Schools of Japanese Buddhism

Japanese Buddhist Schools

Ever since its very introduction in Japan in 552 CE, with its four original schools, Buddhism has been split in different sects focusing on different aspects of Buddhism, different texts or completely different philosophies.

Now, Japan has around 4 main school branches divided in as many as 50 schools and sub-schools, some of them labeled as new religions. We will discuss some of them here, and link to the main ones for a more indepth study of the major schools.


Shapers of Japanese Buddhism


We first have to know that, in the world, there are three main schools of Buddhism:

The Theravāda or the Ancient Teaching (the oldest school in East-Asia)

The Mahāyāna or the great vehicule (principal school in Asia and Japan)

The Vajrayāna or diamond vehicule (Esoteric Buddhism including Tibetan and Shingon) also called Tantric Buddhism


The Principal School in Japan

Principal Buddhist Schools in Japan

Soka Gakkai Nichiren Jodo Shu Soto Zen shu Jodo Shinshu




With gratitude,signature Hugo

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