currents of religion in Japan are Buddhism, which was brought to Japan in the
sixth century, and Shinto, which developed a the nation's folk religion.
As of the end of 1994, there were 231,428 religious institutions, including
Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and Christian churches. Culturally,
historically, and politically Buddhism has had a great influence on the Japanese
mentality. Buddhism is divided into a number of sects with the major sects
being Jodo Shinshu, Nichiren, and Zen. As of the end of 1994, there were
over 78,000 Buddhist temples in Japan.
survived in the form of traditional beliefs and customs and in such practices as
individual prayers and a variety of ties and festivities. Unlike such
imported systems as Buddhism and Confucianism, Shinto embodies an indigenous
religion and philosophy. Under the present Constitution Shinto has no
official status of any situation, however, Shinto has no official status of any
kind. Statistics show that there are 117 million followers of Shinto and
90 million adherents of Buddhism in Japan. In customary practice, Shinto
rites are observed to celebrate such occasions as birth and marriage, while
Buddhist ceremonies are used for funerals and memorial services.
brought to Japan in 1549 by Spanish Jesuits and propagated until it was
officially banned in 1612. The ban was lifted in 1873 after the Meiji
Restoration. In 1994 there were 6,574 churches in Japan, divided about
evenly between Catholic and Protestant. The number of Japanese Christians
main faiths, many other religious groups have come into being or reached
Japanese shores since the Meiji era. They include Buddhist-influenced
faiths, Shinto-type faiths, and hybrid faiths combining Buddhist and
Shinto elements. As of the end of 1994, these religious groups had a bout
42,176 missions nationwide and 11,112,595 followers.
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