The Japanese Coexist with Gods

One of the many interesting characteristics about Japanese people is their flexible view of religion. The traditional religion of the Japanese is Shinto, where many gods coexist. It is said that there are eight million gods in Japan. This has come about because things that are beyond human beings’understanding — and that people hold in awe – become objects of their worship. These religious objects are not only those found in nature such as awe-inspiring mountains, rocks and forests, but also mysterious animals and even human beings who have achieved great things; all of these can become gods.

In the 6th century, Japanese adopted Buddhism from China and allowed it to coexist naturally with Shinto. Japanese are very good at making their religion suit their needs. For example, they go to shrines (Shinto) to pray for blessings on occasions such as the New Year and “Shichigosan” (a festival for children aged three, five and seven-years-old), and go to temples (Buddhist) for funerals and other related events.

In the 20th century, Japanese were greatly influenced and affected by Western culture and even adopted Christian ceremonies such as Christmas. At present, the majority of wedding ceremonies held in Japan take place in church-like chapels. Some people criticize Japanese people as being thoughtless, but it can be said that Japanese are actually rather very generous and open-minded towards other religions.

Looking back in history, you can see there have been many, many conflicts caused by religion. Those who wish for peace in the world should perhaps pay more attention to the Japanese religious view where they adopt their religions and make them coexist instead of suppressing them.

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