Japanese spirituality is complicated, and it is said that Japanese people nowadays get baptized at a Shinto shrine, marry in a Christian church, and have their funeral at a Buddhist temple. Many Japanese people would say that they do not really have a faith, and yet be involved in multiple religious groups.
It can be said that Japanese culture has become intrinsically linked with Zen. First introduced to Japan around the 7th century, Zen ideology spread rapidly throughout the 12th century, a time known as the Kamakura period. Zen generally refers to a meditation practice derived from Buddhism, and its influences can be found throughout daily life in Japan.
In recent times, people around the world are becoming more and more aware of the need to recycle and conserve energy to create a more sustainable society, but what if we told you there was a place in the world that already achieved this centuries ago and kept it going for more than 200 years?
The appreciation of beauty and its effortless integration into the daily rituals of life in Japan constitutes a history of ‘cultural addition’ as Japanese composer Ito Teijii points out. As such, the aesthetic concepts of wabi, sabi, and miyabi, explored below, have not only survived, but rather flourished over time.
When asked to explain in simple terms who Kitaoji Rosanjin is, you’ll struggle to find words to summarize the numerous and varied artistic accomplishments of someone with such an illustrious career.
The Mingei Movement focuses on the overlooked beauty of art and crafts made by average people that are practical and used in daily life. Mingei can also be seen as a response to Japan's rapid industrialization, as it elevates things made in large quantity by the hand's of the common people, rather than in a factory.
Previously, we talked about how to visit shrines and temples in Japan. This time, we are going to introduce how these sanctuaries give brief yet vivid glimpses into the everyday lives of the priests and monks who live there. Visiting a shrine or temple is a chance to experience a spiritually strengthening and cleansing practice unique to Japan.
Japan has four seasons, and the people of Japan traditionally have had numerous ways to enjoy each of them. They place great importance on the progression of the four seasons, and have developed their culture and leisure activities around it. The ancestors of today's Japanese population thought up numerous special ways to escape the summer heat.