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Title: Japanese religions in and beyond the Japanese diaspora society
Authors: Pereira, Ronan Alves
Matsuoka, Hideaki
Assunto:: Religião
Diáspora japonesa
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: University of California
Citation: MATSUOKA, Hideaki; PEREIRA, Ronan Alves. Japanese religions in Brazil : their development in and out of the diaspora society. In: PEREIRA, Ronan Alves; MATSUOKA, Hideaki (Eds.). Japanese religions in and beyond the Japanese diaspora. Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California-Berkeley, 2007, p. 123-145.
Abstract: Currently there are approximately sixty branches of "Japanese religions" in ·Brazil. This comprehensive listing includes old and new religions, Buddhist and Shintoist groups, religious confraternities (such as Yasukuni-ko), and established religions: these reli- \' gious movements were founded in Japan as well as in Brazil by Japanese immigrants (Pereira 2001:10~). In this broad perspective, "Japanese religions" in Brazil can be classified into the following categories in terms of their historical and doctrinal backgrounds: (1) traditional Buddhism, (2) traditional Shinto, (3) new religions (neo-Buddhism, neo-Shintoism, Japanese-Brazilian religions, and others), and (4) miscellaneous (groups in the format of religious confraternities and ethnic-religious movements). Buddhism and Shintoism have been principally propagated and acquired converts inside the col6nia japonesa (Japanese Brazilian community),! whereas some Japanese new religions have succeeded in obtaining considerable numbers of non-Japanese Brazilian converts. Thus we can categorize Japanese religions in Brazil in terms of their followers: (1) religious groups circumscribed to, restricted to, or heavily dependent on the colonia-that is, religions whose followers are mostly Japanese Brazilians; (2) religions that have crossed ethnic barriers-that is, religions whose followers are generally not of Japanese descent; and (3) religions that fall between these two-that is, groups that have a balanced constituency of Japanese and non-Japanese Brazilians. Significant religions in the second category in terms of the number of followers are Seicho-no-ie, the Church of World Messianity, Soka Gakkai, Sl1kyo Mahikari, and Perfect Liberty. Followers of these five religions total more than a million, and more than 90 percent of them are non-Japanese Brazilians. Thus there are more than one million non-Japanese Brazilians who follow Japanese new religions? In this chapter, we will offer an overview of Japanese religions in Brazil with a stress on new movements and try to elucidate why these religions have been accepted outside the Japanese diaspora.
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