Spirits in Japan

The world of the spirits (kami) in Japan is an all-important feature of Japanese religious life, but one that is often overlooked by foreigners who prefer Zen rock gardens and tea ceremony as emblems of Japanese spirituality. The continued and pervasive influence of ghosts, ancestral spirits, and kami in contemporary Japan is a fascinating topic that touches on many different areas of Japanese life; the Shinnyo-en is not at all unusual in the way that they incorporate indigenous ideas about spirits into their Buddhist belief and practice. It is particularly around the spirits of the dead and their continued influence in our lives that we see this aspect of Japanese religiosity.

Japanese Journal of Religious Studies

Japanese Ghosts

O-bon, the Buddhist Festival of the Dead

Graveyards and burial customs

Kami, edited by Inoue Nobutaka

The Kami of Shinto

The Concept of Kami by the Shinto Online Network

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