This forum is aimed at serious discussion about Shintoism and Japanese Buddhism, such as the history and development of these religions, their influence on Japanese culture, society and mindset, or understanding the differences between Buddhist schools.

If you have little prior knowledge of Buddhism and Shintoism, please read our Religion section first.

Note that the majority of the Japanese are de facto Atheists or Agnostics. True practising Buddhists or Shintoists only account for a small fraction of the population, mostly priests and their relatives. As a consequence foreigners who have read a bit about either religion are often more knowledgeable about Buddhism and/or Shintoism than the average Japanese you will meet.

Religion only plays a very minor role in modern Japanese society - chiefly a ceremonious one, for festivals and funerals.

Christianity makes up approximately 1% of the Japanese population, and is more common in Kyushu (Nagasaki region).