Japanese Culture

Christiana Johnson

Japanese Culture

Holidays : Ceremonies : Rituals

The two most important holidays in Japan are The New Year and Obon. For New Years, families are expected to gather together no matter how scattered they are to honor their ancestors and on the night of New Year's Eve they visit their local shrine. At Obon, the souls of the dead are said to return so people go to visit the family grave, clean it and light a path to the house.

Religious Beliefs

The two main religions in Japan is Buddhism and Shintoism.


Buddhism- History : The japanese were attracted to this religion because it carried the ideas of a unified nation and equality among people.

Practices: Buddhist practices stemmed from Chinese practices. Their practices consist of The Four Noble Truths and The Five Precepts: no lying, stealing, killing, sexual misconduct or use of intoxicants.


Shintoism- According to shinto beliefs, when bad things happen they are due to unhappy kami (spirit) so they use rituals to appease the kami. (purification,offerings,prayer,sacred meal)

Funeral Rituals

Japanese funeral customs vary widely from religion to religion but most funerals in japan are similar to funerals here. First to prepare the body it is washed and then dressed, suits for men or a kimono(long robe) for a woman. After the body is placed in the casket, a white kimono, leggings, sandals, a white headband with a triangle on the center, plus any other burnable items that the deceased was fond of (cigarettes, candy) was put in the casket along with paper money for the deceased to pay the toll across the River of the 3 Hells. They then have a time for the condolences, they have a wake, then the funeral. The body is then cremated and the ashes are given to the family