Mone Iwata – Journal Entry3

When I heard the lecture about religion, I was very interested in the difference between religion in Japan and the US.

When I was junior high school and high school student, I went to a private school which is based on the Christianity. Students and teachers must take a service every morning if they don’t believe in Christianity. I don’t believe in Christianity, but I think it was a good experience because I had an opportunity to learn about the religion.

In the US, I think many religions are believed nowadays, but a lot of people believe in Christianity. On the contrary, in Japan most people don’t believe in specific religion. Many customs of religion are mixed. For example, we usually hold a wedding ceremony in church, but we hold a funeral in shrine or temples. I think this circumstance is related to Japanese historical culture.

In Edo period, people cannot believe in Christianity because the Japanese government banned people from believing in Christianity. People had to believe in Buddhism. After Edo period, the prohibition on believing in Christianity was lifted, but the Japanese government told us to believe ‘Shinto’ based on Confucianism since Meiji period until WWII. Believing in Christianity and Buddhism wasn’t a good thing. After WWII, in the Constitution of Japan, the right of religious freedom is allowed. For these facts, I think the religion were used in politics historically, so most Japanese don’t believe in any religion.

I’m very curious that there are few Christian, but Japanese like Christmas. Christmas is a celebration of the Jesus’s birthday, so Japanese don’t need to celebrate. I have seen the article about Christmas in Japan. The Christmas event may become popular in the beginning of 20th century. I think Japan wanted to catch up with the Europe and the US at that time. So, Japanese may accept this culture.

Every lecture is interesting to me, and I can learn much more things about the US culture than before I visit this collage.

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