There are various religions in the world, but the exact number is quite extensive.
According to a report from Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, the main religions practiced by people living in Japan are Shintoism, Buddhism, and Christianity. When considering other religions as well, there are a staggering 180,433 religious organizations (*1) in existence! (Source: "Religious Yearbook Reiwa 2nd Edition," Religious Statistics Survey, Agency for Cultural Affairs)
*1: This number represents the registered religious corporations in Japan's national and local governments.
Religious Population in Japan, Source: Religious Statistics Survey (Agency for Cultural Affairs) as Published in the "Religious Yearbook Reiwa 2nd Edition"
The Religious Views of Japanese People
Looking at the above figure, it shows that in Japan, 183,107,772 people belong to some religious organization, a number substantially higher than the country's population. This reflects many citizens' affiliation with multiple religions, as analyzed by the U.S. Department of State's Office of International Religious Freedom. (Source: 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom: Japan)
Indeed, we Japanese have various customs and traditions deeply rooted in our culture. During the New Year, we decorate our entrances with "Kadomatsu" (gate pine) and visit shrines and temples for "Hatsu-moude" (first shrine/temple visit of the year). In February, we throw beans to drive away demons during the "Setsubun" festival.
During the summer, we enjoy festivals like "Bon Odori," where we dance in celebration. Additionally, when children turn 3, 5, or 7 years old, we dress them in traditional attire and take them to the shrine for the "Shichi-go-san" ceremony.
The "Kadomatsu" tradition originates from Shinto, while "Setsubun" is associated with both Shinto and Buddhism, and "Bon Odori" has its roots in Buddhism.
Surprisingly, on the night of December 24th, we also celebrate Christmas and enjoy eating cake!
Furthermore, there are cultural elements tied to our religious beliefs in our daily lives. For instance, we use chopsticks, a practice thought to have originated from Shinto teachings. Additionally, the Japanese language contains numerous words derived from the teachings of Shinto and Buddhism.
Japan's cultural tapestry is a beautiful blend of traditions, and these customs serve as a reflection of the rich diversity in our religious practices and beliefs.
Top photo: Shichi-go-San, Bottom left: Bon dance, Bottom right: Christmas cake
Would you like to explore and enjoy religion?
The idea of "enjoying religion" might seem inappropriate, but it's a perspective unique to the Japanese, who often incorporate various religious elements into their daily lives. May the gods and Buddhas forgive us today for saying so!
Have you ever felt a sense of tranquility or found something charming when encountering religious tools or artifacts, even if you are not a follower of that particular religion?
At j-Grab Mall, we offer a wide range of items related to different religions.
Hijab Made in JAPAN
In Islam, it is prescribed for women to cover their hair and wear modest clothing that does not reveal the body's contours. Thus, for Muslim women (known as Muslimah), the hijab is an essential item.
Hina Japan Hijab Jersey Kawasaki City Japan offers a high-quality hijab made from premium jersey fabric. The material is lightweight yet non-transparent, providing a soft and glossy texture that creates an elegant silhouette.
We offer two traditional Japanese color combinations that complement various clothing styles and skin tones.
Hina Japan Hijab Linen Kawasaki City Japan offers a high-quality hijab made from luxurious linen fabric. This hijab has a sheer quality, but it is incredibly lightweight and soft. The traditional Japanese color palette exudes both vibrancy and tranquility, making it a perfect blend of elegance and sophistication.
All Hina hijabs are dyed in traditional colors used only in Japan.
Please do try our meticulously woven, ultra-luxurious hijab crafted from carefully selected, top-quality materials, with the help of the water from Mount Fuji and the power of nature.
Whether for appreciation or for prayer, it is a very small ornament.
The Buddhism Miniature Nirvana (Japanese Style) is a Buddha statue depicting the peaceful sleeping posture of Shakyamuni Buddha at the moment of his passing, symbolizing his entry into Nirvana.
W: 3cm, H: 1.5cm, D: 1.5cm, within 200g
The Buddhism Miniature Ganesha sculpture KANGI-TEN is a copper-made Buddha statue representing Kangiten, one of the protective deities in Buddhism. In Japan, Kangiten is depicted as two Ganesha figures embracing each other, similar to the Hindu deity Ganesha but with an additional head on each of them. It is believed to bring blessings of "prosperity for descendants," "harmony in marriage," and "prosperity in business" in Buddhism.
W: 1.5cm, H: 2.5cm, D: 1.5cm, within 200g
Good as a decoration! It will also serve as your talisman.
The Heart Sutra Yakusugi Sacred Cedar Buddhist Prayers Beads Bracelet is a bead bracelet with Yakusugi (Sacred Cedar) beads, approximately 10mm in diameter, hand-carved with the Heart Sutra. The central teachings of Buddhism, expressed in 260 Chinese characters, are depicted on this prayer beads bracelet.
Yakusugi is a type of cedar that grows naturally on Yakushima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. It has been registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site since 1993 and has a lifespan of over 1000 years. As the logging of Yakusugi is now prohibited by law, the wood of Yakusugi is highly valuable and precious.
This prayer beads bracelet is made from an incredibly rare Yakusugi that was actually harvested during the Edo period (1603-1868)!
The Buddhism Dharmachakra (Hourin) Pendant is a pendant made of white metal that depicts the symbol of Buddhism or Shakyamuni Buddha known as "Dharmachakra" in Japanese Buddhism.
You can try wearing it as a decorative piece and also to offer prayers.
As art or to create a space of faith and tranquility.
Lastly, we would like to introduce three paintings related to Buddhism.
SHIKISHI Posters; RYOKAI MANDALA(Taizokai & Kongokai /Womb & Diamond Realms comes in a set of two, known as "Ryokai Mandala." The mandala on the left is called "Kongokai" (Diamond Realm), and the one on the right is "Taizokai" (Womb Realm).
Each mandala iconographically represents the compassion and wisdom of Dainichi Nyorai (Great Sun Buddha) and visualizes the teachings and truths of Buddhism.
There are several types of mandalas, and their designs and worldviews differ according to religious sects and other factors.
The Ashura Statue Kyoto Kaho Japan is a textile painting where the Ashura statue is woven using Nishijin-ori, a traditional weaving technique of Kyoto.
Nishijin-ori originated in the 5th to 6th century and its foundation was established in the 15th century, making it one of Kyoto's representative traditional crafts. The model for the Ashura statue is a Buddhist statue created in the 8th century (Nara period), which is a designated National Treasure of Japan and currently enshrined in Kofukuji Temple in Nara Prefecture.
Today, we introduced many products to you. If you are a believer in any of these religions, we would definitely recommend considering them as a valuable addition to your collection.
However, if you belong to a different faith (or are an atheist), we still highly recommend these items for your home decor, fashion accessories, and as talismans to bring relaxation and comfort to your heart. These items can add beauty and tranquility to your life, regardless of your religious beliefs.