A-Z Apologetics Index Cults, Sects, Alternative Religious Movements
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Several explanations are offered to explain the growth in cults in Japan, but many trace them back to the loss of spiritual certainties taught before the war, and to the more recent economic decline that has eroded the confidence of a society that has measured its worth by work.
Some say the malaise has reached deep into society, with parents and teachers losing authority, and traditional moral values being undermined.
In such an atmosphere people - especially the young - are seeking alternative forms of security and spiritual fulfilment.
The Japanese Government - which recently estimated that there could be more than 200,000 cults at large - says many have profit as their main motivation.
Source: Rise of Japanese cults, BBC, May 14, 2003
In February, The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a survey concerning the image of Ho-no-Hana and many other new religious organizations. Most respondents said the new religious groups appeared to be ''hungry for money,'' ''frightening'' and ''questionable.'' Although they remain somewhat wary about religion, meanwhile, an increasing number of people feel that they need moral support from religions, largely due to concerns about their future. All members of society should take a resolute attitude toward any group that seeks to rip people off in the name of religious activities and to involve people in antisocial conduct. According to the Cultural Affairs Agency, more than 180,000 groups across the country are licensed as religious corporations by the agency and prefectural governments.
Ho-no-Hana leaders show their clay feet, Daily Yomiuri, May 10, 2000 (Editorial)
» Public Poll: Approximately 30 percent of Japanese profess faith in religion
» The story behind Mori's 'divinity' remark: Shinto as Japan's soul See also these news articles regarding the ''divine nation'' statement.
» Rise is Japanese cults, BBC, May 14, 2003 (regarding Panawave Laboratory)
» Why do Japanese view themselves as irreligious?, Daily Yomiuri, May 16, 2000
» Young People and Contemporary Religions by Nobutaka Inoue, Professor, Kokugakuin University, Apr. 24, 2000
» Young people's interest in spirituality grows, Daily Yomiuri, May 16, 2000
» CIA Factbook Map and basic facts.
» Japan: A Country Study From the Library of Congress. Detailed information, including a look at the country's world-, local-, and millenarian religions.
» Japan : A Web Guide ''[T]he online version of Japan: A Pocket Guide, which has long been a source of data on everything from Japan's recent politics to its ancient culture.''
» Religion in Japan Brief overview. Part of the online version of Japan: A Pocket Guide, published by the Foreign Press Center/Japan
Note: Most of the items included here are of a general nature. News items on specific organizations, people, movements, etcetera, are listed in the A-Z Apologetics Index.» Find related news items in AI's News Archive.
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)
Cults, sects, and alternative religions in Japan include:
» Aum Shinrikyo
» Ho-no-ha-na Sanpogyo
» Kawashima, Prof. Kenji
» Life Space
» Panawave Laboratory
» Soka Gakkai
» Yamagishi Association