How Did Buddhism Affect Japan

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Buddhism was one of the most important influences brought from China to Japan by Korean travelers. It affected Japan’s religion, helped Japan unify the clans , and also lead to the creation of many Buddhist temples. Prince Shotoku was the biggest supporter of Buddhism. At first, Buddhism was not very popular and it was known as, "a foreign concept." However, it quickly became popular among the Japanese people because Buddhist ideas fit into many of the Shinto beliefs. For example, the two religions shared the belief that life had an ongoing cycle to it. As a result of Shinto and, Japan 's pre-Buddhist beliefs were combined with Buddhist ideas which resulted in a "complex blend of Shinto-Buddhist practice”. The fact that after the acceptance…show more content…
At the same time, Shinto priests were given the responsibility to oversee, "births, marriages, various religious celebrations, and national festivals" (Shinto). This division of responsibility shows that Buddhism was accepted as one of the main religions in Japan and that the influence of it was significant enough for people to trust Buddhist priests with most of their important activities. The division of responsibilities also helped society function more smoothly as there were more educated people who could take over different…show more content…
The support of Confucianism lead to the creation of the Seventeen Article Constitution. which was created by Shotoku and combined "Shotoku 's Buddhist and Confucian beliefs," that came from China. The constitution was, for the most part, created to, "ensure the employer 's power as a singular monarch" (Shotoku). The article consisted of rules and guides for Japanese officials. For example, it included laws that kept the government officials in their places by emphasizing the Confucian idea of subject to ruler relationship which united the clans and ensured that "government officials always obeyed the orders of the reigning monarch, for the sake of consistency and centralization of power" (Shotoku). By using Confucianism, Shotoku ended the wars between the clans and "allowed the moral emperor to decide the disputes"(Shotoku). Furthermore, the seventh rule in the article states that, “The Ministers and functionaries should make decorous behavior leading principles.... If the superiors do not behave with decorum the inferiors are disorderly." This idea comes from the Chinese Confucian philosophy which states that if people are controlled with punishments they will have no sense of shame, but if they are governed by, “means of virtue,” they will gain their own sense of
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