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Influence of Buddhism and Shinto Religion on Architecture in Japan

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Though Buddhism and Shinto’s religions are quiet different forms of religions, they have coexisted in Japan. So to speak, they have had tremendous influence on Japanese architecture. In this sense, Buddhism is a religion that held to the art of building temples that were dedicated to the worship of Buddha. Therefore, in Japan there are a great number of these temples along with sculptures that are well painted and decorated (Young et al. 9).  At the same time, there were several buildings within the compound for the purpose of housing monks and nuns. In line with this, the compounds had seven buildings that were constructed with the pagoda, the main hall, the dormitory, bell tower and the dining hall among others which was then surrounded by a wall made of earth and it had gates on each side. While Shinto and Buddhism are different religions, they have had positive contributions to architecture in Japan.


In connection to this, Shinto’s architecture was marked by shrines as the Shintoism belief is that Kami lived in a natural object that comprised of mountains, waterfalls, rocks, trees and volcanoes. Following this point, most of the shrines were not put together in a particular way but the environment in most cases determined the way they were put. Altogether, Buddhism architecture has had the greatest influence on the Japanese artworks as it equally influenced the native religion Shintoism in the matters of its architecture. There was the temporarily structures that were made inclusive of the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Osaka and another simple structure of the shrine in the Mie prefecture (Young and Michiko 76).

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Due to this fact, In Japan, the Horyuki temple which was set up in 607 was made through the influence of Buddhism. Accordingly, the layout of this temple has been preserved over the years along with the worship made in temples with the main hall for worship; the oldest wooden structure in the world. (Britton, and Brown 49). In this regard, there has been a great influence of Japanese architecture by the Chinese one made possible by the Buddhism which in turn influenced the Shintoism, a native religion. This was also made possible by priests who were trained in painting and sculptures. These enabled the art of painting to enhance being associated with the wealthy.

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