If Japanese are being asked what they believe in, they often answer: “nothing”. It probably derives from not wanting to restrict one selves on one single conviction rather find situationally solace and meaning in all available faiths.
Shintō, the life-affirming nature related folk belief offers many occasions one can simply feel happy from: cherry blossoms, Fuji san covered with snow, the rising sun, a buzzing bee in front of our eyes, red maple or the sparkling yellow ginko leaves, birth of a child or a traditional wedding in a renowned Shrine… to only name a few.
On the other hand, so it seems, stands Buddhism, almost somber because of its profound, meaningful and quiet appearance. Less feisty gatherings more reflection. Therefore it is not really surprising that Shintō is far more anchored in Japan’s culture than Buddhism.
And, there is Zen. It may be a link yet is it not a theory nor a science, it is not religion nor belief. Zen simply is. Zen!
Shintō, Buddhism and Zen they coexist in harmony.
Respect the living, inner peace and connectedness – the foundation of Japan’s trinity.