Religion and Mythology

  1. Japanese Gods and Goddesses introduces you to the Japanese creation myth, some major deities and the Seven Lucky Gods.

  2. Japanese Creation Myth from Wikipedia is a concise retelling of a very complicated tale with charts.

  3. Japanese Mythology is a very brief introduction to the topic. It is illustrated with interesting examples of netsuke, miniature carvings used to fasten pouches to kimono.

  4. Shinto: The Way of the Gods is an extensive web site with essays about major deities, a guide to concepts and major sects, a guide to sacred shrines, holy mountains and more. At the beginning is a photo guide to many colorful kami.

  5. The Buddha Corner is an extensive guide to Buddhism. There are many short essays on topics such as the the main schools and sects, the Four Heavenly Generals, the Twelve Zodia signs and many, many more.

  6. BuddhaNet describes itself as "a link up of the growing world-wide culture of people committed to the Buddha's teachings and lifestyle, as an on-line cyber sangha. In this way, an ancient tradition and the information superhighway will come together to create an electronic meeting place of shared concern and interests." The site is extensive, with a Buddhazine and a directory of Buddhist studies.

  7. Soka Gakkai International hosts this web site to teach everyone about Nichiren Buddhism. It has an FAQ on Buddhism, a two-part introduction to Buddhism and essays on the major concepts. It's a great reference tool. The site does load slowly because of all its graphics.

  8. Confucius The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a very good site on the life and times of the great Chinese philosopher, Confucius. It includes ten concise essays including a biography, information about his writing and interpretations of Confucius' teachings.

  9. The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac are described in detail on this page from the Buddha Corner. Check out your sign and its meaning.

  10. The Seven Lucky Gods The Shichifukujin are an eclectic group of deities from Japan, India, and China, including Hotei, the God of Happines and Daikoku, the God of Wealth. Today images of the seven appear with great frequency in Japan - on key chains, towels, T-shirts and more. In one popular Japanese tradition, they travel together on their treasure ship Takarabune and visit human ports on New Year's Eve to dispense happiness to believers. Read more about their origins, symbols and legends.

  11. Excerts From Religious Texts This essay compares the great texts of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confuciansm, Christianity, Daoism, Islam, Judaism and Shinto and is organized by themes.


Previous Back to Japanese Art History Next