Harry's view

Mainly, we have two official religions, Shinto’s and Buddhism.
Shinto is an indigenous religion of Japan, no founder, no scripture, no dogma, and originated spontaneously in ancient times in Japan.
And Buddhism, came to Japan from China and Korea in the 6th century, it has a spiritual doctrine to make peace and improve oneself.
Japanese people have worshipped a lot of things in nature, and thought that they were part of nature. It was based on the faith with awe towards something beyond man's power.
And more, we worship for our ancestors as our guardian deities. So, we believed that deceased spirits remain eternally on the earth and guard their descendants.
Japanese religions are complementary and not exclusive. Being tolerant to all people and things, regardless of religion, may be one of the characteristics of Japanese people.

神社 Shinto Shrine

Sacred area, holy place
Many people visit to pray for their happiness and longevity, and Shinto deities are enshrined.
In ancient times, Jinja did not mean a building. Religion rituals were held in places considered sacred. It was thought that the Kami, Japanese God, came to them when rituals were performed and went back after these were finished.
But some time later, people started hoping for the Kami to remain forever and began to build wooden buildings for the Kami remaining.

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仏像 Buddhist Statuary

In Japan, Butsuzo, Buddhist statue, is classified into the 4 major following groups, Nyorai/如来, Bosatsu/菩薩, Myo-o/明王 and Ten/天.
Syaka Nyorai / 釈迦如来 / Buddha, called Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Gautama in Sanskrit, is the origin of all Buddhist statuary.
Many Syaka Nyorai statues are holding the palm-up Semui-in mudre / 施無畏印 and the palm-down yagan-in mudre / 与願印, which together mean that
" Everything is alright and don't fear. "

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Cherry Blossom / The Heart of the Japanese

Cherry blossom is very special for the Japanese people. And is also a Japanese symbol.

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武士道 BUSHIDO / The Soul of Japan

The way of Bushi / Samurai, which is analogous to Western concepts of chivalry, is the code of chivalry observed by Japanese warriors in the feudal ages.

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As many of the Japanese people do in this case, in the New Year, they visit shrines to pray for happiness and ahealthy year, as Hatsumode. In spring and autumn, they will participate in some festivals of shrine or temple in their neighborhood. And people go temples when they visit their ancestor's grave, such as Bon vacation. In December, many people celebrate Christmas, and get ready to welcome the New Year as a shintoist.

At first glance, it might seem to bullshit, that's because Shintoism and Buddhism are treated as a kind of daily customs rather than religion.

From ancient times, Japanese people felt awe and gratitude towards such kami and dedicated shrines to many of them.

In Shintoism, there are unlimited numbers of kami. One is the nature kami, people believe and worship deities residing everywhere in nature. The other is the kami, or gods from ancestors'souls, people believe that spirits of the deceased remain eternally on earth and guard their descendants. This is a faith with awe towards something beyond man's power.

And more, Shinto, the indigenous religion in Japan, is tolerant for new religions. In Japanese history, when buddhism was introduced to Japan through China and Korea in the 6th century, people accepted the co-existence of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. This is the beginning of the syncretization of Shinto with Buddhism. - 神仏習合 - This is the reason for there are shrine and temple on the same site today.

At the foundation of Japanese peoples' religious view, exist Japanese peoples'gratitude for everyone, including their ancestors. Japanese people will admit even the enemies, honor them, and try to co-exist with eveyone. This is the starting point of Japanese style hospitality. - OMOTENASHI - Here is the origin of the Japanese.

This is the fundamentally difference from the Hospitalitas of ancient Roman Empire, one of the etymology of the hospitality.

It does not change even now.

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