Cultural Identity and Buddhism in Japan

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Jundo Nagashima


Cultural identity seems to be very much individual, subjective, vague and fl uid
although collective identity in a group is also referred to as cultural identity. Japanese people
had to have a religious identity as Buddhists in the Edo period because everyone was affiliated
with a Buddhist monastery. Although it is almost impossible to preserve religious identity in the
process of modernization, it is necessary for Japanese Buddhism to provide with satisfactory
supply of religious supports. I would like to look into the history of Buddhism in Japan to
find out why Buddhism does not meet the religious demand from Japanese people. In this
presentation, I will talk about the characteristics of Japanese cultural identity with regard to
religions, especially Buddhism.


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How to Cite
Nagashima, J. (2018). Cultural Identity and Buddhism in Japan. The Journal of International Association of Buddhist Universities (JIABU), 11(3), 326–333. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Jundo Nagashima, Department of Buddhist Studies, Taisho University, Tokyo, Japan

Assistant Professor, Department of Buddhist Studies,
Taisho University, Tokyo, Japan.


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