Saturday, May 29, 2004

Shinto Priest

On the way to Yodabashi, I passed this Shinto Priest quietly standing in this very high traffic area with his collection bowl in hand. There are two major religions in Japan. Shintoism and Buddhism. Most Japanese when asked wouldn't say they are religious, and most probably wouldn't be able to distinguish between Buddhism and Shintoism either. The lines of separation between the two religions that were drawn and fought over centuries ago have been blurred into a state of not just oblivion but harmony. But a significant number of the population participate in religious events either at New Years or in the Buddhist festival when everyone visits their ancestral home. This number is possibly as high as ninety percent. Religion plays a major role in Japanese culture.

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