in England, or the rather secular St. Patrick's Day parades in the US and elsewhere.

The idea of being "religious" is, I think, associated more with the major Western religions than with the Japanese people's own practices, and with an idea of being devoted to a second identity (e.g. being Christian, Jewish, or Muslim in addition to being American, English, or French), and to a lifestyle and set of rules that differs from the secular norms within one's culture. Unlike the Abrahamic religions, Buddhism and Shinto don't ask anything (rules, prohibitions, lifestyle) that the Japanese don't already do anyway simply as part of being Japanese; in point of fact, they ask very little at all. There are no dietary restrictions, no expectation to pray every week or every day, let alone 3+ times a day... Furthermore, at least some Japanese I have spoken with have expressed an association of religion with ideology and with war and violence. Countless wars and conflicts have been fought between the Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and various sects of Muslims, and/or in the name of religion. State Shinto played a role in the militarism and ultra-nationalism of WWII, and I think there is, at least to some extent, a consciousness in Japan therefore of a rejection of that particular brand of religion.

Though syncretism is discussed, and the lightness with which Japanese take religion is alluded to (e.g. praying at a Shinto shrine for Valentine's Day; getting married in the Christian manner with a fake priest), I still think the article grievously misrepresents the status of religion in the minds of the Japanese people. There are a great many countries in the world where one can safely assume that a sizeable portion of the population is fervently devout and passionate about their religion (stereotypically speaking in any case, France, Spain, Italy for Catholicism; anywhere in the Arab world for Islam; etc.), and Japan simply is not like that. This is a very important distinction to make, particularly for the hypothetical average reader who may be quite attached to his or her own religious identity, taking it for granted that other people, even if they follow a different religion, will believe in it as deeply and passionately.

I am deeply sorry that I don't have any particular academic source from which to cite, but I am hoping that there are some Japanese religion experts here who will back me up. Surely there must be someone out there who's a true Japanese Religions major and will know of good sources to which to turn. LordAmeth (talk) 23:05, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Well you need to cite a source to tell us the info your talking about GuyFawkes. I mean ask anyone in your street if they are religious and they will respond "no". But on Sundays you see them at Church: going in or out... People don't want to be branded as "nuts". Most Japanese I'd say are religious. LOTRrules (talk) 12:42, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
While I agree that many Japanese people are indeed "spiritual" and do believe in some sort of supernatural entities, I wouldn't describe them as "religious". I believe the central part of any (organised) religion is tenets and dogmas - moral codes by which to live. In that sense, Japanese people are often spiritual, but certainly not religious. (talk) 08:51, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I think there should also be a mention of mizuko kuyo (memorial to the aborted fetus) and of pokkuri(sudden death)- and the rituals associated to it- here. As a matter of a fact, there should be a page for pokkuri! I don't understand why there isn't one (other than the one that links to Japanese sandals, which is beside the point in terms of importance)Esteloth (talk) 15:00, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

not helping[edit]

I am doing this paper and your page doesn't help at all!!! -- a concerned reader

You should probably write an incredibly vague complaint that doesn't tell us what you would like fixed. That would help us immensely. Shii (tock) 21:24, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


Would be nice if the article would have a clear table with the percentages of how many people adhere to what religion, properly sourced of course. Currently, there is no way to find out quickly and simply how many people actually identify as Shinto or Buddhist from the article. --Viciouspiggy (talk) 22:10, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Your wish has been fulfilled. Can we now delete this? (talk) 14:31, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Undue weight to Islam[edit]

I noticed that the description about Islam is too long compared to other religions. As Islam has a main article Islam in Japan, the desctiption here should be a summary of the article. From the NPOV point of view, It should be reduced to less than main religions or preferably 100 words.

Word counts of each religin are:

  • Shinto 437
  • Buddism 578
  • New religions 240
  • Minorities
    • Christianity 292
    • Islam 843
    • Baha'i Faith 17
    • Judaism 24
    • Ryukyuan 15
    • Sikhism 23
―― Phoenix7777 (talk) 06:51, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Thanks for your reminds, I've shortened the Islam section. This section has done by a blocked user in December 2008, who is a biased Muslim named LOTRrules. I appreciate your works in Wikipedia. Angelo De La Paz (talk) 16:10, 18 February 2010 (UTC)


as we have said japan has a lot of religions -- (talk) 22:45, 23 March 2010 (UTC)Alyssa

Conflicting statistics[edit]

Can anyone clear the issue of non-religious affiliation up for me? The newest statistics by Gallup in 2005 place 87% of the population as Buddhists or Shintoists, 6% are Christan, and .02% are Islamic- yet the article constantly says that 80-90% of the population has no religious affiliation. This is greatly confusing for me because Japan was a extremely religious place from what i saw of it. There where shrines and to a lesser extent Churches everywhere, and in their media it is extremely common for the characters to show affiliation with some sort of religion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:16, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

According to the Christianity in Japan article, there are:
  • Roman Catholics and Protestants both give the figure 509,000 (Protestants says 509,668: This is might be an account of people who profess Christianity?)
  • 218,091 Jehovah's Witnesses
  • 30,000 Eastern Orthodox
So, with the maximum given numbers (no count of minor denominations is given), the total number comes to 1,266,759 or 0.9%
The "non-religious" thing doesn't sound right at all; that might be a reference to non-organised worship. Otherwise, such statistic material, especially in regards to decentralised religions, are not very credible. Its hard enough for a local, centralised government to get a semi-accurate census.--IronMaidenRocks (talk) 04:49, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
You've hit on the real problem with any such article: there is no real definition of what "religious" is taken to mean. By the often suspicious levels of "irreligion" found in a lot of these articles, it would seem to mean some type of regular attendance/worship is required for someone to be counted as of a particular faith. Of course, many atheists seem to count any and all "irreligious" or "non-believing" folk as fellow-travelers of theirs, which is generally not the case at all. But, hey, we live in such a self-important age, what speaks to that better than a belief in nothing greater than ourselves?-- (talk) 07:30, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Undue weight to Christianity[edit]

"In the year 1542, the first Europeans from Portugal landed on Kyushu in Western Japan. The two historically most important things they imported to Japan were gunpowder and Christianity, in the form of Roman Catholicism. A few Christian customs, including the wearing of white dresses at weddings and the celebration of Valentine's Day and Christmas, have become popular among the non-Christian population." I think it could just be cut down to this, no need to explain the history here. That's what the main article is for. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

         Baha'i 11 words
         Christianity 223 words
         Islam 40 words
         Judaism 21 words
         Ryukyuan Shinto 29 words
         The portion that I deleted was mostly historical events which did not need to be in the description of the religion. That kind of material can be accessed via the main article.  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:57, 9 December 2010 (UTC) 
I don't see a need to remove fine and relevant information so that the section is more balanced with others. Ajraddatz (Talk) 04:19, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Why is the evil doing of Christianity concealed?[edit]

To destroy the Shinto shrine and the temple of the Buddhism, the priest instigated the Japanese. Christianity is described like people of the tragedy(LOL) (talk) 15:25, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

The non-clarity of the input from the above commenter is, to me, indicative of the quality of the too-often typical student within the USA's incredibly expensive educational systems designed and intended to mainly indoctrinate the spawn of the USA's citizen-sheep. Just the mere opinion of the Mighty Obbop who departed that dreadful USA's so-called K-12 educational system convinced it is a wealth source for educational bureaucrats and a propaganda dispensing system for the USA elite-class, corporate USA, etc. and via an awesome use of brainwashing coerce and force the masses of commoners to pay and pay dearly for the systems used to indoctrinate those citizen-sheep. Obbop (talk) 22:26, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
I think you departed the USA's K-12 educational system too soon, frankly.-- (talk) 07:10, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The original IP was posting from Japan, accusations that his poor English are a result of the US educational system are simply a misplaced political comment. Dougweller (talk) 08:12, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Name of White Snake Religion[edit]

In Nagasaki, a temple called "Miyo-Ken" is a holy temple where the white snake is worshiped. I was wondering what religion this falls under (if any)? This would surely provide a wonderful addition to this article. Reference: ; I have also seen this character being referred to as "Hakuja no Myojin" and may be related to the Legend of the White Snake from the Song Dynasty? Twillisjr (talk) 01:45, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

A "Myojin" is a form of address for a highly revered "Kami" in Shinto, and was subsequently adopted in the pantheon of Shinto Kami corresponding to Buddhas, etc., in syncretic Buddhism.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 11:16, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

"55% do not believe in Buddha"[edit]

"And according to Demerath (2001:138), 65% do not believe in God, and 55% do not believe in Buddha."

I checked the source, and while the original wording is maintained, I have no idea what it could mean to "believe in Buddha". The Buddha was an historical figure. Does it mean, 55% do not believe that the Buddha existed as an historical figure? Or that 55% do not revere the Buddha as a God? Being an adherent of Buddhism does not entail the worship of Buddha (in fact, it should not). At best, this line is misguided, at worst it is incoherent and propagates a common misunderstanding in the West as to the (non-) divinity of the Buddha. If a clarification cannot be identified in the source cited, I propose we cut the line altogether. --Dgparks (talk) 05:59, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

“65% do not believe in God” and “less than 15% of Japanese believe in God”[edit]

Shouldn't this be “a god”? If not, it should be specified which god is meant. Ehamberg (talk) 04:31, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Typically, if the word is capitalized and not preceded by a specifier or article, it refers to the God of the three Abrahamic religions, variously transcribed as God, Allah, Yahweh, etc. Dgparks (talk) 14:34, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Social Construction of the category religion[edit]

There is a lot of scholarship discussing the social construction of religion (宗教) as a category in Japan. I think a Japanese scholar Isomae Jun'ichi did it first, but there is also more recently a book in English. See review link below. So I think that at least a bit about this issue should stay on the page.

So I undid the edit that removed a paragraph about the social contraction from the page. I actually think maybe it should be expanded.

Best, Hosogami (talk) 13:30, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

The h-net book review should be added to the article as a reference. Binksternet (talk) 13:58, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Including the note about the social construction of religion seems unnecessary and to unfairly promote a specific marginal academic position. Josephson and Isomae, along with Timothy Fitzgerald and other postmodern theorists, argue that the concept of religion did not exist in Japan prior to contact with the West but crucially their work does not represent any broad consensus on the subject. Countervailing views can be found easily, for example, from well known researchers of Japanese religion such as Ian Reader, Michael Pye, Hans Kramer and a whole host of Japanese academics, many of whom focus on the terms used to describe Buddhism when it was being introduced from China/Korea. I can provide citations to illustrate this but I think it doesn't really deserve mentioning in an encyclopedia article since it is a pretty obscure academic debate. Some relevant citations:,, (talk) 06:45, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Specious claims in charts about Christianity and Islam, and WP:OR problem with Islam section[edit]

First, though I don't have the source names at hand, it is fairly well accepted that less than 1% of the population of Japan is Christian.

Second, the claims for Islam are not only even more overblown than those for Christianity, relatively speaking, but they are contradicted by the one source for the topic that can be considered reliable.

Although an accurate number of Muslims in Japan is not available, Muslims from Asian nations such as Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh make up most of the foreign Muslims, numbering between 70,000 and 100,000. The estimated number of Japanese Muslims ranges from thousands to tens of thousands. The Japan Muslim Association estimates from registrations that there are somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000. Of the Japanese Muslims, the biggest group consists of women who converted when they married Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who came to Japan in the 1980s to work.[1]

Considering that "foreign Muslims" are not Japanese, they--like other non-Japanese--do not count as being part of the Japanese population, and should be described as such. Accordingly, the numbers on the chart are false, as there is not a statistically significant (i.e., notable) number of Japanese Muslims. And here is a 2008 source by SakuraiMuslims in Contemporary Japan, preview from longer paper in Asia Policy 5, Islam in Japan: A Cause for Concern?

I've noticed other exaggerated language being used to describe the presence of religions in Japan that are likewise of questionable notability, and the article should be edited to reflect the actual situation more accurately.
And there is certainly no justification for having a photo of a mosque on this article, as per the above. It is a promotional placement, and I'll note that there are no photos of Chrsitian churches, nor do I believe that there should be on this page. Each of those religions does have its own article, and it seems that the photos would be more appropriate there.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 15:55, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Criticizing quotes[edit]

I have started this talk because I also think all the quotes in the "Comments on religious belief/non-belief by notable figures" section is simply to much. Its basically a section that deals with quotes that criticise religion in and article about religion. Its looks like a sneaky way around WP:CSECTION (an easy about the problem). We dont quote religions POV's extensively... thus all looks unbalanced towards religion as a problem. Would be best to move the majority of the section to a new article Irreligion in Japan (now a redirect here) an leave a small neutral intro here to the main article. All the info is interesting, but a bit much for this article as a whole. We recently did this for Irreligion in Canada and most liked the idea. [User:Moxy|Moxy]] (talk) 19:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

That misses the point that "irreligion" itself is not quite applicable to Japan, because of the syncretic nature of religion, whereas there is more of a reaction in monotheistic countries against being subjected to monotheistic dogma. The Japanese have generally had more flexibility, with a plethora of different sects and categories of belief system in both Buddhism and Shinto religion.
Most of the comments in that section are not about being "irreligious" per say, but expressing an opinion on religion that is compatible with one form or another of the multiplicity of Japanese belief systems. For example, "Shin'ichi Hisamatsu, philosopher and scholar who rejected theism, claimed that God or Buddha, as objective beings, are mere illusions" can be seen as a statement reflecting a school of though within Buddhism.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 19:24, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I'd need to look at this more, but on first impression it seems that Japan is a unique case. And isn't it actually in line with CSECTION: "Other than for articles about particular worldviews, philosophies or religious topics etc. where different considerations apply (see below), best practice is to incorporate positive and negative material into the same section." and "or topics about a particular point of view – such as philosophies (Idealism, Naturalism, Existentialism), political outlooks (Capitalism, Marxism), or religion (Islam, Christianity, Atheism) – it will usually be appropriate to have a "Criticism" section or "Criticism of ..." subarticle. Integrating criticism into the main article can cause confusion because readers may misconstrue the critical material as representative of the philosophy's outlook, the political stance, or the religion's tenets." So a separate section is appropriate. Dougweller (talk) 21:00, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps I should be more clear ..the article is about religion...not the lack of religion. Thus the section seems out of place. There should be a different article for all the non-religious talk. The -- Moxy (talk) 23:21, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
You are arguing that comments about religion should be removed? Seriously, other articles about religion in various countries discuss irreligion, but the actual section in question has quotes about religion, so they are clearly relevant. We don't need a pov fork. And a statement about atheism by a 4 time Prime Minister is clearly relevant to any discussion of religion in Japan. If you went to an academic conference on religion in Japan would you really think that the povs expressed in that section wouldn't be expressed at the conference? Dougweller (talk) 13:13, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
We will have to disagree here in this case. Irreligion POV is just one of many - there is no other POV being pushed here. No religious POV on the positives. As of now its filled with negative quotes with no balance for other POV's. one POV vs the facts of the article looks odd. -- Moxy (talk) 20:11, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Removal of info on State Shinto[edit]

[[ping|Shii}} Please explain what you mean by "factual corrections", as all I see is that you deleted important informtion. See Helen Hardacre's book on the subject, for example.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 19:47, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

Your ping didn't work... anyway see the State Shinto article for more info. Shii (tock) 22:02, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Non Folk Shinto Atheists/Plain Atheism in Japan/Non-Magical Thinkers[edit]

Not all Atheists pray for their ancestors. Plain atheists do respect, but not pray via magical thinking. Some Japanese are plain atheists. Some plain[non Shinto] atheists may attend a ceremony or a festival because of respect, not because they are "Shinto atheists". Plain atheists belong to a different notion. Many times in Japan we are forced not in a direct manner to respect other religions. We are a modern nation and many Japanese people follow the scientific method in their lives. To respect the "plain atheists" in Japan is a fundamental right in a civilised country. By respecting "plain atheism" and the scientific reasoning-method there is no danger or disrespect against Shinto religion. Most "Plain atheists" do not accept the term "a-theist" because it means non deist, therefore has a negative meaning. Explicit atheists use the therm "non-magical thinkers", that phrase has also a negative meaning, but by supporting rationalism, and not via the denial of deities. It is also called "negative meaning in a positive manner" because it supports atheistic reasoning, and it is not [that phrase] based against something that others believe [for magical thinking is a rational analysis]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:19, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Year in article[edit]

The following section comes from the Christianity paragraph: " Portuguese traders were already active in Kagoshima since 1943,[53] welcomed by local daimyo because they imported gunpowder. Anijirō, a Japanese convert, helped the Jesuits understanding Japanese culture and translating the first Japanese catechism.[54]

These missionaries were successful in converting large numbers of people in Kyushu, including paesants, former Buddhist monks, and members of the warrior class.[55] In 1559, a mission to the capital, Kyoto, was started.[56] By the following year there were already nine churches, and the Christian community grew steadily in the 1560s"

So should the 1943 be changed to 1493? - Bramvr (talk) 09:46, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

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