OF all the countries in which Buddhism took hold and spread Japan is perhaps the one in which the religion of Buddha remains most alive. It is the great Buddhist universities of Tôkyô , Kyôto, Mount Kôya, that furnish the superior clergy, and these great intellectual centres have preserved the traditional study of the Sanskrit and particularly the Chinese texts that treat of the Buddhist religion. The Buddhist canon was even published on several occasions in its Chinese version by Japanese scholars.
And furthermore the influence of Buddhism makes itself definitely felt in Japanese art; the modern painters continue to show it; there are art journals specially devoted to it.
Finally, the mind of the masses is impregnated with Buddhist ideas, which are expressed in concrete fashion in the manners and customs of the Japanese people.
The true believers, to whatever sect they belong, go to the temples to worship the deities of many shapes brought by the priests from China and Korea.
Buddhism appears to have been brought to Japan by Korean or Chinese monks long before the sixth century, the official date of its introduction.
Two currents of Buddhism had at this time been propagated in the Western world-- the Hīnayāna and the Mahayana. This latter especially was widespread in China, where it had undergone important modifications; its pantheon had besides been enriched by a great number of deities. It was this form that spread in Japan.
In the year A.D. 552, the Emperor Syöng-myöng, who ruled over the kingdom of