Myth and Deity in Japan

Myth and Deity in Japan

The Interplay of Kami and Buddhas

Kamata Tōji
Translated by Gaynor Sekimori

Published by JPIC | Hardcover| ISBN 978-4-916055-84-2 | 218 pages | 226mm (h) x 152mm (w) | March 2017


鎌田 東二 著



About the Book

Shinto is a tradition native to Japan that arose naturally on the eastern fringe of the Eurasian continent and was woven over many years into the fabric of people's everyday lives. When Buddhism entered the country in the sixth century, the two religions—rather than competing with or seeking to marginalize the other—coalesced, embracing many other folk deities as well to create a singular combinatory religious culture that continues to permeate Japan's cultural life today. This English translation of a book originally written in Japanese by one of the country's most knowledgeable, penetrating, and eclectic scholars of Japanese religion and spirituality presents an engaging overview of the country's religious legacy, as well as offering insights into how religion can become a force for peaceful coexistence, rather than violent extremism.

About the Author


Born in Tokushima prefecture in 1951. After graduating from Kokugakuin University, majoring in philosophy, Kamata pursued doctoral research in Shinto theology at the same university. He is currently professor emeritus, Kyoto University, and guest professor at the Sophia University Institute of Grief Care. His research interests range widely over religion, folklore studies, Japanese intellectual history, comparative civilizations, and other fields. He holds a doctoral degree in literature. He is qualified to hold Shinto rituals and is a Shinto songwriter. He performs on the stone flute (iwabue), horizontal flute, and conch shell (horagai). A devotee of pilgrimages to holy sites since the age of seventeen, he has visited many sacred sites in Japan and abroad over the last forty years.