Category Archives: Shinto

Is There More Than This?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about a quote from Roger Zelazny’s Isle of the Dead:1 Even if they had been real gods, what did it matter? What was it to me? Here I was still, right where I was born a … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Confucius, Literature, Religion, Shinto, Zelazny | 3 Comments

A Brief History of Confucianism in Edo-Period Japan

I spent part of last year reading a fascinating collection of essays under the title of Confucianism and Tokugawa Culture by Peter Nosco and other contributors. The book and the essays examine the Edo Period, the Tokugawa Shogunate, and how … Continue reading

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Day 3 of 2012: Meiji Shrine in Tokyo

In case anyone thought I forgot about this after coming back to the US, let me talk about my visit to Meiji Shrine on the third day of Japanese New Year. The first day, for hatsumode we visited Kawasaki Daishi, … Continue reading

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2012 Day 2: Adventures at the NHK Studio

Compared to the excitement of our first day in 2012, day 2 was a lot quieter. We had no real plans, so we just went to the Shibuya district in Tokyo, which is relatively easy for us to get to … Continue reading

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Meiji Shrine and Shinto

Recently, I found an old pamphlet (I love collecting them) from Meiji Shrine (or meiji jingū 明治神宮) in Japan. I think we received it when my daughter got a care package from her grandparents for Shichigosan.1 It’s a nice simple … Continue reading

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Prince Shotoku: the man, the myth

Note: Still on hiatus, but this is an old post I decided to publish anyway. Prince Shotoku is one of the most recognizable and most famous figures in Japanese history. He epitomizes many aspects of early Japanese culture: a righteous, … Continue reading

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Geomancy in Japanese Culture

The notion of geomancy is something usually associated with Chinese feng-shui (風水), but this tradition has long been adapted into Japanese culture as well, and still widely seen today. In the ancient days of Japan, when the capitol was moved … Continue reading

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Buddhism and Okinawa

Okinawa and the Ryukyu Kingdom is the subject of this week’s posts and one subject that interests me in particular is the interaction of Okinawan religion and Buddhism. While reading Kerr’s book, the subject of Buddhism comes up relatively late … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Shinto, Travel | 3 Comments

Omikuji Fortunes

Tourists who come to Japan, and see Buddhist temples or Shinto shrines will often seen small fortune-telling boxes called omijikuji (おみくじ). There are various ways of drawing a fortune, such as drawing sticks out of a box, or pulling folded … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Religion, Shinto, Travel | 6 Comments

The “Business” of Japanese Religion

Over the past few months, I’ve talked about Tanabe and Reader’s excellent research into Japanese religion, in the book Practically Religious and their efforts to explore Japanese religion on the ground, contrary to what Western scholars have often overlooked. As … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Religion, Shinto | 2 Comments