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date: 19 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Based on the premise that there is no single and homogeneous Japanese Buddhism but a multifaceted religious tradition resulting from a long history of adaptations and cross-cultural interactions, this chapter explores some aspects of Buddhism in Japan, including Buddhism-based new religious movements, in connection to the challenges of contemporary society. These include the structure of today’s temples in terms of membership and activities, issues of politics and social engagement closely linked to the role of Buddhism in the public sphere, the innovative ways through which Buddhist institutions are reacting to a deeply mediatized society, and overseas developments. Before proceeding to the contemporary period, the chapter provides a brief overview of the historical developments of Buddhism from its inception to the postwar period.

Keywords: Buddhism, Japan, politics, public sphere, social engagement

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