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Modern day Shinto & Buddhism 2013/10/15 10:54
I grew up in a Catholic household. We learned a bit about the Bible, went to Church and participated in major holidays. However, I did not know as much as my grandparents and great grandparents did. They could tell you details about any scripture or any Saint, but I could not even tell you what role the Pope played.

I know that every household is different, but from those I go to school with it seems that the younger generations are not as knowledgable about their faiths as older generations are yet they still practice it in daily life (praying, Church on holidays, etc).

There are a few exchange students here who say that they and their families follow Shinto and Buddhism. I started to read a bit about those religions and like any religion, there is a lot to learn.

I am curious as to what extent the younger generation practices Shinto and Buddhism?

Again, I know everyone is different, but if a young Japanese adult were to tell you they believed in Shinto or Buddhism what would that typically entail?

I read on here that it means Shinto weddings and Buddhist funerals, but how do these religions affect daily life? Are there any major holidays - or festivals I should say?

This is a broad questions so any input is very much appreciated!
by Curious (guest)  

Re: Modern day Shinto & Buddhism 2013/10/15 16:10

I have had many interesting talks with young students about this at the university.

**I am curious as to what extent the younger generation practices Shinto and Buddhism?**

They don't practice Shinto or Buddhism in their everyday life. Basically Japanese youth is mostly atheist. The most common religious activities the youngsters participate are traditional visits to shrines on new year, funerals, marriages (when done in nowdays more rare Shinto way), festivals and when visiting famous tourist spots that many times are old shrines or temples.

But, you have to understand that Japanese don't see the Shinto and Buddhist beliefs as strict religions and they don't consider themselves as believers. Shinto and Buddhism is for most Japanese a set of traditions and codes of conduct, not belief in some supernatural deities.

**Again, I know everyone is different, but if a young Japanese adult were to tell you they believed in Shinto or Buddhism what would that typically entail?**

They probably mean that they practice the Shinto or Buddhist traditions, but not really believe in the existence of gods. It is easier to answer that way, rather than go on to long explanation about basically atheistic world view with Shinto and Buddhist manners and holiday events.

**I read on here that it means Shinto weddings and Buddhist funerals, but how do these religions affect daily life? Are there any major holidays - or festivals I should say?**

As said, they affect mostly in ways to have fun. Yes, there are numerous festivals throughout the year. Many times the religious meaning for common Japanese during these festivals is quite insignificant. The main point is to enjoy the show, have fun and eat a lot of festival food.

by K0DAMA rate this post as useful

Re: Modern day Shinto & Buddhism 2013/10/15 16:11

More info about the festivals:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_festivals
by K0DAMA rate this post as useful

Re: Modern day Shinto & Buddhism 2013/10/15 16:32
Hi. I'm Japanese and 22 year-old.
In my life, I haven't been aware of religion in most. Perhaps, this is becaouse many Japanese don't notice religional behavior.
For example, when I was elementary school student, I put hands together before meal.
This action comes from Buddhism, and it actual means "thanks for lives". But I was told this is "thanks for the all people who made the meal(like farmers and cooks)" as morality.
Moreover, Japanese clean all over the house on 31 Dec. While this custom was due to Shinto to exorcise, my recognize is "I want to spend comfortable in the biginning of the year" .
Recentlly, festival took plece in my city. the festical celebrate welcoming spirit, which visits from the mountain. However, most of people don't clearly think that this is religional festival. "Well, now come to think of it, this was Shintoism festival".
such a thing for us.
So, Japanese religional behavior is too close to daily life to notice. Therefore, many Japanese say "I'm a menmber of no religion", may be.

I'm sorry if my English is hard to read.
by Rei (guest) rate this post as useful

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