Buddhism

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The Japanese New Year- 9 Facts you may not know about Japan`s Oshougatsu !

Probably there are different ways to spends holidays on the New Year depending on the cultural backgrounds of every country and also on the customs and traditions in your family. In Japan there is also a long list of things to do during this important event so here is a guide to how Japanese people…
Hiraizumi

Hiraizumi : Pure Land Buddhism and Tohoku Pride

“夏草や 兵どもが 夢の跡”(`Natsukusa ya tsuhamonodomo ga yume no ato`) – “Grasses in summer, the warriors’ dreams… all that is left”. This poem, written by Master haikuist Matsuo Bashō after he visited the ancient temple complex of Hiraizumi, is one of the most famous in Japan. Located in Iwate on the banks of the Kitakami-gawa, these simple words…

3 Important Things to Do When Attending a Japanese Funeral

Funerals or soushiki (葬式) in Japan are usually centered on Buddhist customs. Right after the passing of a loved one, the family holds a funeral service in a temple, funeral hall, or in the deceased’s home for two consecutive days. The first day is the wake called “otsuya (お通夜),” wherein family, relatives, friends, and colleagues…

Go on a Thrilling Hike and Spot this Fantastic Cave Temple in Tottori Prefecture!

Out of all the important designated sites in Japan, Sanbutsu-ji Temple and Nageire-do Hall in Tottori can be termed the two of the most dangerous because of their locations on Mt. Mitoku. Said to have been built in the 8th century A.D., the temple, together with its cliff-hanging halls, is one of the oldest religious…

Seeking Self-Discovery? Try Out Yamabushi-do Training in the Japanese Mountains!

Yamabushi are Japanese mountain people who believe in connecting with nature in order to gain inner power. These people usually make pilgrims to temples and shrines, pray and study hard, perform rituals and help villagers to understand their religion. As of this year, Megurun Inc. and Daishobo, a pilgrim lodge, are launching a mountain training…

5 Things to Do at Japan’s Oldest Summer Festival Held in Osaka!

Summer is here! While it’s normally uncomfortable to deal with the intense heat, especially in Asian countries such as Japan, there are several ways to enjoy the season without having to lock yourself inside the comforts of your air-conditioned hotel. One of the most eagerly awaited major summer festivals is the Aizen Matsuri (愛染まつり) in…

Why Are Buddhist Monks in Japan Allowed to Get Married?

Not only are Buddhist monks in Japan allowed to get married and have children, they are also allowed to eat meat and consume alcohol. However, these only apply to some of them. Monks who have vowed to be celibate are not allowed to do the aforementioned things, whereas monks who have not vowed to be…

The Mythical Couple Who Gave Birth to Japan’s 800+ Shinto Deities

Approximately 90% of the Japanese population are followers of Shintoism (神道), Buddhism (仏教) or both. This can be attributed to the high regards paid by the Japanese towards their ethnic origins as well as the value they put on ancient traditions. Shintoism, in particular, has been popular both in traditional and pop culture thanks to…
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