Recent studies have labeled Japan as one of the most atheistic countries in the world. Articles have also been written explaining the error in thinking behind these studies, specifically regarding what makes a person religious and what can be called religious in Japan. Read the following articles, one that calls Japan atheistic and two that question why people are coming to this conclusion about a country that is so richly affiliated with Confucianism, Shintoism and Buddhism. Using these articles as well as the textbook and the lecture information, consider the following questions:
Why do you think Japan is often labeled as an atheist country? What is the significance of Japanese citizens describing themselves as atheists or nonreligious while still participating in Buddhist, Shinto and Confucian rituals?
“Most Religious Countries and Most Atheist Countries”
“Are the Japanese People Religious?”
“Japan: The Most Religious Atheist Country”
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