The Development of Religion in Japan

The Development of Religion in Japan

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The Development of Religion in Japan

The Development of Religion in Japan

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Excerpt

"The Religion of Japan" was proposed as the topic of these lectures by the Committee under whose auspices they are given, a topic which suggests various questions. For one may ask, What is the religion of Japan? Is it Shinto? It only can claim to be a native product and to be representative therefore of the native genius. It arose in remote antiquity; in the beginning of the times which we may term historical it was made the theoretical basis of the Imperial power, and, after an eclipse for a thousand years, in our own day it is the form in which the national feeling manifests itself. But, nevertheless, the interest in Shinto is chiefly archæological, for to the majority of the people its teaching is unknown, while the Government has disclaimed religious significance for its rites and has announced that they are merely a form for state ceremonials.

Or shall we take Buddhism as our text? We may well do so if we consider influence in the past and . . .

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