What is the difference between temples and shrines? 2. Buddhism

Published by Hiromi Nishiwaki on

Hi! This is Lena.  I am Multi Lingual Cultural Promoter.
I promote Japanese culture and items in multi ♠language♠.

Today I'd like to explain Buddhism.
Buddhism was introduced to Japan from India through China and Korea in the 6th century.

There are some sects, such as Jodo sect, Jodo Shinshu Sect, Soto sect, Rinzai sect, Nichiren sect, etc. These sects began in the Kamakura period (1192-1333).

While Shinto pursues the benefits “in this world, Buddhism is preaching a way to escape the suffering of life and reach to the nirvana.


Jodo sects preaches that people are saved by chanting a prayer to the Buddha (Nenbutsu wo Tonaeru), while Soto sect preaches the way too lead to nirvana by devoting to hard training.



The teachings of Buddhism are divided into 1. Salvation by one’s own efforts (Jiriki Hongan) and 2. Tariki Hongan (salvation through the benevolence of Buddha), Zen Sects (Rinzai sect, Soto sect) preaches about Jiriki Hongan and Jodo sects preaches about Tariki Hongan.


Zen Sects have been practiced mainly by Samurai class people as it required hard training, instead, Jodo sects had been practiced by mainly farmers.

However their goal is same, to be free from agony of life and reach to nirvana.



One of the important Buddhist customs seen in Japan today is Obon.

Bon festival is a Buddhist festival held every year on August 13, 14 and 15. And It is believed that souls of ancestors come back to “this world” during this period.

People light their lanterns to greet these souls, play Bon dance, enjoy together with ancestor souls.

The week including the Bon Festival is called Bon holiday, many Japanese take vacation, return home or travel.


In addition to Obon, we have event called Higan.


Higan are Buddhist Holiday around both spring equinox and autumn equinox, last 7 days from three days before and after such equinox days. During this period, many Japanese performs Buddhist customs such as visiting a grave.

To be continued - What is the difference between temples and shrines? 3. Conclusion

Thank you for reading and see you soon!
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Office Flora Art Promotion




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Cat Shaped Ceramic Ornament which is believed to bring Happiness.



Have a nice day!


Hiromi Nishiwaki

Office Flora "JAPANOPHILE " Promotion was founded as a Japanese culture Research firm in 2017. We provide exciting information on Japanese Art and Culture and offer intellectual excitements though the prism of Hiromi Nishiwaki. We provide deep insights about Japanese traditional culture and Art from a Western perspective while keeping the core concepts from the Japanese Spiritual and traditional values intact. Our mission is to contribute to world happiness and prosperity.

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