Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/14904
In 1963 a Japanese scholar named Tamamuro Taijo coined the term “Funeral Buddhism” that came to be used to describe Buddhism in Japan as the religion engaged in funerary rites and removed from the spiritual needs of people. This essay attempts to look at that phenomenon in detail and answer the question whether, as the negative title would suggest, modern-day Buddhism in Japan is in trouble. From the historical perspective, the essay traces the origins of Funeral Buddhism and the beginning of the decline of the religion back to the policies of the Tokugawa government undertaken in the 17th century as means to fight the threat of Christianity. From the contemporary perspective, the modern Funeral Buddhism is analyzed through the background presence the religion has in the lives of the Japanese people. Finally, the essay presents the concerns that threaten the future of Buddhism in Japan.
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