Differences Between Shinto And Buddhism

Last Updated on December 7, 2021 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Shinto and Buddhism are two religions that have been practiced in Japan for centuries. While there are many similarities between the two, there are also several differences. Shinto is considered a religion that focuses on nature while Buddhism is a more organized system of beliefs with many different sects. From a historical standpoint, it’s easy to see how these religions evolved from one another but they have continued to maintain their own unique identities throughout the ages. Nowadays, both faiths continue to be practiced in modern Japanese society and culture where people often practice elements from both traditions at once or choose one over the other depending on personal preference or circumstance.

The two religions are often confused with one another, but there are some key differences. Shinto is often described as an indigenous religion of Japan while Buddhism was brought to the country from India. The most important difference between these two religions can be seen in their respective views of what happens after death. In Shinto, kami (gods) exist only on Earth and they play a large role in influencing human affairs. By contrast, Buddhists believe that life goes on after death through reincarnation into a new form or cycle of existence until it finally achieves Nirvana or enlightenment.

Comparison Between Shinto And Buddhism

Parameters of ComparisonShintoBuddhism
Oldest Older than BuddhismNot older than sinto
God Kami Buddha 
Belief Shinto followers do not have such an understanding of their faith.Buddhists believe that one becomes a Buddha through enlightenment
Monk monks wear robes with a belt around their waist which signifies chastity and celibacyShinto priests were allowed to marry as long as they remained childless. 
Hierarchy there is no hierarchy among those who worship – everyone has equal standing before BuddhaShinto there is a strict social order based on age and gender

What Is Shinto Religion?

What Is Shinto Religion

Shinto religion is the only indigenous Japanese religion and it has a deep, rich history that dates back to ancient Japan. It’s an animistic faith which means that all things animate and inanimate have a soul or spirit. Shrines can be found throughout Japan as well as within homes. There are no scriptures associated with this faith, rather there are many texts of poetry and prose written about it by scholars over time. The main themes of the stories revolve around nature worship, purification rites, divination rituals, and shamanism incorporating elements of astrology. 

Shinto is a traditional, animistic, and shamanic religion that originated in Japan. It has no single founder or scripture and differs from other religions such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam because it does not have anyone prophet who decrees what should be believed about God. The word “Shinto” means the way of the gods. Shinto followers believe that people are born with spirits called kami which they must keep happy to avoid misfortune; this can be done by performing certain rituals like taking walks outside to talk to trees or bows before entering shrines. People also visit shrines to ask for help with things like love affairs and farming problems.

What Is Buddhism?

What Is Buddhism

As a religion, Buddhism has been practiced for over 2,500 years and is the fourth largest religious group in the world. The word “Buddhism” comes from the Sanskrit word buddha (meaning “enlightened one”). Buddhists believe that it is possible to be enlightened through meditation and living by Buddhist principles. 

The Buddha taught his followers how they could free themselves of suffering by understanding its three causes: desire, aversion, and delusion. Four noble truths are central to Buddhist teaching: life contains suffering; suffering arises out of attachment or craving; there’s a way to end all suffering; following this path will lead one to peace. 

10 Differences Between Shinto And Buddhism

Oldest: Shinto is the oldest religion in Japan, whereas Buddhism was introduced to Japan from China.

Gods: Shinto gods are called Kami and they inhabit natural objects like rocks or trees, while Buddhist deities are known as Buddhas that reside in the heavens.

Religion: The Japanese word for “religion” can be translated into English as shuukyou (宗教), but this term does not refer exclusively to either of these religions; it may also include Taoism and Confucianism. 

Belief: Buddhists believe that one becomes a Buddha through enlightenment, but Shinto followers do not have such an understanding of their faith.

Monk: In Buddhism, monks wear robes with a belt around their waist which signifies chastity and celibacy; however, some sects of Shinto priests were allowed to marry as long as they remained childless. 

Hierarchy: In Buddhism, there is no hierarchy among those who worship – everyone has equal standing before Buddha – whereas in Shinto there is a strict social order based on age and gender.

Introduced: Buddhism was introduced to Japan in the 6th century by a man named Prince Shotoku.

Top mountain: The main difference between these two religions is that Buddhist temples are built on top of mountains while Shinto shrines are usually found within nature or at the bottom of hills. 

Reincarnation: Another difference is that Buddhists believe in reincarnation whereas followers of Shinto do not.

Worship: A third major difference is that Buddhists worship Buddha as their god, while followers of Shinto worship natural gods like Amaterasu-ōmikami and Izanagi-no-Mikoto. 

Death: Another big distinction between these two religions is how they view death – for example, Buddhists believe life ends with death but according to Japanese tradition, there’s an afterlife where you can be reborn into another life form or go back to your original form.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of Shinto 

1. Shinto is a Japanese religion that practices animism, the belief that natural objects and animals have souls.

2. The word “Shinto” can be translated as “the way of the gods.”. 

3. Shrines are often found in forests or mountains because they were believed to be closer to the gods.

4. People who follow this religion believe in spirits called kami which can include anything from rocks to trees to people.

5. Animal sacrifice was practiced during religious ceremonies until 1868 when it was outlawed by Emperor Meiji.

6. One of their most important holidays is Obon where families gather together for food and dancing.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of Buddhism

1. Buddhism has been around for approximately 2,500 years.

2. There are over 350 million Buddhists in the world.

3. The goal of Buddhism is to achieve Nirvana by following a path of compassion and wisdom.

4. Buddha was born as Prince Gautama Siddhartha from a royal family living in Nepal about 2,500 years ago.

5. In the Buddhist tradition, he attained enlightenment at the age of 35 after practicing self-denial and severe asceticism for six years. 

6. He then spent 45 years teaching what he had learned to others before his death aged 80.

Conclusion About The Differences Between Shinto And Buddhism

Conclusion paragraph: Shinto and Buddhism are two different religions that have existed in Japan for centuries. Understanding the differences between these two religious philosophies can help you better understand Japanese culture, as well as how to interact with people who practice either of them. For instance, it’s important to know that not all Buddhists wear a robe or shave their heads because there is no one set image or form of dress associated with this religion like there is when compared to Christianity. It’s also worth noting that while some might view Buddhism positively due to its pacifist teachings, others may find it more difficult because they believe violence should be used if necessary to protect oneself from harm. Perhaps most interesting about Buddhist philosophy is its focus on self-enlightenment, which is believed by some to be connected with the values of equality and social justice.


Resource 01: https://asiasociety.org/education/shinto#:~:text
Resource 02: https://www.history.com/topics/religion/buddhism

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