Political Forums  

Go Back   Defending The Truth Political Forum > Philosophy and Religion > Religion > Buddhism


Thanks Tree1Thanks
  • 1 Post By Tigerwiccan
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old July 14th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #1
Banned
 
garysher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 34,677
In Japan, Buddhism May Be Dying Out

In Japan, Buddhism May Be Dying Out

By NORIMITSU ONISHI

Published: July 14, 2008



OGA, Japan — The Japanese have long taken an easygoing, buffetlike approach to religion, ringing out the old year at Buddhist temples and welcoming the new year, several hours later, at Shinto shrines. Weddings hew to Shinto rituals or, just as easily, to Christian ones.



When it comes to funerals, though, the Japanese have traditionally been inflexibly Buddhist — so much so that Buddhism in Japan is often called “funeral Buddhism,” a reference to the religion’s former near-monopoly on the elaborate, and lucrative, ceremonies surrounding deaths and memorial services.



But that expression also describes a religion that, by appearing to cater more to the needs of the dead than to those of the living, is losing its standing in Japanese society.



“That’s the image of funeral Buddhism: that it doesn’t meet people’s spiritual needs,” said Ryoko Mori, the chief priest at the 700-year-old Zuikoji Temple here in northern Japan.



“In Islam or Christianity, they hold sermons on spiritual matters. But in Japan nowadays, very few Buddhist priests do that.”



Mr. Mori, 48, the 21st head priest of the temple, was unsure whether it would survive into the tenure of a 22nd.



“If Japanese Buddhism doesn’t act now, it will die out,” he said. “We can’t afford to wait. We have to do something.”



Across Japan, Buddhism faces a confluence of problems, some familiar to religions in other wealthy nations, others unique to the faith here.



The lack of successors to chief priests is jeopardizing family-run temples nationwide.



While interest in Buddhism is declining in urban areas, the religion’s rural strongholds are being depopulated, with older adherents dying and birthrates remaining low.



Perhaps most significantly, Buddhism is losing its grip on the funeral industry, as more and more Japanese are turning to funeral homes or choosing not to hold funerals at all.



Over the next generation, many temples in the countryside are expected to close, taking centuries of local history with them and adding to the demographic upheaval under way in rural Japan.



Here in Oga, on a peninsula of the same name that faces the Sea of Japan in Akita Prefecture, Buddhist priests are looking at the cold math of a population and local fishing industry in decline.



“It’s not an exaggeration to say that the population is about half of what it was at its peak and that all businesses have also been reduced by half,” said Giju Sakamoto, 74, the 91st head priest of Akita’s oldest temple, Chorakuji, which was founded around the year 860.



“Given that reality, simply insisting that we’re a religion and have a long history — Akita’s longest, in fact — sounds like a fairy tale. It’s meaningless.



“That’s why I think this place is beyond hope,” Mr. Sakamoto said at his temple, which sits atop a promontory overlooking a seaside village.



To survive, Mr. Sakamoto has put his energies into managing a nursing home and a new temple in a growing suburb of Akita City. That temple, however, has drawn only 60 households as members since it opened a couple of years ago, far short of the 300 said to be necessary for a temple to remain financially viable.



For centuries, the average Buddhist temple, whose stewardship was handed down from father to eldest son, served a fixed membership, rarely, if ever, proselytizing. With some 300 households to cater to, the temple’s chief priest and his wife were kept fully occupied.



Not only has the number of temples in Japan been dipping — to 85,994 in 2006, from 86,586 in 2000, according to the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs — but membership at many temples has fallen.



“We have to find other jobs because the temple alone is not enough,” said Kyo Kon, 73, the head priest’s wife at Kogakuin, a temple here with 170 members. She used to work at a day care center while her husband was employed at a local land planning office.





http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/wo...a/14japan.html
garysher is offline  
Old July 14th, 2008, 10:05 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Tigerwiccan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,144
Woah, time to send in the troops and convert the masses! Maybe we can have another bloody Christian Crusade?
Thanks from intangible child
Tigerwiccan is offline  
Old July 14th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerwiccan
Woah, time to send in the troops and convert the masses! Maybe we can have another bloody Christian Crusade?


Actually, Asia is growing in believers by their own works. People have lived in false religion long enough over there. They are choosing Christianity.
cactusman is offline  
Old July 14th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
intangible child's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: California
Posts: 12,699
Pretty much like America, Christianity is dying out!



Why did Bush ignore

Eight United Methodist bishops, other leaders, who spoke out against war with Iraq Oct. 14, 2002?



WASHINGTON (UMNS) -- Eight United Methodist bishops participated in a "Citizenís Hearing on War with Iraq" on the third of three days of witnessing for peace Ė often in concert with those of other religious and community leaders Ė in the nationís capital city.



By the time Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) convened the hearing on Oct. 11, both chambers of Congress had debated and voted to increase the presidentís military powers. That did not stop the bishops or other many speakers at this event that the United Methodist Board of Church and Society helped organize.


Eight United Methodist bishops, other leaders, speak against war with Iraq



Why did Bush ignore these men of the cloth? Maybe......



"Welcome to the "grande baille" of the New World Order"

~ George Bush, Sr. (September 11th, 1990)




Sept. 11, 1990 speech

George Bush Speech



[ame=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5567690278479396737&q=George+Bush+rare+speech&ei=J tt7SKzWHZDQ4ALd0ITjCw&hl=en]George H.W. Bush - (Rare) New World Order Speech 1991[/ame]
intangible child is offline  
Old July 14th, 2008, 07:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by intangible child
Pretty much like America, Christianity is dying out!



Why did Bush ignore

Eight United Methodist bishops, other leaders, who spoke out against war with Iraq Oct. 14, 2002?



WASHINGTON (UMNS) -- Eight United Methodist bishops participated in a "Citizen’s Hearing on War with Iraq" on the third of three days of witnessing for peace – often in concert with those of other religious and community leaders – in the nation’s capital city.



By the time Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) convened the hearing on Oct. 11, both chambers of Congress had debated and voted to increase the president’s military powers. That did not stop the bishops or other many speakers at this event that the United Methodist Board of Church and Society helped organize.

Eight United Methodist bishops, other leaders, speak against war with Iraq



Why did Bush ignore these men of the cloth? Maybe......



"Welcome to the "grande baille" of the New World Order"

~ George Bush, Sr. (September 11th, 1990)



Sept. 11, 1990 speech

George Bush Speech



George H.W. Bush - (Rare) New World Order Speech 1991


We, as nations, go through ups and downs. God raises up a nation, then the nation destroys itself by rejecting God. This has been happening for a long time. I find it interesting that Africa, Asia Minor, and East Asia are growing very fast in Christianity. China has the fastest growing Christian movement probably ever. Over 100,000 Chinese missionaries voluntarily traveled to Iraq to minster and build up the church. You don't have to worry about whitey anymore.
cactusman is offline  
Old July 14th, 2008, 11:10 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Katczinsky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 3,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusman
We, as nations, go through ups and downs. God raises up a nation, then the nation destroys itself by rejecting God. This has been happening for a long time. I find it interesting that Africa, Asia Minor, and East Asia are growing very fast in Christianity. China has the fastest growing Christian movement probably ever. Over 100,000 Chinese missionaries voluntarily traveled to Iraq to minster and build up the church. You don't have to worry about whitey anymore.


I have seen evidence that Buddhism is loosing popularity in Japan, but I haven't seen evidence that Christianity is growing in Asian countries. In fact all the evidence I have been shown is merely pointing to a trend of shrinking religions worldwide; I have more to suspect from the data that Japanese Buddhists are becoming religious skeptics and not Christians. Christianity is shrinking in the west considerably, and Buddhism is growing. I wonder, is the growth rate of 'western' religions in the East greater than that of 'eastern' religions in the West? And more importantly, does it matter?



I really only care about your initial statement, about how 'a nation destroys itself by rejecting God'. I wonder if there is any data that not only provides evidence of a correlation but also a causation. I would say that it is highly dubious. From what I've read in history, the national fervor of a religious 'reawakening' is usually met by a confluence of various chaotic events. I would personally argue that it is a nation's material circumstances that determine the religiosity of its citizens as opposed to the other way around.



Some weak men feel the need of an invisible friend; even weaker men feel the need to have societal acceptance of their delusions, and to see other men forced to believe in them.
Katczinsky is offline  
Old July 15th, 2008, 06:46 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katczinsky
I have seen evidence that Buddhism is loosing popularity in Japan, but I haven't seen evidence that Christianity is growing in Asian countries. In fact all the evidence I have been shown is merely pointing to a trend of shrinking religions worldwide; I have more to suspect from the data that Japanese Buddhists are becoming religious skeptics and not Christians. Christianity is shrinking in the west considerably, and Buddhism is growing. I wonder, is the growth rate of 'western' religions in the East greater than that of 'eastern' religions in the West? And more importantly, does it matter?



I really only care about your initial statement, about how 'a nation destroys itself by rejecting God'. I wonder if there is any data that not only provides evidence of a correlation but also a causation. I would say that it is highly dubious. From what I've read in history, the national fervor of a religious 'reawakening' is usually met by a confluence of various chaotic events. I would personally argue that it is a nation's material circumstances that determine the religiosity of its citizens as opposed to the other way around.



Materialism does change our perspective for our need for God. We replace God with our stuff. Sadly, the stuff you own ends up owning you. Christ needs neither maintenance or protecting. On the contrary, He protects and maintains us. In the end, we lose all our stuff. How many hursts have you seen towing uhauls? We are left to face God in judgement, either righteous or not.



Some weak men feel the need of an invisible friend; even weaker men feel the need to have societal acceptance of their delusions, and to see other men forced to believe in them.
As do you.



I am weak. Some people say that religion is a crutch. To me, its a hospital.



Israel is the prime example. Every time paganism grew strong within the nation, another nation waged war against Israel.

America, although not a literal Christian nation, was founded on Christian principles. The ideas of freedom are very strong. People need something to fall back on; to rely upon. So, they reject God who has blessed them with so much and sadly rely on their government. They think their govt will solve all their problems. They strive for an utopian society. In a way, their govt becomes their god. This can be witnessed through things like homeland security, fairness doctrine, universal healthcare, wire tapping. We become underlings to our govt. The U.S. govt, founded on Christian principles, was and is based on freedom. The govt works for us; the police protect and serve us, not correct and disturb us (I know you like that word play).
cactusman is offline  
Old July 15th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Tigerwiccan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,144
Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusman
Actually, Asia is growing in believers by their own works. People have lived in false religion long enough over there. They are choosing Christianity.


Actually, more people in Asia are turning to Islam than anything else.
Tigerwiccan is offline  
Old July 15th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerwiccan
Actually, more people in Asia are turning to Islam than anything else.


I didn't state that it was the most popular religion. But, it is growing strong in much of Asia. Even peaceful Hindus are persecuting Christians in India, due to fear of loss of power (cast system).
cactusman is offline  
Old July 15th, 2008, 01:54 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
intangible child's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: California
Posts: 12,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusman
We, as nations, go through ups and downs. God raises up a nation, then the nation destroys itself by rejecting God. This has been happening for a long time. I find it interesting that Africa, Asia Minor, and East Asia are growing very fast in Christianity. China has the fastest growing Christian movement probably ever. Over 100,000 Chinese missionaries voluntarily traveled to Iraq to minster and build up the church. You don't have to worry about whitey anymore.


Bush: God told me to invade Iraq



President 'revealed reasons for war in private meeting'



President George Bush has claimed he was told by God to invade Iraq and attack Osama bin Laden's stronghold of Afghanistan as part of a divine mission to bring peace to the Middle East, security for Israel, and a state for the Palestinians.



The President made the assertion during his first meeting with Palestinian leaders in June 2003, according to a BBC series which will be broadcast this month.


Bush: God told me to invade Iraq - Americas, World - The Independent



"I fully understand that the job of the president is and must always be protecting the great right of people to worship or not worship as they see fit. That's what distinguishes us from the Taliban. The greatest freedom we have or one of the greatest freedoms is the right to worship the way you see fit.

"On the other hand, I don't see how you can be president at least from my perspective, how you can be president, without a relationship with the Lord."



"What we are going to do in the second term is to make sure that the grant money is available for faith communities to bid on, to make sure these faith-based offices are staffed and open. But the key thing is, is that we do have the capacity to allow faith programs to access enormous sums of social service money, which I think is important."

--George W. Bush, January 11, 2005




"I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen... I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it."

--George W. Bush commenting to Texas evangelist James Robinson in the run-up to his presidential campaign




"God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam [Hussein], which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."

--Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Mazen quoting Bush when they met in Aqaba; reported in The Haaretz Reporter by Arnon Regular




Bush-Hitler Background



I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2



This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief. The great masses of a nation are not composed of philosophers. For the masses of the people, especially faith is absolutely the only basis of a moral outlook on life. The various substitutes that have been offered have not shown any results that might warrant us in thinking that they might usefully replace the existing denominations. ...There may be a few hundreds of thousands of superior men who can live wisely and intelligently without depending on the general standards that prevail in everyday life, but the millions of others cannot do so. - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 10
intangible child is offline  
Reply

  Defending The Truth Political Forum > Philosophy and Religion > Religion > Buddhism

Tags
buddhism, dying, japan



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buddhism to make the most sense out of all the other religions liberalcanuck Buddhism 15 February 3rd, 2014 02:02 PM
The Oceans Are Dying Scott Political Talk 4 April 2nd, 2011 01:50 PM
Dying with dignity Tirya Healthcare 6 August 31st, 2008 06:25 PM
Tell me about Buddhism. John Rian Religion 0 June 25th, 2007 02:09 AM


Facebook Twitter RSS Feed



Copyright © 2005-2013 Defending The Truth. All rights reserved.