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2. Religion
2. Religeon,
ADHERENTS of religion In Japan, Dec. 1964 

Christianity 670 thousands
Catholic 320 thousands
Church of Christ in Japan 140 thousands
Buddhism 70 million
Shingon 1 million
Tendai 1.3 million
Jodo 4 million
Jodo Shin (Ohtani sub-sect & Nishi-honganji
sub-sect) 16 million
Soto 6.5 million
Rinzai (Myoshinji sub-sect) 1.3 million
Nichiren (Soka Gakkai) 14 million
Shinto 68 million
Shrine Shinto 53 million
Tenrikyou 2.3 million
Other 4 million
Seichono-ie 1.5 million
P.L. Kyodan 1.2 million
World Messianic Society 620 thousands

Religious Duality

Religion in this country today means primarily the three recognized religions, Shinto, Buddhism and Christianity. Expect for Christianity the other faiths are not exclusive of each other. In fact, a majority of the Japanese claim to be adherents of two or more religions at the same time. A Shinto altar and a Buddhist altar are found side by side in a typical Japanese home.

Various explanations may be given to the religious duality of the Japanese.

During the Edo Period (1615 - 1868) the Tokugawa Shogunate encouraged Buddhism as an instrument against the propagation of Roman Catholicism. Every one was compulsorily registered at a temple as Buddhist, and this system was used as a census register. Births, marriages, changes of abode or employment, travels and so on, were all recorded by the priest. From the Meiji Restoration in 1868 up to the end of the war, Shinto was called "State Shinto" or "National Shinto Faith" and the Japanese were encouraged to worship the Shinto divinities as the ancestors of the Imperial Family, even if one's personal faith is Buddhism. It may be necessary to be familiar with the brief historical background to fully understand the religious situation of Japan.

History of Religion in Japan

Buddhism and Confucianism were introduced into Japan about the middle of the 6th century. Nearly the whole nation was converted to Buddhism during the 7th and 8th centuries. It became a state religion and numerous temples were built under the Imperial patronage.

In the 8th century, natural calamities and plagues visited repeatedly the country; the people lost faith in Buddha's protection and came to worship Shinto.

About that time a priest named Gyoki invented a religious theory. According to the theory, the Great Sun-Goddess of Shinto is a manifestation of Buddha.

In the 9th century a priest named Kukai developed this theory into the doctrine of Ryobu Shinto which means "Shinto of double aspect." This theory proclaims that the Shinto deities were incarnations or, manifestations of the Buddhist divinities.

During the 13th century, various new sects of Buddhism were established.

In the middle of the 16th century, Roman Catholic missionaries arrived Japan and converted some 200,000 Japanese into Christianity.

In the beginning of the 17th century, Ieyasu Tokugawa prohibited the missionaries to propagate Christianity in this country.

During the Edo period, the Tokugawa Shogunate encouraged Buddhism as an instrument against Roman Catholicism.

The ideological basis for the Meiji Restoration was based on the faith in Shinto. Belief in The doctrine of Ryobu Shinto was prohibited. The people were forced to accept Shinto as the Official religion.

After the end of the was, complete freedom of faith was established by the Occupation Authorities.


According to the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) the Sun Goddess Amaterasu-o- Mikami, angry at the behavior of her brother, Susano-o-no-mikoto, retired into a cave from which she refused to emerge, in spite of all the entreaties of the gods. Then the 800 myriad's of Kami --- gods --- gathered a number of barnyard fowl to announce the sunrise, and suspended an 8-foot mirror from a 500 branched sakaki tree at the entrance of the cave. The mirror, forged from the mines of heaven, had been decorated with 500 strings of curved jewels, blue and white streamers of hemp cloth.

Then, divination was performed with the shoulder blade of a stag. While a goddess danced, there was great merriment which caused the Sun Goddess to peep out from the gave to see what was happening. She was told by the dancer that a greater deity than herself is present, the mirror was thrust before her, and while she was gazing in astonishment at her own image, two gods dragged her out of the cave, stretched a straw rope behind her to prevent her returning, and once again the sunshine spread its light over the Plain of High Heaven.


When the Sun Goddess sent her grandson down from heaven to rule the earth she is said to have given him the mirror, sword and jewel as symbols of divine power, and these have always remained as emblems of the Imperial sovereignty.

According to Shinto, the mirror is symbolic of the human heart, and reflects the image of god. According to Japanese mythology, Izanagi, the male creative deity, gave his children a polished silver disk, before which he bade them kneel each morning and examine their reflection, counseling them to think of heavenly matters, subdue passion and all evil thoughts, in order that the mirror reveal a pure and lonely soul.

Susano-o-no-mikoto, (the unruly brother of the Sun Goddess whose behavior so upset her that she retired to a cave from which she was lured by the sacred mirror,) was an adventurous, chivalrous and sagacious god,(and the manner in which he is said to have procured the Murakumo-no-tsurugi or the Sacred Sword of the Imperial Regalia calls to mind the story of St. George and the dragon.)

Descending from the Plain of High Heaven, the god was standing on the bank of the River Hi, in lzumo, when he heard the sound of weeping and discovered an old man and woman shedding tears over a beautiful young girl to whom they appeared to be saying a last fare-well. To the god's inquiry about their grief the old couple, two earthly deities Ashinazuchi --- Foot-stroke elder --- and his wife Tena-zuchi--- Hand stroke elder --- told him that their daughter Kushi-nada-hime --- Princess Inaba --- was due to be devoured by an eight-forked serpent , in the same manner as it had consumed her seven sisters.

Captivated by the girl's beauty, Susa-no-o-mikoto offered to slay the serpent on condition that for this service she be given him in marriage, to which of course they agreed. First of all he changed the girl into a many-toothed comb which he stuck in his hair. He then made the old couple brew sake which he poured into eight tubs and then sat down to await the serpent . Before long the earth trembled and the serpent appeared.

It had eight heads, red eyes, eight tails, cypress trees grew on its back and in length it encompassed eight hills and valleys . Suddenly the monster slowed its progress, it sniffed the sake, and immediately the eight mouths got busy with the eight buckets until it became drowsy, whereupon the god seized his opportunity to chop it with his 1O-span sword. But when he struck one of the serpent's tails, his weapon bent, there was a loud clang of steel on steel, and on bending down he extracted from it a splendid sword henceforth to be known as the Murakumo-no-tsurugi and which he presented to the Gods of Heaven, before which, of course, transformed the comb back into the princess and consummated their marriage.

And so when the Sun Goddess sent her grandson Ninigi-no-mikoto down to earth to subjugate lzumo, the Central Land of the Reed Plains, she gave him the Murakumo-no-tsurugi, together with the sacred mirror and jewel as symbols of his divine authority.

When Yamato-takeru-nomikoto, son of Emperor Keiko (71 - 130 A.D.) was sent by his father to subdue an uprising he was given the sword. But he was surrounded by his enemies who sought to trap him by burning the grass; and when almost over-come by the fumes and flames drew the divine sword, cut a path between the flames, and made good his escape.

The third sacred object which the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu O-mikami, is said to have bestowed on her grandson, Prince Ninigi, on occasion of his descent from the Plain of High Heaven to Earth, was the curved gem, Yasakani-no-magatama, generally considered to be of green or white jade. This is kept in the Imperial Sanctuary in the Imperial Palace, and is believed to be the only existent original of the Three Sacred Treasures. This gem symbolizes gentleness, conciliatoriness, amiability and obedience; as the mirror stands for honesty and purity and neither hides nor perverts, reflecting evil as well as good; while the sword symbolizes strength and sharpness, practical decision, knowledge and intelligence. During the reign of the Emperor Suijin (97 - 30 BC), the Three Sacred Treasures are said to have been removed to a certain Kasami-no-mura where replicas were made and except for the Yasakani-no-magatama, the originals were dispersed for safe keeping --- the mirror to the Ise Grand Shrine and the sword to the Atsuta Shrine . The replica of the sword is kept in the Imperial Palace , near to the Emperor, while the mirror is retained in the Kashikodokoro with the Yasakani-no-magatama . The Imperial sword was lost in the sea at the battle of Dannoura, April 25, 1185, when Nino ama, the widow of Taira Kiyomori, jumped into the sea with the child Emperor Antoku and the Three Treasures in her arms . The Yasakani-no-magatama and the mirror were recovered, but the latter was afterward destroyed by fire.


The word Shinto literally means "the way of the gods." It is the indigenous religion of Japan. The origin of Shinto can be traced back to the nature worship of the earliest period of Japanese history.

In the course of time, it has been greatly influenced by foreign influence especially by Buddhism introduced from China in the middle of the 6th century. It has also been divided into many schools, among which "Shrine Shinto" school is by far the biggest.

Shrine Shinto

Unlike many other religions, Shrine Shinto has no founder, no doctrines and no scripture; it is a thing formless as a magnetism and indefinable as an ancestral impulse.

It has many deities called Kami. Some of them are natural phenomena that give feeling of awe personified in the form of Kami, others are heroes who have been deified in the pantheon, the others are gods described in myths and abstract ideas such as fertility, courage, longevity are made gods.

Shinto may be called a polytheistic religion, or a combination of nature worship, hero worship, worship of abstract ideas and ancestor worship.

To the Japanese Kami theologically means "the superior," is an object of reverence rather than of worship in the Western sense. Reverence or worship of Kami is the main idea of Shinto.


A building is dedicated to Kami, weather it be Kami of natural phenomena, Kami of deified heroes, Kami in myths, or Kami of abstract ideas. It is customarily translated as "shrine." It is a sacred place where the worshippers get touch with Kami.

A typical shrine consists of sanctuary (Honden) and oratory (Haiden), and one or more Torii at the entrance of the precinct.

The Torii is taken to mean a gate where worshipper is purified or a barrier which keep off any evil spirit. (The symbol called Shimenawa represents the same idea as Torii. It consists of rice-straw rope and white cut paper.) At an ablution basin, a worshipper is supposed to wash his hands and rinse his mouth as a sign of purification.

The sanctuary usually contains no image, but a symbolic object of worship - a mirror made of metal, a sword, a stone or a tablet.

A pious Shintoist may visit a shrine at anytime. However, many people visit a shrine to worship on certain days of the month. The other majority of people visit on some particular days of the year when a special ceremonial is performed for the sake of the Kami.

A pious shintoist may offer every day before the sanctuary food, drink and a symbolic offering called Gohei representing the offering of cloth.

A devotee to Shinto purifies himself in the following three steps; expelling evil spirit in a ceremony called Harai, cleaning the body with water in a ceremony called Misogi and keeping himself away from food, and alcohol for a period of time which is called Imi.


The theory is peculiar to the country of Japan and is as follows : In the very beginning the world was a lake of water and there was neither land nor people . A man called lzanagi threw a hook-shaped-trident from heaven, saying, "Perhaps there may be a river under the heavens." And stirring the water, he picked up a drop of mud which was under the water. This piece of mud was stuck to the trident, and when it came to the surface of the water it turned into an island, and the kingdom of Japan gradually took its origin from this. For this reason they regard this man Izanagi and his wife Izanami as the first founders of Japan and the progenitors of the Japanese race.


In Ise there is a temple dedicated to the principal kami of Japan, Tensho-daijin. This woman was the daughter of the first man and woman. It is said she was the first to rule over the country and all the kings of Japan are descended from her.

Tensho-daijin, or Amaterasu, was born from the left eye of lzanagi and is regarded as the progenitor of the imperial family. Her shrine at Ise is the principal Shinto place of worship in the whole country.


The legends of their kami are based on some historical fact. It is said that Susa-no-O-no- Mikoto, the younger brother of Tensho-daijin (the principal kami of Japan and the first of the earthly beings) wanted to take over the kingdom for himself and was therefore banished from Hyuga. He went to the land now called Izumo on the coast of northern Chugoku, opposite Korea. It is aid that he found people already dwelling there, although he had thought that there were no other people anywhere but in Hyuga. These people must have come from Korea because there is no other country nearer there .

The legends of ancient Japan are generally recognized that they are based on some fact inasmuch as they recount, in a mythological form, the rise and dominance of the Yamato clan.

The unruly behavior of Susa-no-o, the storm god born from the nostril of lzanagi, so alarmed his sister that she retired into a cave and plunged the world into darkness; as a punishment Susa-no-o was banished to Izumo. This story thus provided the Izumo clan with an ancient and divine genealogy (family tree), yet inferior to that of the rival and dominant Yamato clan which had the Sun Goddess herself as its progenitor.

People used to worship the kami in these islands before the hotoke sects were introduced into Japan, and the kami are said to have been mortal men who were born in these very kingdoms. Some were hereditary (innate; born) kings and others were kuge and noble lords; they were made either on account of the excellence of their talents or because of their outstanding skill in military affairs and for having performed heroic deeds and wonderful things during their lifetime. After their death the people attributed to them the dignity and power of the kami, and they are completely different from the hotoke as regards cult, temples, bonzes and everything else

It is to these kami that the people go to ask directly for worldly favors, such as health, long live, wealth, children and victory over their enemies.


God the Parent appeared on earth taking the body of the woman Founder, Miss Miki Nakayama, on Dec. 12, 1838. She wrote the holy scripture called Ofudesaki. It is the revelation of God the Parent. It teaches the positive way of salvation.

In the beginning, God the Parent created human beings, because He wished to see them lead a joyous life. You are beloved children of God the Parent; if your life is a miserable one, you do not follow the God's instruction, but accumulated "mental dust." When all the dust are swept off from your minds, you will be in a position to realize the joyous life on earth and to endeavor to accomplish the construction Heaven.

Tenrikyo has two million of adherents and 12,000 churches. It operates various social works, including operation of hospitals and tuberculosis research institute. It is one of the largest and most vital religious forces in Japan.

There are more than 500 overseas missionary stations. They have a school of foreign languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Malayan, and Chinese.

It is not only gaining new converts steadily in Japan, but also is eager for overseas mission work.


About 500 years before the birth of Christ , Gautama Shakyamuni which is his early name before he attained Buddhahood was born from a woman of an Aryan tribe in India. The story tells us that he was unexpectedly born from the woman who was on the way under the shade of some lofty satin-trees. Seven days afterward, the mother died; but the boy had a careful nursery of his mother's sister, his father's other wife. Gautama was very early married to his cousin. They had a lovely baby soon.

In his 29th year a deity appeared to him in four visions --- under the forms of a man broken down by age, of a sick man, of a decaying corpse, and lastly, of a dignified hermit. He was each time so moved by the meaning of the sights that Gautama renounced the world, his inheritance to a vast kingdom, beautiful young wife and a lovely newly born baby, to seek salvation in religion for himself and the world at large.

Gautama cut his long hair, and exchanging clothes with a poor passer-by, and hurried on towards mountains to begin his new life as a homeless mendicant ascetic.

As it was the belief in the ancient days that no salvation could be gained unless one led a life of a strict asceticism, he strenuously practiced all forms of severe austerities. Adding vigil after vigil, and penance after penance, he made a super-human effort for six long years. His body was reduced to almost a skeleton The more he tormented his body the farther his goal receded from him. His strenuous and unsuccessful endeavors taught him one important lesson --- that is, the utter futility of self-mortification.

Benefiting by this invaluable experience of his, he finally decided to follow an independent course, avoiding the two extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification.

He sat on a thick cushion placed under a linden tree in a village and tried to enter into the ecstasy of meditation by brushing away evil passions and fantasy while keeping up his energy with milk offered by a maiden. But he could not easily attain the state of infinity and absoluteness, and the contact with reality. However, suddenly when he saw the morning star on Dec. 8 he became spiritually awaked. He discovered and proved by his own experience that the only way to reach the infinity and absoluteness for a man was to enter into a perfect state of spiritual concentration through meditation.

If one wishes to live in the spirit of Buddha he must meditate as Buddha did and enter into that perfect state of spiritual concentration. This is the only right and pure path to reach the state of infinity and absoluteness.

It was 6 years after he entered priesthood that this happened to him. He was 35 years old. After he was awaked and attained the state of infinity and absoluteness, he gained personality of super nature , with an extra ordinal persuasive power and influence.

For more than 40 years after he had spiritually awakened until his death at 80 years old , he preached his teaching to his five disciples and the masses as well.

S'skamuni Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, lived from the 5th to 4th century B.C. S'akamuni Gautama himself became convinced that he was the assumed form of Buddha, the Essential Truth, and made up his mind to teach how to attain the Buddhahood and did the work of salvation.

His teachings were memorized by his followers and were later compiled into the form of scriptures.


There is another hotoke, called Shaka, who was also the son of a king. Before he was born of a woman, he was born 8,000 times as every type of creature, and finally was born as Shaka which means without beginning.

He came forth from his mother's side by biting his way out with his teeth. At his birth he pointed his finger to heaven, saying that he had been born and that he was the universal lord of the earth and that all men were his sons. He took a seven paces towards the west and a flower sprang up at every step.

When he was 30 years old, he finally understood how people were to be saved; he died at the age of 80. They say that the world will come to an end. and everything will be reformed; and at last Miroku (which means Shaka in Japanese) will come.

Miroku, or the future Buddha, is due to appear on earth 5,000 years after the Buddha's entrance into paradise.

Four Noble Truth 四諦

I quote the so called the Four Noble Truths from his teachings:

Truth 1; Existence is suffering (Suffering is universal.)

Becoming old is suffering.
Presence of those one hates
Separation from those one loves
Not to obtain what one desires
Therefore, suffering is universal
Truth 2; The cause of suffering is craving, or selfish desire.

Truth 3; If passions are extinct and when you arrive at a state of bliss, your suffering comes to an end (The cure for suffering the elimination of craving.)

Truth 4; The way to eliminate craving is to follow the Middle Way, or the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Noble Eightfold Path:

If you embrace right views (knowledge), right intention, right speech, right action (conduct), right livelihood (means of livelihood), right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration, your suffering is removed

Mahayana 大乗仏教

Before its arrival in Japan, Buddhism already had absorbed various foreign elements of thought and had been split into many sects. The one major school called Mahayana Buddhism spread into Central Asia, China and Korea reaching Japan finally in the 6th century a.d. (The other school called Hinayana Buddhism spread over the South Asia.)

The teaching of Mahayana is for salvation of all human beings, while Hinayana is for salvation of only the faithful individual.

Nara Buddhism

Nara Buddhism is a name given to the six oldest sects of Japanese Buddhism which flourished until the end of the Nara Period.

Out of the six sects, three sects (Sanron, Jojitsu, and Kusha) have died out completely, while the other three still exist. Among the three survived sects (Hoso, Kegon, and Ritsu), the Ritsu sect is well known for observing strictly the traditional moral precepts; sticking to vegetarian food and practicing celibacy.

Shingon Buddhism

Shingon Buddhism was founded by the famous high priest Kukai in the beginning of the 9th century. He had studied in China, and later became one of the greatest leaders in the religious history of Japan. He founded the Kongobuji Temple on Mt. Koya, which has been the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism that exercised a great influence upon Japanese Buddhism.

Shingon Buddhism is an esoteric Buddhism and is characterized by a mystic symbolism and a pantheistic mysticism.

According to Shingon Buddhism, the whole universe is the body of the cosmic Buddha, Dainichi-Nyorai. Everybody has the Buddhahood of Dainichi-Nyorai. Shingon Buddhism uses "Mandala" as a visual aid to understanding of the mystic doctrine.

Tendai Buddhism

Tendai Buddhism was founded by Saicho in the beginning of the 9th century. He had studied in China. He founded the Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei.

Tendai Buddhism is a combination of all the basic teaching of Buddhism. According to Tendai Buddhism, all people are equal in nature. Every body has Buddhahood in himself. This doctrine is called "the One Vehicle.)


The electic Tendaishu was introduced into Japan early in the 9 century, but the cult of Dainichi, personification of wisdom and purity, is more usually associated with Shingon sect.


Another hotoke, called Kobo-Daishi, remains alive in a cave, awaiting Miroku (or Shaka) with outstretched arms. They believe that after death they are born again either as men or as beasts. A sect, known as Dainichi, has arisen from this religion and its followers worship.

Dainichi is regarded as a manifestation of the whole universe.

Amida Buddhism

Amida Buddhism is the largest and one of the most vital sects among Japanese Buddhism. It can be divided into Jodo and Jodo Shin Sects.

Jodo Sect of Amida Buddhism was founded by Honen. According to Jodo Sect of Amida Buddhism, we have no ability to attain Buddhahood, because we are inherently evil and sinful and all good we are capable of doing is only to satisfy our selfish desire. We can be saved only by faith in Amida, relying upon his divine promise. This is only the way left to us for salvation.

Only by uttering a divine formula "Namu Ami Dabutsu" (Adoration to Buddha Amida), we are saved and are granted a rebirth in the Pure Land through Amida's grace.

Jodo Shin Sect of Amida Buddhism was founded By Shinran, a disciple of Honen. He had studied at Tendai monastery on Mt. Hiei for 19 years, when he was called "the genius of Mr. Hiei", and later was converted to the Jodo sect, which was the most vital sect of Buddhism at that time.

According to Jodo Shin Sect of Amida Buddhism, we have no ability to attain Buddhahood, because we inherently evil and sinful and all good we are capable of doing is only to satisfy our selfish desire. We can be saved only by faith in Amida, relying upon his divine promise. This is the only way left to us for salvation.

We utter the divine formula "Namu Ami Dabutsu" (Adoration to Amida Buddha) only to express the overflow of happiness being saved.

The Jodo Shin Sect rejects celibacy, abstention, from certain food, pilgrimages, asceticism, penance, monasteries and amulets.

阿弥陀如来 The Buddha and Zen(昔外国人が書いた)

One of these hotoke is called Amida; A means all the male saints, MI means all the female saints, and DA means all the books; thus the name Amida means all the male and female saints and all the books. They say that this Amida, a son of a king in the West, married and had two sons; on the death of his wife, he did great penance (atonement) on her behalf. His sons took the bones of their mother as treat relics, because their father had taken 48 vows to free all who invoked his name. He canonized (ordain, consecrate) her as a refuge for women, because it is said that women can not be saved without her help. This religion has three sects and most people belong to them.

Amida is said to have taken 48 vows, the 18th of which was to labor for the salvation of all mankind.

浄土宗、浄土真宗 The Jodoshu Pure Land Sect) was introduced by the monk Honen (1133 - 1212), the Hokkeshu (Single Mind. Sect) or, Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land Sect) was founded by Honen's disciple, Shinran (1173 - 1262) ; both sects teach the saving efficacy of faith in Amida.


Although there are many sects in Japan, the most important ones concern two idols called Amida and Shaka. They say that the former was a king of Siam and the latter a king of Zamuro, a kingdom of Negroes, and that they led solitary and austere lives in the wilderness. They further declare that in particular Amida, whose biographer was Shaka, was very wise, albeit, he was a Negro king. He left behind him many written treat, treatises (books), admitting at the end of them that every thing he had said was falsehood and legend; however, this does not deter (prevent) the bonzes from following him. They teach the heathens (pagan; unbeliever) that they must beg Amida for salvation and this is obtained by calling on his name with great devotion. For he has a paradise in the west which everyone must reach by changing himself into 83 forms. They repeat the short prayer, 南無阿弥陀仏, being the form of addressing Amida for relief of departed souls.

Zen Buddhism

Zen Buddhism was founded by Bodhidharma in India in the 6th century a.d. It was introduced to Japan in the 7th century by the priest Dosho. It began to spread over the country in the 12th century.

According to Zen Buddhism, we can attain the same enlightenment as experienced by S'akamuni Gautama, by silent meditation and by abstract contemplation. By silent meditation and by abstract contemplation, one can get contact with the Buddha's mind directly, one can know that the mind of man is originally exempt from sin, impurity, aberration and suffering, and therefore is wonderfully pure, clear and free.

The practice called Zazen of sitting cross-legged in meditation, with the soles of both feet turned upward is very important in Zen Buddhism.

The influence of Zen Buddhism on Japanese culture can never be overestimated. It was a spiritual guide of the tea ceremony, landscape gardening, flower arrangement, etc.

Zen made its first appearance in Japan in the 7th century, but made little head way until re-introduced by the monk Eisai (1141 - 1215).

Nichiren Buddhism

Nichiren Buddhism was founded by Nichiren in the middle of the 13th century. He had studied at Tendai institute on Mt. Hiei, and later was converted to the faith in the sutra of the lotus.

He came to think that all teachings of other sects of Buddhism were based on wrong interpretation of S'skamuni's teachings. He believed that only his interpretation manifested the truth of S'akamuni's teachings.

According to Nichiren Buddhism, you, yourself are a true Buddha enlightened with the three properties, with this conviction you should chant "Nam-myoho- renge-kyo." Nichiren says that we are perfect and endowed with the buddha nature. We can be saved only by faith in the sutra of the lotus, which reveals the true law of the universe. This is the only way left to us for salvation.

According to Nichiren Buddhism, we can be saved only by uttering the sacred formula "Namu-myoho-renge-kyo" (Adoration to the sutra of the lotus of the true law..) By uttering the sacred formula, we receive the moral virtue compiled in the sutra and we can attain the cosmic soul of the eternal Buddha.

Sokagakkai is the Orthodox Sect of Nichiren Shoshu teachings of the priest Nichiren. It claims to have 14 million adherents. (as of the year of 1964)


The Hokkeshu, founded by the belligerent (warlike; aggressive) monk Nichiren (1222_ - 1282), takes its name from the title of the Lotus Scripture, and in fact uses the formula Namu Myoho Rengekyo, Praise to the Lotus Scripture of the Good Law, as its principal prayer.

The Buddhist Divinities

Buddhism did not involve idol worship at its early stage of development. Buddha was transcending human experience or beyond human knowledge. It was in 324 B.C. that the first image of Buddha was made by a Greek artist when Alexander the Great marched on to India.

Today you will find thousands of Buddha images, myriad's of Boddhisatsva images and great number of other deities adopted from Bramanism and Hinduism. They are carved out of stone, bronze, clay and wood.

Around 300 B.C., Buddhist divinities were unified into four major groups with others subordinate to these four. These four major divinities are called Nyorai in Japanese. They are Shaka Nyorai, Dainichi Nyorai, Yakushi Nyorai and Amida Nyorai.

Shaka Nyorai 釈迦如来

Shaka Nyorai is the person himself who founded Buddhism and who has attained the ideal state of enlightenment. Nyorai is usually interpreted as one who has come to the TRUTH. The form and position of his hands tell much about his character. Shaka Nyorai is the personification of compassion which is the most important virtue we should attain. This is represented by his left band. "He can answer the prayers of those who entrust him." His right hand symbolizes that "You do not worry over anything because you are in trust with me."

Dainichi Nyorai 大日如来

Buddhism is a religion of compassion with the religious doctrine that all man are eventually saved. In order to carry out the mission of salvation, Buddhistic scholars and priests have materialized the attributes of Shakamuni in many forms of Buddhistic divinities.

According to the doctrine Shakamuni was elevated to the highest position and given the rank of the highest order. Shakamuni is supposed to appear in all aspects of the cosmos to preach the people in all stages of existence. A large lotus platform on which the Great Image of Nara Buddha sits is made up of l,O0O petals of lotus flower. Each petal has carvings of 1.000 petals of lotus flower on its surface. In total they amount to one billion. The cosmos is represented by these one billion lotus petals which are identified with the worlds existing in this cosmos. The Buddha sitting on the one billion lotus flowers is considered to be a symbol to the effect that Buddha is preaching in each of the billion worlds simultaneously in different forms of Buddhistic divinities.

Yakushi Nyorai 薬師如来

Yakushi Nyorai is the personification of Buddha'a attribute, mercy. I is commonly known as the deity of medicine. He is the authority of those who are in pain of delivery, in sickness, wishing for baby, and in trouble with pregnancy. He made a vow to the effect that men should be free from diseases, live long life and enjoy the life in this world. Actually he is only one Buddha who has made vow to the effect that we shall be free from agonies in our life on this world. Yakushi literally means the Lord of Medicine and is commonly known as deity of medicine with a bottle of medicine on his left hand.

Amida Nyorai 阿弥陀如来

Amida Nyorai is believed to be preaching at present in the Pure Land or the Land of Promise which is located in the west over one million of different lands. It is believed that we ordinary men will receive an honor of being placed on a lotus flower in the paradise after death. We shall be saved regardless of our social position, race, religious faith or the acts and behavior in this world. Shinran, the founder of

Jodo-Shin-Sect insisted the man is saved only through the faith in Amida, not by his merits or ritual. The image of Amida Nyorai are characterized by special hand symbol known as kubon-kujo, or the nine ways of having the rebirth in the Pure-Land. There are nine ways of hand formation. Common type we come across is the one called Jobon-Josho where the fore finger and thumbs of each hand form a circle and rest on the folded lap. This hand symbol also show Buddha is in meditation.

In its earliest stage of development, Buddhism image was not made, because Buddha was believed to be in a state completely transcending human experience; no attempt was made by artist to depict Buddha in the form of human figures.

In later years Hellenistic influence was noticed. Most of early Buddha figures were found in Gandhara where Hellenism met Buddhism and Buddha came to be represented as an ideal human figure.

By the time Buddhism was introduced onto Japan in the 6th century, Buddhism had been established, and thousands of Buddhas, myriad of Boddhisattvas and other great many deities had been adopted as a means to help the followers understand the doctrine of Buddhism. Thus Buddhism showed polytheistic tendency.


(The theory of "Three Bodies of Buddha" will clear the cloud, if any, in your mind in the understanding of the complicated Buddhism. At the same time it explains reason why so many kinds of Buddhist images are used.)

According to the theory, Buddha manifests himself in three different bodies - first, in the body of Buddha, the Law Body, revealing Essential Truth, the essence of all beings; second, in the body of Amitaba, the assumed form of Buddha; and third, in the body of the historical S'akamuni Gautama who came on earth to do the work of salvation.


This theory could be likened to the moon, the moonlight and the moon shadow reflected on the pond.

The moon is compared to the body of Buddha revealing the Essential Truth, the moonlight to S'akamuni himself, and the moon shadow on the pond to the assumed form of Buddha or Boddhisatsva who is working for salvation.

In Buddhist art, Buddhas are represented as figures of priest with simple costumes without any accessories or decorations. In their bodies, the Buddhas posses the 32 distinctive marks and 80 small characteristics which symbolize their super human nature. Chief among these marks are the following:

1) Nikkei (Ushinisha) This is the prominence on the tip of the head. It is usually interpreted as a symbol Buddha's wisdom.

2) Byakugo (Urna) This is a mole or tuft of hair between the eyebrows. It is believed that Buddha sends forth a ray of light to enlighten the world from this mole.

3) Rohatsu The hair of Buddha is cut short winding to the right. This accords with the description, in a book of Buddhist scripture, of how Gautama cut his hair at the time of his great renunciation.

4) Mammo-so These are the webs between fingers. They symbolize Buddha's wish to save as many as possible with his merciful hands.


Chief among the Buddhist divinities which are identified with Buddhas are as follows:

Shaka Nyorai; the assumed form of Buddha who came on earth to do the work of salvation. He is the founder of Buddhism who lived from the 5th to 4th century b.c Shakamuni Gautama himself became convinced that he was the assumed form of Buddha, the Essential Truth, and made up his mind to teach how to attain the Buddhahood and did the work of salvation. His teachings were memorized by his followers and were later compiled into the form of scriptures. According to tradition,

Shakamuni, right after his birth, walked three steps and said, "I am the only holy one in and under heaven." saying thus, he pointed at heaven with his right hand and the earth with his left hand.

Amida Nyorai(Amitabha); the embodiment of Buddha, the Essential Truth. Amida Buddha attained Buddhahood from a human being through his own merits. After Attaining Buddhahood, he established the western paradise known as "Pure Land." Man can enter the paradise by faith in Amida. This is the main object of worship in Amida Buddhism.

Yakushi Nyorai(Bhaisajyaguru Vaidury); the embodiment of Buddha, the Essential Truth. Yakushi Buddha presents the merciful mission of the Buddha and is common ly known as the deity of medicine. He is believed to cure diseases, grant longer lives and to give various spiritual blessings. The bottle on his left had symbolizes medicine.

Birushana-Butsu(Vairocana); it is the Buddha the Essential Truth which is formless and omnipresent in the whole cosmos.

Dainichi-Nyorai(Maha-Vairocana); the central deity of Shingon Buddhism and is taken as Buddha himself, the embodiment of the Essential Truth which is formless and omnipresent in the whole cosmos.


Bodhisattva means "one who is on the way to the attainment of enlightenment" or a future Buddha, and is believed to act as a helper and a savior. Bodhisattva believed to be the followers of Buddha is destined to become almost equal to the Buddha in the end.

While Buddhas are represented as figures of priest with simple costumes without any accessories of decorations, Bodhissattva has always been represented as an ideal layman figure in the attire of an Indian aristocrat.

Sanzon or Triad Image

The two Bodhissattva figures are customarily placed on both sides of a Buddha image. Thes Boddhisattvas are the ones in the highest stage of the Boddhisatsva career, and are regarded as specified followers of the Buddha. Some example of t he combination of Buddha and Bodhissattva are given in the following;

Shakamuni --- Monju & Fugen

Amida Buddha --- Kannon & Seishi

Yakusi --- Nikko & Gakko

Dainichi --- Surrounded by four Buddhas according to the special iconography of Shingon Buddhism.

Great Buddha of Nara --- Nyoirin Kannon & Kokuzo

Kannon (Avalokistes Vara)

Chief among Buddhist divinities which are identified with Boddhisattva, Kannon is the most popular. Kannon is grouped into the category of Boddhisattva, which means "one who is on the way to the attainment of enlightenment" or "future Buddha," and is believed to act as a helper and savior.

Kannon is believed to be in incarnation Pity and the spiritual son of Buddha Amitabha. He is destined to become almost equal to the Buddha Amitabha at the last stage of the arrival of the end.

There are many varieties of Kannon: The figure of Sho Kannon is full of symbolic objects; the lotus flower on which he sits or stands, is the symbol of the Buddha which supports his existence; the lotus flower in his had symbolizes the Buddhahood in the heart of everybody; the small figure on his forehead is identified with his master Amidha Buddha.

The formal name of the figure, Sengan Senju Kannon, is literally translated ここまで as Kannon with one thousand hands and one thousand eyes. There are very few statues actually having one thousand hands, most of the images have only forty hands, twenty on each side of its body, each hand having an eye on its palm. The many hands and eyes are symbols of immeasurable ability of the Kannon for the salvation all beings.

The name, Bato Kannon, literally means horse-headed Kannon and the figure is full of symbolic expressions: horse symbolizes the ability of the Kannon to destroy the evils as quick as a horse eats up grass; the three faces and six arms are intended to warn against the unrighteous and the evils. He is a patron deity of animals at the same time.

Buddha appears not only in the merciful figure of Boddhisattva but also in dreadful and scornful expressions to warn against the unrighteous and evils. Buddha manifest himself in the form of Bato Kannon to evoke a feeling of awe toward Buddha inside human heart.


Kannon is one of the Buddhist saints, called "Bosatsu." Kannon represents the greatest figure that can observe and understand all the worldly phenomena, not only with the eye but through all the senses. It is believed to receive people from all sorts of hardship and worry.

Kannon, therefore, is widely believed among Buddhist nations to be the embodiment of mercy, or Maitra in Sanskrit, and worshiped as the god of mercy in India and Tibet, and the goddess of mercy in China and Japan.

In later days. Kannon came to be represented in six different images, among which are the statue of "Juichimen" (eleven-faced ) Kannon and the statue of "Senju" (thousand-handed) Kannon.

The Juichi-men Kannon is so-called because 10 faces Kannon are carved on the head of the Kannon.

It has long been customary for Japanese to make a pilgrimage around the 33 sacred Kannon places in their district since the Heian period (994 - 1191).

Jizo (Kshitegarbha)

According to a Buddhist teaching, the soul of all beings, after the perish of flesh, is migrated into new body of different classes; the deity, the human being, the Asura, the animal, the hungry demon, and the one who is condemned to the Hell.

Jizo is believed to be working to teach and save souls of the dead until the advent of the future Buddha. The advent of future Buddha is believed to come 5,670,000,000 years after the death of Shakamuni. They are usually standing in groups of six.

According to a folk belief, all children are supposed to go to the Hell after death. In the hell, a witch and demons torment the children, ordering them to pile up small stones, whereas tearing down as fast as the children has piled up a mound of stones. Jizo saves the children from the torture in the hell by hiding the m in his great sleeves. People lay stones at the foot of Jizo to pray for saving of the soul of their dead children from tortures.

Jizo is also believed to be the patron divinity of travelers, and of pregnant women.

Among many other Buddhist divinities, Jizo is very popular among the Japanese.

You will find the figures of Jizo almost every where in the country along the roads.

Myo-O (Divya-raja)

The figure of Myo-O is full of symbolic objects:

Fudo Myo-O(Aryacaianatha) ; the scowling expression intended to warn against the unrighteous and the evils (sinners); the fire flame intended to raise a feel ing of awe on the part of man toward Buddha; the sword in his right hand and t he coil of rope in the other hand symbolizing Buddha's subjugation of the evils.

Aizen-Myo-O(Ragaraja or Vajira-Rajapriya); the arrow and a bow symbolizing love (because of this symbol, this Myo-O is taken to be a patron deity of love and marriage and is believed to be able to adjust any trouble between a couple). The bell symbolizing alarm to the sinners. The six hands and three eyes symbolizing something transcending human experience.

Buddha appears not only in the merciful figure of Boddhisattva but in dreadful and scornful expressions to warn against the unrighteous and the evils. Buddha manifests himself in the form of Myo-O to raise a feeling of awe toward Buddha inside human heart.

Juo (Ten Devas)

Divinities of Hindu origin were introduced into Buddhism and became the guardians of Buddhist Truth. These kinds of figures are full of symbolic objects;


Nio (Deva Kings) - The figure on the left is supposedly emitting the sound of ah and the other figure on the other side emitting the sound un. These sounds re present the first and the last letters in the Sanskrit scripture (alphabet), the first symbolizing the very beginning and the end of all the Buddhist Truth; the scowling, dreadful and scornful expressions are intended to keep the evil spirit out of the temple of diving Buddha; the sword in the hand of the one figure on the left and the coil of rope in the hand of the other figure symbolize the subjugation of the evils.

Shiten-no (Lokapala) - Shiten-no literally means "four heavenly kings" and are intended to guard the four directions in Buddhist cosmology. The scowling expressions of the four figures are intended to ward the evil spirit off the temple. The sword or the spear in the hand of the figures symbolizes subjugation of the evils.

Jikokuten - He is the guardian of the east and is represented as a green figure with a sword or a spear.

Zochoten - He is the guardian of the south and is usually represented b y a white figure with a sword or a halberd.

Komokuten - He is the guardian of the west and is usually represented as red figure with a scroll and a brush, or a coil of rope in his hands.

Tamonten - He is the guardian of the north and is usually represented as a blue figure with a pagoda, spear of a halberd in his hand.


The Japanese are in general of a melancholy disposition and humor. Moved by this natural inclination they thus take much delight and pleasure in lonely and nostalgic spots, woods with shady groves, cliffs and rocky places, solitary birds, torrents of fresh water flowing down from rocks, and in every kind of solitary thing which is imbued with nature and free from all artificiality. All this fills their souls with the same inclination and melancholy, as well as a certain nostalgic feeling which results therefrom.

Whence they are much inclined towards a solitary and eremitical (hermetical) life , far removed from all worldly affairs and tumult . Thus in older days many hermits lived in the wilderness and devoted themselves to contempt of the world ~ and its vanities. They gave themselves over to a solitary and contemplative life , believing that in this way they purified their souls and obtained salvation in their false sects.

Thence arose their customs of Inkyo; that is, they hand over during their life- time their house, estates and business affairs to their heirs and take a house for themselves where they lead a quiet and peaceful life , withdrawn from all worldly business and disturbance .

They shave their hair and beard, and exchange their worldly clothes for religious and sober dress. They are called Nyudo or jumon, which is the religious state of Buddhist novices (monk), and give themselves over to religious practices and the things of salvation..

The melancholy disposition is caused by the loneliness of the homo viator who rejects the vanities of this fleeting world, this world of dew; and yearns for a permanent resting place. This theme , Buddhist in inspiration, is found very frequently in Japanese literature .

神仏混合 Nearly whole nation were converted into Buddhism during the 7th and 8th centuries. It became the state religion and number of Buddhist temples were built under the Imperial patronage. In the 8th century natural calamities and plagues were spread over the country once in a while. The people's faith in Buddhism was shaken.


Their faith in the protection of Buddha was shaken. About that time a priest Gyoki, formed a religious doctrine. He proclaimed that the Sun Goddess of Shinto was a manifestation of Buddha. In the 9th century, another priest developed his doctrine further into a doctrine of Ryobu Shionto --- Shinto of double faces . This theory proclaimed that Shinto deities are incarnation, or manifestation of Buddhist deities. It stated that the source of Kami is Buddha and Kami is incarnation of Boddhisatva. The figure of Boddhisatva became the symbol of Kami and was installed at the innermost sanctuary of Shinto shrines. Many esoteric Buddhist rituals were also introduced into Shinto. More than half of Shinto shrines in number were influenced by this doctrine.


Foreigners seem to have misunderstanding about Shinto. For example, some believe that Japanese people formerly believed in Shinto, but when Buddhism was introduced from China in the 6th century, Shinto was replaced by Buddhism. But this is not correct.

After Buddhism was introduced, the people's belief in Shinto did not disappear in the least. They believed in both religions and felt no contradiction in following both Shinto and Buddhism. They did not find the two religions conflicting each other.

At first, Shinto kami, or deity, blindly accepted Buddhist rituals, and believed that Shinto would attain religious enlightenment through Buddhism. Thus Buddhism was placed on a higher level than Shinto. Later this concept was changed that Buddha, in a form of Kami, temporary made his appearance in Japan. At the time of Meiji Restoration, the strange harmony between Shinto and Buddhism was broken.

神道の概念 Shinto existed before Japan had the first contact with the civilization of the Asian continent in the 1st century. Shinto was gene- rally polytheistic at the beginning of Japanese history.

People felt divine nature in natural objects; the sea, the river, the mountain, and in outstanding men and heroes, and in abstract ideas, such as growth, creation, thoughts, fortunes and misfortunes.

Men lived in unity in those days, and a tutelary Kami was placed in the center of their unification. Kami of nature, kami of ancestor, or kami of ideas could be their symbolic figure of their unification.

In the 6th and 7th centuries, Confucianism was introduced from China. It effected Shinto, which started to stress the moral meaning of the religion. It departed from mere naturalism. At the same time, when Japan became a unified nation, all the myths handed down by each clan were combined and the tutelary deities of the clans were elevated to the status of kami of the nation, and the Amaterasu Omikami and other related kamis were made the object of worship of the masses.

The Department of Shinto was set up in the central government at the beginning of the 8th century. It was responsible for holding national ceremonies for governing people. It was effective up to 12th century when the imperial rule was taken over by warrior rule. This idea was revived just before the Meiji restoration and after the successful revolution the government established the same bureau.

Shinto/Buddhism-Tokugawa Period

JAPANESE BUDDHlSM: Generous to Heresy
Buddhism was generous to the other religions from the start. Syakyamuni did not prohibit strictly the followers to worship idols of the folk faith. In later years after Shakyamuni was dead, the Buddhist priests borrowed several elements of folk faith and established a pantheon of Buddha and established a conception of the world based on a kind of pantheism.

Buddhism in India was diffused with Hinduism and the Buddhism disappeared from India, after the 10th century. Many Buddhistic thought and element are still conspicuous in Hinduism.

Buddhism was well adapted to the social systems of China as well as of Japan. Buddhism exhibited high adaptability to the government of the countries when it was first introduced into these countries.

The Japanese people worshiped both Buddhist and Shinto images at the same time . Sometimes when an epidemic was widespread the idol of worship was abandoned to be replaced with new idol of worship. Idols of worship were interchanged between Buddhism and Shintoism. Sometimes both deities were worshiped at the same time. The people picked up whichever they preferred so far as they believed that it was more effective to promotion of happiness or removal of pains.

Buddhist scriptures prescribes that the idols introduced into Buddhism from folk faith in ancient India were given the role of serving Buddha and protecting or guarding Buddhism.

In Japan, when the Buddhism was first introduced into Japan the nature gods were placed in a position subordinate to Buddha. The original teaching of the founder was scarcely discernible in Japanese Buddhism from the start . Japanese Buddhism absorbed much of the native thoughts and practice --- such as ancestor worship and fertility cult.

In Nara period when an epidemic spread all over the country, belief in Buddhistic protection of the country was diminished and the status of Japanese gods were elevated and became to be identified with Buddhas.

Worshipers were almost unable to make a distinction between the two religions. There developed a division of duties: Shinto deities presided over the affairs of this world, while the life thereafter became the concern of Buddhism. Births, marriages, seasonal festivals and victories in battle were in the sphere of Shinto interest. Preaching doctrinal matters, ecclesiastical organization, and funerals were the responsibility of Buddhism.


He came of a Buddhist family, but at school and at home he was taught that the ancestor spirits and the gods is Shinto shrines should be honored as well as the divinities in the Buddhist temples.

When his grandfather died a Buddhist priest came to the house and said prayers , and came again on the anniversary of grandfather's death.

When his young sister was seriously ill his mother went out, at night and walked, barefoot, round a Shinto shrine one hundred times.


In the 9th century the great Japanese scholars Saicho and Kukai introduced from China the Tendai and Shingon Buddhism. It was in these days that the effort to identify the nature gods with those of Buddhism pantheon bore fruit.

Saicho preached that Buddhism and Shinto deities were identical and succeeded in merging the two religions.

Kukai propounded a new incantation theory which stipulated that the eternal Buddha appears in different forms at various places in order to save mankind. By extension of this theory, he argued that the national deities of Shinto were incarnations of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and thus , since there was no distinction between the worship of Buddhist deities and those of Shinto, that there were no basically conflicting elements in the two religion. He identified Buddha with the Sun Goddess and lesser Buddhist deities with lesser Shinto deities


Around the 15th century when the theory of Buddhistic Shinto was completed by Buddhist priests, Shintoists of the Grand Shrine of Ise created the first Shinto theology. Shinto priests stated that "konton" (chaos) or "kizen" (non-being) were the fundamental Kami as well as the source of the universe. They believed that these fundamental Kami were the source of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and all other beings.

Because of the general anarchy prevailing in Japan in the Ashikaga period, historians sometimes refer to the period as the "dark ages". In those turbulent times, the native Shinto religion was almost completely forgotten.

JAPANESE] BUDDHISM: Catering to the Dead

In Jomon Cultural Period, they buried the dead body in a hole , folding the hands and feet and wrapping by a rope . They believed that the soul of the dead strayed out of the flesh into this world and inflicted damage to the living people , unless the dead body were wrapped up by rope and covered with earth.

In Yayoi Cultural Period , they put the dead body in a coffin, laying the body stretched in the coffin. A small mound was made , on which a stone was placed as a landmark .

In the Mould Cultural Period, a large mould was made to bury the dead body with many precious stones and accessories or personal ornaments.

Cremation was first introduced into Japan with Buddhism. The first cremation in Japan took place when a priest called Dosho was cremated according to his will in 700 A.D.

By the Kamakura period, cremation was institutionalized by the Jodo Sect of Buddhism, and the sect prospered afterwards by income from holding the ceremonies.

The majority of the Japanese people entrust funeral and memorial services for the deceased to Buddhist priests. Also, memorial services to console the souls of the dead at the time of Bon (Lantern Festival) and Higan (Equinoctial Week) are held at Buddhist temples, and people go there to worship. Memorial services for the 1st, 3rd, 7th and 33rd anniversaries of the deaths of members of the family are held under the guidance of Buddhist priests.

Despite such customs, it cannot be said that the Japanese people embrace Buddhism as a religion upon which they rely spiritually. As a convenience at burials they receive help from Buddhist priests of the family temples, because they are supporters of such temple.

Funeral and memorial services are performed by Buddhist priests as a matter of custom. This customs originated about 500 years ago when the Tokugawa shogunate government set up the census taking system in temples in its efforts to ban Christianity .

JAPANESE BUDDHISM: Deeply Connected with Political Leaders

At first when Buddhism was founded by Syakyamuni in India, Buddhist priests in India were free from interference from outside and could afford to devote them- selves to purely religious life without worrying about the worldly matter. But , later when India was unified under strong kingdom, the Buddhist priests were controlled by the king.

When Buddhism was first introduced into China, the king of China also protected the Buddhism and used the religion as a means to keep the country in union. The Japanese government followed suit to the counterpart in China, when the religion was brought into this country in the 6th century.

In 604, after Shotoku became regent, it became in effect the state religion, its function being to secure support for official policies. Progressive leaders in those days regarded Buddhism as a powerful aid in promoting national prosperity.

As early as 655, the government ordering to construct butsudan (small Buddhist altars) in all households of the nation. The heads of many great families adopted Buddhism and built many magnificent Buddhist temples.

In the Nara period , it extended its influence into the field of politics. Buddhist monks grew increasingly powerful in the capital of Nara. It reached its highest prosperity at the middle of the 8th century when Emperor Shomu ordered to construct "Provincial Temples" in each province throughout the country. Todaiji Temple was built in the capital of Nara as the general headquarters of all Buddhist temples of the country.

Buddhism became an increasingly aristocratic religion, and priests became presumptuous and corrupt , and the monasteries grew enormously wealthy and acquired vast, tax-free estates. But the power of Nara Buddhism god downfall as the power of Nara government got in the wane .

When the Fujiwara family won full control over the government , it moved the capital from Nara to Kyoto in order to escape the political corruption of Nara and the church authorities. The men in power of politics were tired of the secular activities of the Nara priests.

Two promising young priests were sent by the emperor to China in an attempt to make Buddhism purer form of spiritual religion. These two priests, Saicho and Kukai, received patronage from the imperial family, and their monasteries which were built at Mt. Hiei and Mt. Koya took the aspect of the state religion.. They performed religious rituals with an aim to pray for national prosperity and political stability.

Buddhism was by tradition so centered around court life that the followers of these two leaders soon lost interest in the popularization of their faith and again catered to the needs of the aristocracy. In the process of performing ' these functions, Buddhism had itself become secularized.

At the end of the 12th
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1. About Japan
Guide Speaking Japan

Some notes thought to be useful for an English speaking local tour guide in Japan have been collected. The collection of these notes originates from various sources; some from English newspaper and others from many different books such as "Japan Tour Guide Book" published by the Japan Tour Association, "This is Guide Speaking" by Mr.Joe Okada and others. Many of the sentences are written in written English and may need to be changed to more colloquial style for a practical use. Much of the material were collected in early years of around 1976 and the statistics need to be updated.


最近「観光ガイド(英語)情報」のページの更新がないではないかとのご指摘をうけ、観光ガイド(英語)ならびに観光ガイド(英語)に興味をお持ちの読者の皆様のご協力をお願いしたいと思います。皆様からいただいた投稿によって新しいページを作ろうと思います。Help is wanted!

To the readers; Tour guide was my profession that demanded me a collection of information on things Japanese to improve proficiency in my tour guide ability. My wish is for the tour guides and would-be tour guides to be able to make use of these information I still keep in my hand in the form of memo and copies. If the material I have in hand is so little, I stil want make it public. Any one who help in the growth of this page surely can contribute to the improvement of the quality of the tour guides in this country.
You are welcome to send articles to this page.

1. About Japan (statistics as of 1976, old, help is wanted to update)
The Japanese Islands
Japan, with a population of some 100 million, consists of four main islands -Hokkaido, Honshu, or the Main Island, Shikoku and Kyushu - and over 3,000 minor island. These islands form an arc off the coast of northeast Asia, extending from the latitude 45°31″ north to the latitude 27 ° north.

They are approx. 1,300 miles in length and cover an area of some 143,000 square miles. About 75% of this area is classed as mountainous, and only about 16% of the area is under cultivation. 

The northern coast of Honshu is about 600 miles off the coast of Honshu is about 600 miles off the coast of Siberia, and the distance between the west coast of Kyushu and Shanghai in China is approx. 500 miles. The Tsushima Strait separating Japan from Korea measures about 120 miles in width, and this proximity permitted the easy flow of Chinese culture to Japan in old times. 

Honshu, with a population of 76 million (77% of the total population), covers an area of about 90,000 (63% of the total area) square miles and has a width of 170 miles at the widest point. This island which is about the size of State of Minnesota (or of England, Scotland and Wales combined) really forms the main part of the country. It boasts nearly 400 cities including the 6 biggest cities of Japan - Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, Yokohama, and Kobe. 

Hokkaido, the most northerly of the four major islands, is the most sparsely populated. Covering 21% of the total area of Japan, the island is inhabited by only 5% of the total population. It is now growing to be the center of forestry, stock farming, fishing and agriculture of the large-scale farming system. 

Kyushu, connected with Honshu by a 2-mile undersea tunnel is actually a part of Honshu now. The northern part of this island abounds in coal and other mining products and there develop various heavy industries.

Shikoku, the smallest of the four major islands, is somewhat smaller than State of New Jersey. It faces Honshu across the calm water of the Inland Sea and boasts many places of scenic beauty.

The Six Largest Rivers

Name     miles km
The Shinano  229 369
The Ishikari  226 365
The Tone 200 322
The Teshio 186 306
The Kitakami 151 243
The Kiso 144 232
The Four Highest Peaks

Name ft. meters
Mt. Fuji 12,388 3,776
Mt. Shirane 10,472 3,192
Yamanasi Pref.
Mt. Hodaka 10,465 3,190
Mt. Yari 10,432 3,180

華氏 → 摂氏 C=5/9(F-32)
摂氏 → 華氏 F=9/5C+32
The climate of Japan is influenced by four major factors: geographical extent from north to south; the winter monsoon from the Asian continent and the summer monsoon from the southeast; the surrounding ocean current; and rugged topography.

Japan has a latitudinal extent of 18 degrees. This fact has much bearings on winter temperatures, but not on summer temperatures. At Sapporo in Hokkaido, for example, the mean temperature in January, the coldest month is 21°; in Tokyo 37°; and Kagoshima in southern Kyushu, 44°. However, such a big difference in temperature is not seen in summer.

The winter and summer monsoons determine the general character of Japan's climate. The monsoons bring about colder winters and hotter summers than one would expect from Japan's latitude. They also accounts for much precipitation and high humidity during summer and rather dry winter in the greater part of the country.

During the winter the presence of a vast high-pressure air masses over eastern Siberian and a low-pressure area over warmer western Pacific causes the eastward flow of dry and cold air masses. These air masses absorb much water vapor over the Japan Sea, and cause heavy snowfalls on the Japan Sea side of the country. However, the other parts have relatively low humidity.

During the summer, the pressure gradient is reversed, and moist Pacific air mass moves from the southeast across Japan toward the Asian continent. The early summer rainy season called Bai-u or Tsuyu sets in about the middle of June and lasts three or four weeks. This continuous rain, needed by the farmers at rice-planting time, is mainly the result of wet and low-pressured air masses from China.

Therefore, Hokkaido and northern part of Honshu are generally free from this rainy season. Japan is also visited by typhoons, violent rotary storms of tropical origin in late summer and early autumn.

  Rainfall patterns on a national scale are regular because of complex geography, but most of Japan receives rainfalls or precipitation in excess of 40 inches annually. Generally speaking, there is less rainfall in the south eastern parts of the country than in the northern parts.

Population and Vital Statistics
The problem of population and food supply in Japan has long been chronic. The population of Japan Today is approx. 100 millions. This means that Japan has the seventh largest population in the world next to China (1200 mil.), India (955 mil.), U.S.A. (248 mil.), Indonesia (199mil.), Burazil (159 mil.) , Russia (147 mil.).

The density of population in Japan is only next to those of Holland and Belgium, some 700 people live in a square mile, whereas about 51 people live in the same area in the US. Considering that only 16% of the land is arable in Japan, the popultion density per square mile of the arable land reaches a figure unparalleled in the world.

During the first half of the 19th century, the popultion of Japan seems to have stayed at about 30 million. Thereafter the population has been increasing constantly up to 1937 (70 million). The rate of increase slowed down after 1937. However, the rate moved up steeply between the years of 1947 and 1949, called baby boom years.

But, thereafter, the birth rate went down quite rapidly to around 18 per 1,000. This is mostly due to wide practice of various means of birth control.

On the other hand, the death rate has been showing a remarkable decline since the end of World War II. Especially the infant mortality rate has greatly declined. The death rate is 6.9 per 1,000 in 1964. The rate is similar to as low as those in the Western countries thanks to the improvement of medical care and public health.

Japan has a modern sanitary system. Most of the cities and towns are equipped with waterworks properly supervised by a government agency. More than 95% of the houses in big cities on the average are piped for water.

Medical facilities in Japan have made a remarkable progress in the past 20 years. The number of persons per doctor is 900 and the number of hospital beds per 1,000 persons is 8 in 1964. These figures are similar to those in Western countries.

Before World War II tuberculosis was the top cause of death. But, thanks to the improvement of medical care and public health the disease decreased greatly and those diseases associated with old age and cancer are the major causes of death.

The infant death rate is 7 per 1,000. The rate is as low as those in the Western countries.


Japanese have a mixed racial background and there several racial features among us. The Japanese people may be divided largely into two races -the predominant Yamato race and the Ainu of which number is about 15,000. Some of us, equal in number to the Ainu, also exhibit traits derived from southeast Asia.

From the physical traits of the Modern Ainu it can be inferred that they are descendant of Proto Caucasians. Probably a group of Caucasians moved eastward and came down to Japan via Siberian. The Ainu may once have inhabited in major part of Japan, but they were gradually pushed northward by the Yamato race. The Ainu people have thicker skin color, abundant beard and body hair, wavy and grayish hair and deep set eyes without Mongoloid eye lid.

 The most characteristic southeast Asiatic traits include rather deep color of the skin and either fat or slim body.

 It is generally accepted that we are basically descendants of Mongols. The racial characteristics of the Mongol are found in more than half of the Japanese. They have black hair, dark brown eyes, tan skin, and the so-called Mongoloid eye lid. Their cheek bones are conspicuous, the eye sockets are far apart, and the nasal tip is generally roundish.

 A very small number of us exhibit traits derived from central Asia, Middle East and Europe.


Some 30 million people out of the total 100 million, are engaged in agriculture in Japan. In this sense, we can say that Japan still remains an agricultural country in spite of its rapid industrialization. However, agriculture has not so much bearing on the entire economy of the country as has the manufacturing industry.

Agriculture in this country is characterized by the facts that the scale is small, cultivation is concentrated on small area, the land is mainly cultivated by hand labor, and the land is mainly cultivated for production of food crops, particularly cereals such as rice, wheat and barley. The great preponderance (coverage of paddy fields of rice) of rice is particularly noteworthy. The paddy fields of rice cover some 56% of the total arable land. More than 80% of the land is devoted to the cultivation of food crops.

 The average farm holding is little over 2 acres in size, and more than half of the farmers have a farm unit even smaller than that.

 Compared with farming in the U.S.A. or in Australia, agricultural machinery is not used in any appreciable measure in this country. Owing to an abundance of human labor, no need was felt for the mechanization of farming. Moreover, the small piece of farm land enclosed with ditches make the use of machinery rather difficult, if not impossible.

However, small machines such as thrashing machines or small-power-tillers are now becoming popular among Japanese farmers.


 Before the Land Reform Act of 1946, approx. 50% of the cultivated land was owned by less than 10% of the land owners.  

There were two kinds of land owners, resident and absentee owners. Resident owners lived in the district and kept in personal touch with their farmers, while absentee owners did not live in the district and took no active part in farming.

Both types of land owners let tenants cultivate their land.  

Rental was to be paid on share cropping basis and rental of 50% of the crop was not unusual.

 The idea of the Land Reform Acts was to transfer land ownership to those who actually tilled the soil. Thus the absentee land owners were forced to sell their land to the State for a very small sum. The resident land owners were permitted to retain 2 1/2 acres which they could continue to let. Owner cultivators were treated most favorably as they were normally permitted to retain some seven acres. The land thus secured was then resold to the tenants who could pay for it on the installment plan, as many as 30 years being allowed for payment.

 This act was the result of General Douglas Mac Arthur's directive issued in Dec.1945, to the effect that the Japanese government should take measures "to insure that those who actually tilled the soil should have more equal opportunity to enjoy the fruit of their labor." Therefore, this reform is popularly called Mac Arthur's Land Reform.


 Agriculture this country is characterized by the fact that the land is mainly cultivated for the production of food crops, particularly cereals such as rice wheat and barley. The great preponderance of rice is particularly noteworthy. The production of rice cover some 56% of the total arable land. There are two kinds of rice cultivation, dry cultivation and paddy field cultivation. In Japan, paddy - field cultivation much more popular. Seeds of rice is sown in seed beds in May.

In June, the young plants are transplanted in the paddy-field which is supplied with water. The rice plants grow in the irrigated field. During the growing season careful attention is needed to pull out wild weeds and this is usually done by hand labor.

 In October or November ripened rice is reaped by cutting the stalks near the ground. The rice stalks are tied into bundles and are dried in and around the fields. After the grains are dried sufficiently, the grains are separated from the stalks with threshing machine. Separated grains are then ready for the mill.

 It is said that unpolished rice contain nutrient; protein, carbohydrates, ash and a good amount of vitamins. In Japan the cuticle (outer skin) of rice, is usually removed to secure what is known as polished rice. Thus, part of protein, fat and mineral matter, together with a large part of vitamin B, is also removed. Despite this loss, rice is nutritious and easily digested. However, rice alone is not sufficient for maintaining good health. Fat, other vitamins and minerals must be supplemented with other articles of food. Rice straw is very useful for Japanese farmers; it is made into bags, ropes, mats, hats, sandals, etc: it is also used as cattle feed and its ash is believed to be a good fertilizer.


 Japanese farmers are engaged in silk cocoon raising as their major part time occupation. In this sense, the production of silk is closely connected with agriculture. Before World War II Japan was by far the greatest and the best producer of silk in the world and produced 75% of the total world output. And silk was the largest and most valuable export commodities.

 However, Japanese silk lost its overseas markets completely during World War II.  Moreover, many fields of mulberry were transformed into paddy-fields of rice because of the serious shortage of rice. Thus, by the end of the war, the silk production capacity of Japan became less than 30% of the prewar figure. Since then Japan has made strenuous efforts to reestablish her silk export trade. Quality has been improved very much and prices have been lowered. Even so, Japanese silk now has to face severe competition with synthetic fibers such as rayon and nylon.


 The eggs of silkworms are hatched in Spring in a room of which temperature and humidity are controlled. The silk worms are fed on chopped leaves of the mulberry tree and they grow rapidly. A young silkworm eats approx. its own weight of foliage daily. The silk worm let fall off its skin four times, and grow most rapidly after each molt. The periods between these molts are called "ages", and there are five "ages", the first extending from the time of hatching to the end of the first molt, and the last molt from the end of the fourth molt to the transformation of the worm into a chrysalis.

 The silkworm becomes fully grown in about six weeks, when it is about three inches long. It now ceases to feed, and seems to shrink in size. it is ready to spin and should be supplied with straw bed on which to form its cocoon.  

The worm then begins spinning, winding the silk in a continuous thread around its body. The silk is issued from the small orifice below its mouth in a glutinous state. Though it consists of two twisted strands, it apparently looks like a single thread. When it starts spinning, it issues 9 to 10 inches of silk in a minute. Later, the average becomes about half of this amount.

 The spinning operation lasts about 5 days, during which time the worm usually produces 1,000 to 3,000 feet of silk thread. After the completion of spinning operation, the cocoons together with chrysalises are stifled by steam or hot water. Some cocoons are reserved for breeding and the moths average about 2 weeks after the beginning of the spinning. They lay eggs and soon die.

 Each cocoon may be unraveled by hand through several hours' patient labor. But most of cocoons are brought to a factory called filature, where the unraveling is done by elaborate machinery. Usually, the filaments of from 4 to 6 cocoons are united into a single thread.


 Japan is dependent primarily upon industrial economy now, although agriculture has remained an important element of economy. Chief among the diversified industrial fields are heavy industry, chemical industry and textile industry. Besides the modern industries, we still possess many of traditional home industries with skilled craftsmanship, but they have not so much bearing on the entire economy of the country as has the modern industry.


 Before Commodore Mathew C. Perry opened the doors of Japan to the West in 1853, Japan was a country of agriculture and small home industries. Afterward, the Japanese government tried to turn country into a modern industrial nation. The tempo of industrialization sustained over half a century is said to be unequaled in the world. Most of the modern industries were first sponsored by the government. Later, toward the end of the 19th century, many of the state industries were thrown open to private purchase, the government reserving only the salt, tobacco and camphor monopolies, military supply works, printing office, a steel foundry and a mint.

 The Industrial Revolution in Japan is said to have taken place toward the end of the 19th century. In spite of the shortage of nearly all the basic raw materials, both heavy and light industries expanded rapidly.

 The textile industry, particularly of cotton and wool, constituted Japan's principal manufacturing industry for several years following World War I. The silk industry also developed rapidly about that time. As time went on, however, Japan's industry became more diversified.

 One of the most remarkable facts of Japan's modern industrial growth is that it occurred in spite of the shortage of nearly all the basic raw materials.

 Both heavy industry and chemical industry made phenomenal progress, outstripping light industry. They were mainly operated by big concerns called "Zaibatsu" and were under the protection of the government. Thus, Japan had been transformed into a top industrial nation before 1940.

 JAPAN'S Industrial Growth after the War

 World War II worked havoc upon Japanese industry. In 1946 right after the war, the production index of machinery dropped to 30% of the mean output of the years from 1934 to 1936.  

However, the rehabilitation was quick and, in many fields, particularly in machinery chemical industry, the output soon exceeded the prewar figures. In 1956 the production index of machinery reached as high as 400% of the mean output of the years from 1934 to 1936.

 Recently the growth of Japanese industry has made startling progress. In particular, heavy industrial output showed the highest increase among all industries. The production index increased by 4 times in ten years from 1956 to 1966.

 Radio and television sets occupy a significant place in the total production value of machinery. About 5 million television sets were produced in Japan in 1964.The figure was second only to that of the U.S.A. in the world. The output of cameras in 1964 amounted to 4.6 million and surpassed the 1955 level by 8.6 times. In the field of heavy industry, Japan has been leading the world in tonnage of shipbuilding for these several years. In 1964 Japan built 715 ships amounting to the huge total of 4 million gross tons. The tonnage, by far the largest in the world, occupied 39.8% of the world's output.

NATURAL Resources

We have to import all the rubber and almost all the cotton and wool we need, nine-tenths of the petroleum, nine-tenths of the iron ore, one-third of the copper and aluminum. Even a fifth of our food has to be imported including some rice - and two-thirds of our salt. We are only 40% self sufficient in raw materials.

 Isn't it a miraculous that our industry has grown to such a high level as we are now enjoying in spite of the shortage of nearly all the raw materials?


 Because we have not large coal and petroleum resources, we must put to use the potential water power resources as much as possible, utilizing her swift-flowing rivers. As most hydroelectric plants are located in the remote parts of the country, it is necessary to construct transmission lines on a vast scale. Driving around the country side, we often come across such transmission lines. Today most trunk lines string 275,000 volt wire.


 Although Japanese economy has recovered from the ruins of the war in such a short period of time, Japanese industry is still faced with various problems. Chief among them is the unbalance between the development of big enterprises and small establishments.

 Most of the private establishments are minor unincorporated enterprises. Even in the manufacturing industry, small establishments with less than 5 employees accounted for 51% in 1963. Most of these small enterprises are financed by loans and have low productivity. The average wage in smaller establishment with less than 100 employees is about 76% of the one in larger enterprises. The government has been making strenuous effort to improve the financial structures of minor establishments.

 Our economy has grown rapidly because labor force has been made available abundantly. However the demand for younger workers has exceeded the supply in these several years. This means that our industry is now faced with increasing labor costs and a labor shortage.

 It is said that the labor movement in Japan dates from 1897 (Meiji 30), when the pioneer labor organization called the Doshikai was formed among the printers. However, the labor movement in pre-war Japan was never significant. The government feared the political and economic implication of the movement and always stood in its way. A favorable social climate for the growth of labor organization began to prevail for the first time in Japanese history, after World War II. (In line with the general policy of encouraging democratic tendencies, the Allied occupation authorities tried to introduce into Japan a system of labor relations based so far as possible, on the best US practice.

 Anyway, it is true that the postwar labor movement in the past years after the war has contributed to better incomes and the strong position and standing or workers.

 The Labor Ministry was established in 1947. The Labor Standards Law and other related laws were made in 1947 aiming at fixing legal standards of working conditions. The Trade Union Law was established in 1949 to guarantee the right of organization and collective bargaining.

 The present Minimum Wage Law was put into effect in spite of strong objections by the trade unions. The law empowers an employers' association to determine the minimum wage. The present minimum wage varies from 360 yen to 520 yen a day depending on the locality and the type of work.

 Today Japan has 51,000 unions and some 10 million union members - approx. 36% of the total number of industrial workers.

 Our social structure has been reformed radically in such a short period of time. But we still have relics of feudal days. For example, wages are usually raised automatically according to the length of the continued service years. Employment is compared to entering a family as an adopted son. A college graduates who gets a job in a large enterprise usually stays there until he reaches the age of retirement, which is 55 to 60 on an average. However, there is a tendency to reform this seniority wage system in line with the productivity raising movement.


Foreign trade plays an important role in our economy. We have to import all the rubber and nearly all the cotton and wool we need, nine-tenths of the petroleum, one-third of the iron ore, one-third of the copper and aluminum. Even a fifth of our food has to be imported including some rice - and two thirds of our salt.

We are only 40% self sufficient in raw materials. We've got to get them and we've got to pay for them. And the only way we can pay is by our exports.  

The manufactured goods have always accounted for large percentage of our exports nearly 90% of the total exports, while the exports of raw materials accounted only for 3%.

 We have eased import restrictions on many commodities since April 1962 and now we import many manufactured goods. As a result we are facing severe competition in the international market.

 Now our foreign trade is closely tied to the U.S.A. The trade with the U.S.A. accounts for 28% of our total exports and 29% of the total imports in value. Next comes Australia and Canada, Liberia, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Korea are the principal buyers of our goods besides the U.S. Today, Kuwait, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are main suppliers of crude oil to Japan.

Government and Politics

 After we were defeated in World War II and our country was occupied by the Allied forces, the whole structure of government was reformed from the bottom. Government was greatly democratized and administration was greatly decentralized.

 Today the sovereign power resides in us. The emperor is merely a symbol of the state. Our country is a state of limited constitutional monarchy. The political power is divided into three branches - legislative, executive and judicial.

The National Diet represents the legislative branch, the Cabinet the executive and the Supreme Court the judicial branch. 

New constitution came into effect on May 3, 1947 in place of the so-called Meiji Constitution 1889 which established an absolute monarchy.

The National Diet

 The Diet is the highest organ of State power. The Diet makes lows and appoints the prime minister from among its own membership, and it can propose constitutional amendment.

  It consists of two houses, the House of Representatives (the lower house) and the House of Councilors (the upper house). The House of Representatives has superiority over the House of Councilors. When the two houses fail to come to an agreement, the Lower House may override the actions of the Upper House. However, the House of Representatives is dissolved by the will of the Cabinet, while the House of Councilors is not.

 The House of Representatives has a membership of 500、 with a tenure of office of 4 years, but the tenure of office terminates whenever the house is dissolved.

 The House of Councilors has a membership of 250, with a tenure of office of 6 years. In this case, the elections were so arranged that half of the members would be elected every three years. As the House of Councilor is not dissolved by the will of the Cabinet, members of the house are stable and continuous. Thus the house has many persons of experience.

The Cabinet

 The prime minister and the members of his cabinet control over the executive branch of the government. The prime minister is designated by the Diet from among its own members. The system resembles to the parliament-cabinet system of the United Kingdom. The emperor is to give just formal appointment to the prime minister designated by the Diet. The prime minister can appoint or dismiss the other ministers of the state, but the majority of these must be member of the Diet. The constitution made no provision for exact number of ministers, and each prime minister was left free to increase of decrease the size of the cabinet.

The Supreme Court

 The Supreme Court consisting of a chief judge and 14 judges represents the judicial branch of the political power. The Supreme Court has the power of organizing and regulating the lower courts, which include High Courts, District Courts, and Family Courts.

The International Relation

 The United States and 48 other non-Communist nations conclude a peace treaty with Japan in San Francisco in 1951 (on September 8), granting Japan sovereignty. The United States also concluded a bilateral defense agreement with Japan in 1951, and some U.S. forces still stay in Japan according to this agreement.

 In 1956, Japan was elected 80th member of the UN. Japan is a member of UNESCO , World Court, Economic Committee for Asia and the Far East, Colombo Plan, International Monetary Fund, GATT, OECD, etc.


 During the occupation of Japan, the former Japanese Navy and Army became completely dissolved. The new Constitution bars the existence of armed forces. However, in 1950, a near-military organization called National Police Reserve was organized. This was widely believed to be the unofficial core of a new Japanese armed force. Its officers were largely from the old Japanese army and navy.

 At the beginning, strength of the N.P.R. forces was 75,000 men, and its arms were limited to light weapons. However, it has been reorganized many times and expanded rapidly. Now it is called Self-defense Corps and boasts big organization and strength, equipped with up to-date weapons.

  By the way, the strength of the U.S. security forces in Japan was about 46,000 in 1964.


 According to mythology, the progenitor of the Imperial line was the Great Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, and the present Emperor is the 124th emperor of the line unbroken from the Great Sun Goddess.

The Shintoism was the State religion in prewar Japan and it taught us that the Emperor was a living god. Till the end of the war the Emperor of Japan had been considered sacred and inviolable. The armed forces of prewar Japan used the position of emperor to put together the spirits of people and to centralize the energies of people. They also taught us to die in the field of war for the sake of the emperor was the most honorable thing.

But, he formally denied that he was a god in 1946, and seems to be happy with his new position as a symbol of the state. After World War II we made new Constitution. The status of the emperor was subjected to a marked change.

 Till the end of the war the Emperor of Japan has been the absolute monarch of the Japanese Empire, but actually was merely a nominal leader. The new Constitution provides that the "Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides Sovereign Power." The new Constitution conferred powers on the Emperor. Chief among them are: appointing the Prime Minister and chief Judge of the Supreme Court; Promulgating the Constitution, Law and Order; convocating and dissolving the National Diet; Promulgating the general election; certifying every diplomatic envoy; and entertaining foreign convoys.

The Present Emperor - Akihito

 He was born in 1933. He married to Miss Michiko Shoda on April 10, 1959, a daughter of a successful business man, who became the first commoner to marry an heir to the Imperial throne. They are now blessed with two sons. The elder son, named Naruhito. During his childhood the Emperor received education from Mrs. Elizabeth Gray Vining, an American Quaker. She has published a book titled "Windows for the Crown Prince" in which her interesting experience with him is beautifully described.
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Amper Wangnamkeow (ナコンラーチャシーマ県ナムキオ)


Baan Puu Camping, Baan Klong Sai, Amper Wangnamkeow, Nakorachaseema Province
Tel. 089-300-2950 TEL. 084-704-8103

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助動詞 must (2)
助動詞 must (2)

様々な変化のありよう/内容の色分けをし、それぞれに固有の意味を醸成している原因、理由は何なんでしょう。will, shall, can, may, must, dare/ ・・・・・が何を拠りどころにして使い分けられているのでしょうか? 多分、その原因は“実体Aをとり囲んでいる環境、或は、実体Aが本来持っている内的衝動”などなのかななどと思っていますが。助動詞 must の意味は、「(何々を)しなければならない」という意味なのでしょうが、その先が全く見通せません。

英語の論理構造とその反映である言語構造の特徴を、実体Aと実体Bを二つの関係として捉えることによって説明しようと試みてきました。ここまでのところ曲がりなりにもある程度なんとかやってこれました。然しながら、助動詞 must と、need/dare の場合には、チョッと様子が違うのではないかなあ、と気がついたのです。


然し、命令をする人、ないし、法令とか規則が、助動詞 must の前に置かれて、主語(実体A)になることはありません。このことは、命令をする主体は英語の言語構造の基本要素以外のところにいる(ある)ということなのでしょうか。そうだとすれば、それは発話者の地位の中に隠されている以外には考えられません。



助動詞 must は、英語の発話の論理構造の基本的理論であるところの、実体Aがワープして実体Bになるという変化の理論の中に組み込むことが出来ないのだということがわかりかけてきました。「〜しなければならない」と命令口調で命令している主は発話者であり、文章の主語にはなりえません。

I must go. 主語と発話者は同一人物で、発話者が主語である自分に向かって命令口調で命令しているケースです。「自分は行かなければならない」というのは、発話者である自分の判断であるのです。

He must go. このケースでは、主語と発話者が別の人物ですから、「彼は行かなければならない」が、発話者の判断であることが明白になります。実体Aがワープして実体Bになるという変化の理論の型に当てはめてみると、この文章の意味は、実体A(主語 He)に時間の力の作用という因子が働いて、実体A(主語 He)がワープして実体Bになるのですが、実体Bの内実は"I must go"なのです。変化したあとの新たな実体は、依然として、"I must go"なのですから、変化していないことと同じことです。

He must be crazy. だんだん要点がしぼれてきました。発話者は、「彼はクレージーだ」と判断しているのですが、実体A(主語 He)は、発話者がいる現実の世界と関わりをもたない時空を超越した別世界にある「存在」のままでいるのです。(実体Aがクレージーであるのか、ないかのかについて、実体A自身が関わっているのではない、ということです。)

実体A(主語 He)がワープして実体Bになるという変化の理論の型に当てはめてみると、この文章の意味は、実体A(主語 He)に時間の力の作用という因子が働いて、実体A(主語 He)がワープして実体Bになるのですが、実体Bの内実は"I must be crazy"なのです。変化したあとの新たな実体は、依然として、"I must be crazy"なのですから、変化していないことと同じことです。

助動詞 must が他の助動詞と違う点は、実体Aが変化するコトを予見する機能を持っていないというのが結論です。


■You must take nitroglycerin when you feel heart's pain.

仮に医者が患者に話し掛けている場面を想像しましょう。「ニトロを服用するんですよ」には命令口調のニュアンスがありますね。助動詞 must が使われる文章は、主語(実体A)に気を使うと、おかしな日本語になってしまいそうです。日本人の感覚にあいません、ね。

普通、実体Aは、時という力の作用があれば様態が変化して別の実体Bになるのですが、助動詞 must を使って発話する時、他の助動詞の場合と違って、実体Aは動作の行為を行う主体でななく、命令される主体であることがわかります。


■He must be a serious disease.

助動詞 must が使われる文章では、主語が第一人称や第三人称の場合、発話者の判断、認識、確信が一方通行にしか流れていないのですから、それを解釈する時は主語(実体A)を無視しましょう。「重病だね;そうにちがいない」。発話者の認識の中では実体Aと実体Bはそれぞれ独立した存在であり、二つを関係として捉えているわけではありません。主観を主張しっぱなしているだけです。

He is a serious disease. 「重病です」。発話者は実体Aが実体Bに変化した様子を客観的事実として認識しているのです。

■Bill must be tired after a long walk.


■You must hand in the paper.



■You must not cross the street now, Johnny.



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