How can Japanese keep morality without religion?

  • 2009.02.13 Friday
  • 19:27
You may know Japanese don’t have a certain religion. At new year, we go to a Shinto shrine, the most popular wedding style is western style which means Japanese go to a Christian church and for a funeral, most Japanese chose Buddhism. It might be true to say that we are not religious.

If I say “Japanese don’t have any religion” in general, I often get this question in repsonse, “how do Japanese keep their morality without religion?” It is a tough question for me to answer. I would like to say it's because of “family” or “tradition” but that doesn't seem to be true any more.

In my case, I went to a Christian school for 16 years and my family is still in the traditional style. So these things influenced me a lot. However now I don’t go to church any more and I have many chances to meet many people and get good and bad influences more easily.

I thought, ”I have to make a good motto to keep morality” At the Shodo exhibition, I wrote my motto from an ancient Chinese book called 千字文 

What I wrote is;

知過必改   得能莫忘   

when you find a mistake, you need to correct it immediately  
When you learn a good thing, you should never forget it

徳建名立   形端表正

When you cultivate high virtue, you will get a good reputation and your appearance and behavior will become beautiful.

I especially value and appreciate the last one.

“Do what I believe is the right thing, and naturally my appearance and behavior will become beautiful and I will get high virtue ”

I am ageing but want to keep my beauty! So this is kind of my beauty salon treatment!
very interesting thoughts - Kahoriさん。The way different religions are incorporated in Japanese Everyday life is anything but shallow, I agree, it is deeply grounded in Tradition and Family as basic value. This is one of the reasons that fascinate us "Westerners" when visiting your country. As for your aging (?) you will not need a beautysalon treatment for many years to come. You are beaming of natural kindness and goodness, it is a pleasure to meet you.
Keep going!!!
your shodo is beautiful
  • gisela
  • 2009/02/18 6:02 AM
Hi Gisela,
Thank you for your compliment! It's very kind of you. Maybe we are fascinated each other. Japanese think Weserners have more freedome whichi was not allowed in Japan among tradtion and family value. I hope I can have both!!

  • Kahori
  • 2009/02/21 1:24 PM
Many Westerners think you cannot have moral value without religion- you must* be Christian or something like this to have morals. But, this is not true, of course, and not all Westerners think this way. You only have to be a good person to have moral values, and do what is best for every situation. Sometimes, there is no "right" thing that can be done, only the "best" thing. It is a hard choice, but everyone must do their best. Learn from mistakes, be good to everything. Ganbatte yo, ne?

Inner beauty will show through to outer beauty. Inner ugliness will show on the outside, too, no matter how pretty a face. Do not worry so much about looks. You are pretty enough! (Besides, I saw an old woman once who had many beauty treatments done to make her look very young. But even though her face was young-looking, everyone knew that she was very old. It was... strange to see. Of course, no one says this, but it is a little unnatural, don't you think?)
Dear Thurisaz,

Thank you for sharing your thought with me. Recently I have found different idea between moral and religion. But hard to explain in English since my English has too limited! I agree that unnatural is not beautiful. I like natural beauty and having beautiful mind makes this natural beauty.
  • Kahori
  • 2011/05/10 10:50 PM



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