"Japanese Religion" is a general term used to describe the unique blend of a great variety of religious traditions within Japan. Religion in Japan reflects a long history during which various religious beliefs and practices - some indigenous, some "imported" from other places - have been accepted and personalized to Japanese culture. The ancient indigenous folk religion, later formalized as Shinto, was based on feelings of awe toward the sacred powers (kami) that brought life to the earth and human community. In the 6th century CE, Buddhism was introduced into Japan; it both influenced Shinto beliefs and practices and also incorporated Shinto elements. Shinto which literally means “The way of the Gods.” It is Japan’s native belief system and predates historical records. Shintoism is basically a reverent loyalty to familiar ways of life and familiar places. In Japan, patriotism is an issue of the heart. Shinto followers have a deep connection with their land, and they believe that the best way to express that connection is to do what the emperor wants them to do. The emperor’s expectations are their key motivation to live. Because of their emperor and their country they have developed a touching loyalty of an intense kind. They find no difficulty to be faithful to their kokutai, -“the national organization” or “the solidarity of the nation.”
Japanese love their land; it is a love of t he country as a whole. “Every hill and lake, all their mountains and rivers are dear to them, so dear that they can with difficulty think of parting from them.” (pages 428-9 Man’s Religions by John B. Noss)
They’ve always believed that their country was their own. They can’t see themselves living anywhere else but where they do, and can’t imagine anyone invading their country either. Basically, this...