Growth of Japanese Culture

Japanese Forms of Buddihism


In the 500s b.c. in India, Buddhism was born. Buddhism is based on the teachings of a man named Sidhartha Guatama. Eventually buddhism spread to china, Korea, and finally Japan in the A.D. 500s

Buddhism Spreads

The religion of Buddhism spread rapidly through japan, thanks to the help of Prince Shotoku. Buddhism luckily did not overpower but blended along side of it. First buddhism was popular with the nobles, but eventually started to get popular with common people. Many people appealed to the belief of the buddhist, that peace and happiness could be gained by leading a life of virtue and wisdom. Over the centuries many different sects (forms) of Buddhism evolved in Japan.

  • Tendai = focused on the study of the texts.
  • Shingon = pulled in followere who liked its rituals.
  • Amida = a belief that people will save them in a pure land after death.
  • Zen = something precious & divine exists in everyone.

Zen Buddhism

While some sects were popular, the sect that really flourished was Zen which emphasizes on things like simplicity and meditation. zen was simple, focusing on inner peace. Zen influenced japanese culture a lot.

  • Samurai = Liked Zen and thought it would help them in battle
  • Artists = Liked zen, because of its boldness and simplicity. they started to draw stronger bolder lines in the drawings

Zen, later on spread, and became popular in the west.

Zen Garden - Serenity Relaxation and Meditation - Short Excerpt from DVD