Celebrity Christian Weddings

There were two widely televised weddings of Japanese celebrities. Actor Miura Tomokazu and vocalist Yamaguchi Momoe got married in 1980 and superstars Kanda Masaki and Matsuda Seiko in 1985. These two events inspired consumer trends and generated interest in Christian wedding ceremonies that would soon become the norm (LeFebvre 187).

Vow of Uninterrupted Study of Lotus Sutra

Many monks would vow to devote themselves to only studying the Lotus Sutra based on Saicho's teachings on 809. They made the vow on top of Mount Hiei. They also reference Kanmu has the great protector of Saicho (Daishi 140).

Grow Industry for Pet Funerals

In 1990, the Japanese pet funeral industry became a trillion-yen business. It became especially popular the modern society's portrayal of pets as part of the family unit as well as the growing belief in spirituality, especially that of the dead (Ambros 488).

Class A War Criminals

After World War II, many of the Japanese officers and generals that were responsible for organizing events like the Rape of Nanking were labeled as Class A War Criminals. They were executed but controversially enshrined in the Yasakuni Shrine. This controversy still exists today as many prime ministers and other political figures refuse to visit the shrine (Breen 8).

Mizuko Kuyo

MIzuko Kuyo is the controversial practice of giving funeral rites to aborted fetuses on Japan. It has become an increasingly popular practice since abortion is the most common form of birth control in the country. There is also an an increasing belief of spirituality in Japan, especially vengeful spirits (Underwood 743).


Chan Buddhism, which would eventually be known as Zen Buddhism in Japan, emerged as a separate school in the eighth century in China. Many Japanese monks traveled to China during the eighth and ninth centuries to learn about Chan and it would become the dominant school in China during the Sung dynasty (Yampolsky 140).

Clean Government Party

The Clean Government Party was a political party created in 1964 under Soka Gakkai. It was originally created to expand the groups religious goals but met a lot of controversy and opposition since under the new constitution Japan was a secular state (McLaughlin 243).


The largest of the Nichiren Buddhist temple denominations. The head temple is at Kuonji at Mount Minobu in Yamanashi Prefecture, where Nichiren spent his last years. There are other modern denominations that mainly emerged from the many schisms during the 14th to 16th century (Stone 595).

Christian Weddings

In 1982, Shinto wedding ceremonies were the dominant form of celebration for Japanese citizens. In the mid-1990s, however, the Christian wedding ceremony surpassed the Shinto. In 1999, as much as 70% of Japanese couples chose a Christian wedding ceremony over anything else (LeFebvre 192).

Religious Response to 3/11

After the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, there was a large mobilization by religious groups to help rebuild. 400,000 homes were destroyed and more than 400,000 people were displaced. The disaster cost more than $235 billion in damages (McLaughlin "Religious Response to 2011 Tsunami in Japan")

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