Japan Data Archive

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What religions are there in Japan?

The following is the number of believers or followers of religions based on reports of Japanese religious corporations.

Shintoism 107.77 million
Buddhism 95.55 million
Christianity 1.91 million
Other religions 10.71 million
(Agency for Cultural Affairs, Yearbook of Religions 2003)

Strangely enough, these numbers. when added up, amount to 214.75 million, which is far greater than the Japanese population.
It is partly because the religious corporations surveyed did not report the number of people who ceased to be followers.
When one asks the Japanese, "What's your religion?" many of them. excluding Christians and followers of new religions, will answer "I have no religion."
However, when asked "What is the religion of your family?" they might answer "Jodo sect of Buddhism," or "Nichiren sect of Buddhism."
That means the religion that each family has had since ancicnt times for the purpose of worshipping their ancestors has stayed with the household.
Often it has little to do with one's religious faith.