Japan VALUES AND BELIEFS
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Practitioners of kendo--the "way of the sword"-- a form of spiritual discipline combined with ancient Chinese fencing techniques
People and goods being ferried from Nagasaki
The 160-meter-high torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine, in Hiroshima Bay, dedicated to Shinto kami, who protect seafarers and oversee fishing
Shinto presentation ceremony for girls ages seven and five
Contemporary Japan is a secular society. Creating harmonious relations with others through reciprocity and the fulfillment of social obligations is more significant for most Japanese than an individual's relationship to a transcendent God. Harmony, order, and self-development are three of the most important values that underlie Japanese social interaction. Basic ideas about self and the nature of human society are drawn from several religious and philosophical traditions. Religious practice, too, emphasizes the maintenance of harmonious relations with others (both spiritual beings and other humans) and the fulfillment of social obligations as a member of a family and a community.
Data as of January 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Japan on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Japan VALUES AND BELIEFS information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Japan VALUES AND BELIEFS should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.