What do the Japanese really believe?

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The original Japanese text is here. The survey was carried out in October 2003 with a response of 1,417 people from the 2,000 parcipitants chosen. Sorry, but some of the religious terms are not too familiar to me, so the translation may not be very accurate.

Q1: Which of the following do you have in your house?

Shinto shelf 44.1%
Buddhist Altar 49.8%
Shinto God Charm 24.0%
Shinto Paper Offering 7.3%
Temple/Shrine Charm 26.3%
Cooking Stove God Charm 9.8%
None 24.0%
Don’t know 1.5%

Q2: Which of the following do you do:

New Year’s Temple Visit 72.6%
Obon etc Grave Visit 76.0%
Carrying a Charm 25.8%
Visiting Shrines when in Neighbourhood 24.3%
Prayers for Family or Business 22.7%
Reading Fortunes/Horoscopes 8.9%
Reading Religion-Related Books 7.3%
Zen, Yoga, Mass, etc 3.3%
None 5.7%
Don’t know 0.5%

Q3: Which of the following do you think exist?

God (or gods in general) 35.6%
Buddha 36.3%
Ancestors’ Spirits 36.3%
Heaven 12.1%
Hell 10.0%
Other Worlds (Pure Land, etc) 15.9%
Reincarnation/Rebirth 17.8%
Charms and Guards do not Exist 13.0%
Nothing Supernatural Exists 27.0%
Don’t know 10.4%

Q4: What do you think about “god” (“God”? “gods”?) and “Buddha”?

They are almost the same 22.8%
They are completely different 23.9%
They are different, but work in similar ways 23.7%
I’ve never thought about the differences 21.0%
Don’t know 8.5%

Q5: Which of the following do you take note of:

Butsu-metsu (unlucky) wedding day 42.1%
Tomobiki (unlucky) funeral day 42.8%
Purification returning from funeral 30.2%
Sleeping with head pointing northward 31.7%
The number 4 15.3%
Friday the 13th 11.9%
Unlucky year 43.8%
Direction house faces 21.2%
Name kanji stroke count 13.3%
None of them 22.5%
Don’t know 2.0%

Q6: Which of the following do you think are true:

Spoon-bending 9.9%
Blood-type & character 37.8%
Star signs & character and fate 11.9%
Mediums 18.7%
Healing/laying on hands 8.1%
Feng Shui 10.0%
Curses 14.4%
Poltergeist 5.8%
None of them 33.8%
Don’t know 10.1%

Q7: Do you have faith?

Yes 29.1%
No 70.9%

SQ: If Yes, which of the following (more than one OK)

Shinto 22.0%
Buddhism 77.2%
Christianity 7.7%
Other 3.6%
Don’t know 2.7%

Q8: Do you think that to have a happy life, religious is important?

I think it is 38.7%
I don’t think it is 44.2%

Q9: In the future, how will the relationship between Japanese and religion change?

Religion will become essential 3.4%
Religion will be needed more 10.3%
No change from now 58.5%
Religion will become less needed 13.5%
Religion will not be needed at all 4.2%
Don’t know 10.1%

Q10: Are you a member of a religious group?

Yes 8.8%
No 91.2%

SQ: If yes, which ones?

Shinto-related 4.0%
Traditional Buddhist 17.7%
Christian 12.9%
Soka Gakkai 41.9%
Other Nichiren Buddhist 3.2%
Tenri Sect 4.8%
Shinnyo-en 4.0%
Other group 9.7%
Don’t know 1.6%
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8 comments »

  1. samuel welsh said,
    November 19, 2010 @ 14:14

    well at least thier are more christians now in japan

  2. Al Costanzo said,
    March 20, 2011 @ 21:27

    Being a Christian, I pray for the country of Japan, the leaders and the people. I pray that they believe in the one true God and his son Jesus Christ.

    And to those that are Japanese in Japan that read this, Chistmas, is not just a day Jesus Christ’s birth.

    Now more than even, they need Jesus, please do not discard my words, but believe an turn to to the Lord so that you may be saved.

    • Philip Timmis said,
      February 10, 2014 @ 13:13

      I will pray for you to the Amita Buddha, that you will find enlightenment to be more tolerant of other religions.

  3. Charlotte davies said,
    January 1, 2015 @ 00:05

    I am sure the people of Japan don’t need anyone to prey for them. Who is anyone to tell anyone else what they should believe. I wish Christians would do their own dirty laundry instead of trying to convert others

    • Glori Taylor said,
      January 28, 2015 @ 13:43

      Geuss what Charlotte as a Christan you are going to spread the word of Jesus Christ to other people and try to help others. People like you need Jesus what you just showed your true face you sound arogant, selfish,ignorant and more but i have to hold my tounge. Some people cant except the truth about Jesus Christ and you say Christians try to convet others geuss what your doing convertng others not to become Christians. Im sorry if i affended you but when you are doing the will of God you can do whatever it takes to spread the word of Jesus. For those who are going through trouble, or if they want to know more about Jesus then who would guide them if they dont know where to go. I will pray for you Charlotte.

  4. Glori Taylor said,
    January 28, 2015 @ 13:20

    Thats sad im only 13 and right now i can tell that either the people in Japan that do not belive in a God or Jesus Christ is forced to worship buddah or either they just choose not to. But im going to pray for japan because many of them do not belive that Jesus Christ did not die on that cross for our sins. And nobody cant tell me that hes not real yes my God is real he has showed me in many diffrent ways thats hes real. Just recently i was going through this stage of life where i felt unwanted for no reason and God sent me a dream about Mary Mary telling me i am wanted you are special dont let anyone kill your joy. And God sent me a dream about heaven and hell how people where screaming out for help for thoses who where in hell. And at one point he used me to prophecies before one night i had a dream about somebody getting hurt really bad and i didnt know what that dream meant and a couple of nights latet a man got into a bad motorcycle accident . He is really amazing he brought me from all my sins i cried out to him so many times and he answered ever single cry. He has touchec alot of people so many times for those who are reading this right now get it together i dont know when this earth will come to a end but what i do know is that it is soon. And if you dont belive me let jesus rest apond your soul, if you want me to pray for you im willing to do that just put your name and ill pray you dont have to put the situation your in.but if you just dont want to belive in God and live your life your way hey either you want to go to heaven or hell thats your choice and God is not a forcing God so remember that i used to wonder if there really was a God and thats when he sent me those dreams he has sent me many more. Alot of people are hurt becaause they belive that he has hurt them because someone is injured or hurt or someone hasdied but he did that for a reason God always have a reason for everything and he does not make mistakes.

    • Glori Taylor said,
      January 28, 2015 @ 13:22

      I was suppose to be doing a school essay and im over here preaching hahahah let me gather up some information.

    • Glori Taylor said,
      January 28, 2015 @ 13:30

      What im saying is just trust God and if you cant trust him just ask him for his trust. Get down on your knees and ask him just say God can you please show me that i can trust you lord please show i am craving for a God like you to heal me or something like that. Alot of people is saying how do you know the world is about to end read your bible. It says in revelutions ( Holy Bible) towards the end of the world everything will turn into plastic, plastic cards pennies wouldnt be inthe system anymore and so on. And people would get something injected into their arm near the wrist and that is the marking of you going to hell i would rather die and be safe with God that have a dumb idenity injected into myself. The devil have really tricked alot of people.

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