Buddhism is a religion which preaches way of life. It is not a structure of doctrine or temples. It is not obtained by mystical or provisional experience, and is not only a religion of qualified people. Although it is natural experience evident in everyday life, and is for every human being in spite of ideology, personality, or status. This clarifies that Buddhist has an immense impact on the Japanese people in various phases of life.
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Mahayana Buddhism covers extensive sorts of philosophical schools, meditative regulations and metaphysical convictions. Buddhism has subsisted along with Shintoism for around 1,400 years in Japan. Initially, Buddhism was a belief that was connected with the upper classes, whereas a combination of Shinto and Buddhist convictions were followed by ordinary people of Japan. Buddhism ascribed with Shintoism created purity, and cleared all internal and external issues.
When Buddhism entered the borders of Japan, then the people started using the term Shinto to differentiate the indigenous beliefs of Japanese people. Japanese were fortunate people, as they got the Mahayana form of Buddhism. It is a highly tolerant religion, and is capable of accepting new thoughts and creates bonds with other beliefs and religions.
To accommodate with Shintoism the Japanese Buddhism made slight additions (Hays). Shinto was enlightened as a kind of local evidence of complete truth and kami were incorporated as a common form of Buddhist divinities. Shintoism made Buddha a kami that was created from Chinese Buddhism and made kamis subject to the similar sequences such as death or rebirth that was a belief of Buddhists.
Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples were also constructed near each other, so there should be no arguments between the religious beliefs. Kamis had to listen to Buddhist sutras and later they were considered as embodiments of Bodhisattvas. With the help of these conceptions, the Japanese Buddhist initiated many of the new ideas in the Shintoism and Confucianism, and is now considered as corresponding versions of the similar basic truth. It has achieved a wide acceptance among the Japanese (Hays).
Today in Japan, there are approximately 119 million followers of Shinto, and any person who performs any approach of Shinto rituals is counted as well. A wide range of Japanese people who are taking part in everyday Shinto and Confucian rituals and beliefs are also following Buddhist forerunner worship. Buddhism, Confucianism and Shintoism do not require practicing faith to be a practitioner or an advocate. In addition, it is also difficult to question for exact terms comprised on self identification of faith within Japan.
Due to the mixed beliefs of Buddhism and Shinto, majority of “life” occasions are carried according to Shinto principles whereas the “death” or “afterlife” occurrences are carried by Buddhism (Global Nomads Group (GNG)). For example, when a child is born in Japan the people celebrate the birth event in a Shinto shrine. Whereas when a person dies, then the funeral arrangements are handled according to Buddhist traditions and principles.
Another example is most of the Japanese go to Shinto shrines for New Year celebrations, and is often stated by a specific need or aspiration of the person, while people visit Buddhist temples for dealing with afterlife questions and to know about afterlife situations. Most of the Japanese have accepted that both religious beliefs are complimentary, and necessary for dealing with everyday issues and routines (Global Nomads Group (GNG)).
Global Nomads Group (GNG). Religion in Japan: Shinto, Buddhism Society. 2010. Web.
Hays, Jeffery. Buddhism in Japan. 2010. Web.