Japanese Religions

Gary L. Ebersole

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195170214
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Japanese Religions


The topic of emotions in Japanese religions is a complicated one. Multiple religious traditions, each with its own privileged set of emotions or spiritual states, have taken root in the Japanese archipelago. These traditions include Shinto, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, and numerous so-called new religions from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In addition, the historical record in Japan covers over 1,300 years, during which tremendous changes in these religions occurred, not least in terms of the emotional states that were considered to be desirable and auspicious or undesirable and inauspicious. The primary texts for any study of religious emotions in ancient Japan are the Kojiki (712), the Nihon shoki (720), and the Man'yōshū. This article also examines sources for the study of emotion in Japanese religions during the medieval period and provides a general overview of the newly founded religious groups in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Japan, focusing on a single aspect of the work of one scholar, Helen Hardacre.

Keywords: Japanese religions; Helen Hardacre; Japan; medieval period; Kojiki; Nihon shoki; spiritual states

Article.  10161 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »