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Buddhism in the East

Robinson S.

29 Aug 2003
Buddhism is one of the oldest religion and it was formed by Buddha in India. I believe Buddha only preached about love and mercy before Jesus Christ did. I wonder how Buddhism spread up to Japan in the East but not even the neighbouring western countries. Anyone knows the truth behind.
Actually I believe Buddhism was fairly widespread throughout Central Asia, up to about East Turkmenistan and eastern Iran, before being pushed out by Islam in the 8th-10th Centuries while it wasn't introduced in Japan until 621.
Buddhism had to get through China (and Korea) before it got to Japan. As such it, changed in each new environment it found itself. China tended to do away with the tradition of begging, and moved its monasteries onto a self-sustaining agricultural based footing. Buddhism also reacted to Daoism and Confucianism, before coming into Japan and modifying again to exist alongside Shintoism. It is generally accepted that Buddhism underwent more changes when it got to Japan (I won't go into all the details). A popular question, and one raised by a documentary on Buddhism many years ago, was that if the Buddha of India met the Buddha of Japan, would they recognize each other?
Thanks Elizabeth, now I remember the demolition of Buddha statues by Talibons in Afghanistan.
Mandylion, it窶冱 very interesting indeed and I will try to learn more about the Easternised Buddha of Japan.
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