Hotels in Japan
Popular Places
Best of Japan
Special Interests
Food in Japan
Travel Tips
General Info
Weather Check
Currency Converter
Time Zone Converter
Language Translator
Stock Index
About Us
Contact Us
Join us
Reservation Terms
Site Map

Best of Japan
Architecture l Gardens l Ikebana l Religion l Tea Ceremony


Buddhism's central theories believe that it is worldly desires, illness, death, and the loss of loved ones that causes suffering in the human life. By eliminating all desires and attachments, we would be able to achieve the state of enlightenment, which is Nirvana, escape suffering and the circle of reincarnations.

It is believed that Buddhism had arrived in Japan around 552AD as a present from the king of the Korean Paekche Kingdom. In the course of several centuries, it was welcomed by the exclusive ruling aristocrats.

However, at the end of the 16th Century, many Buddhist activities in the political arena were practically abolished. Furthermore, the Meiji period in the 19th Century favored Shinto as the state religion and therefore tried to separate it from Buddhism, as both these religions had merged to become like one faith. After a few other conflicts with Shinto, the two religions were able to co-exist in harmony and began complementing one another.

It is estimated that there are at least 56 main divisions and 170 subdivisions in Japanese Buddhism.

The Tendai and Shingon sect, both founded in 805 and 806 respectively, were imported from China. They were gradually changed to become more Japanese and even expanded to have subdivisions.

In 1175, The Jodo sect was founded. Its theories were very simple as it was based on the principle that everyone can achieve salvation by strongly believing in the Buddha Amida. Due to its simplicity, the Jodo sect had followers from various social classes. Until today, it remains as one of the most popular sects in Japan.

The Zen sect, introduced from China, was founded in 1191. It was more popular amongst the military class for its complicated theories.

In 1253, Nichiren founded the Lotus Hokke sect, which was outstanding because it was intolerant toward other Buddhist sects. Today, Nichiren Buddhism still has millions of followers.

Like Shinto shrines, temples can be found almost everywhere in Japan. Many large and exceptionally beautiful temples can be found in Kyoto and Nara, former religious centers. Usually, a big bell is located within the temple area. On New Year's Eve, it is rung 108 times - 8 times in the old year and 100 times in the new. The number, 108, resembles the number of worldly desires in Buddhism that are driven away by the ringing bell.

any temples also include a cemetery. It is often visited on many occasions, such as the obon week, which is an August festival honoring and remembering the ancestors, anniversaries of the departed, and equinoctial weeks.

Almost 90 million people consider themselves as Buddhists in today's modern Japan. However, the belief does not really affect the everyday life of the average Japanese person. But it is customary for funerals to be carried out in a Buddhist manner, and many households do keep a small altar in memory of their ancestors.

Top of Page



Home l Places of Interest l Outdoor Travel l Food in Asia l General Info l Entertainment
Shopping Asia l Special Attractions


Australia l Bali l Brunei l China l Hong Kong l Japan l Korea l Macau l Malaysia l Myanmar l New Zealand
Philippines l Singapore l Taiwan l Thailand

Copyright © by Hotnet Sdn.Bhd. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Copyright and Disclaimer l Privacy Policy