H. Byron Earhart (born 1935) is an American historian, Ph.D, and author, especially about Japanese religions.
He was born on January 7, 1935, in Aledo, Illinois; son of Kenneth Harry and Mary (Haack) Earhart.His father enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942 and served on the battleship USS Missouri. His grandparents and mother held a frozen food locker in Havana, Illinois. H. Byron Earhart married Margaret Donaho en 1956 and they had three children.
Earhart attended Knox College in Galesburg, majoring in philosophy and religion. He enrolled at the University of Chicago in a graduate program, got a Fulbright grant and went to Japan for three years of doctoral research.He studied under Mircea Eliade and Joseph M. Kitagawa at the University of Chicago, where he received a doctorate in History of Religions.
He is a professor emeritus in the Department of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan Universityfrom which he received in 1981 a Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.
His textbook Japanese Religion: Unity and Diversity (1969) is considered a classic, through several editions, and "has remained one of the only treatments of Japanese religious history truly suitable for use in undergraduate classrooms".
Shinto, also known as kami-no-michi, is a religion which originated in Japan. Classified as an East Asian religion by scholars of religion, its practitioners often regard it as Japan's indigenous religion and as a nature religion. Scholars sometimes call its practitioners Shintoists, although adherents rarely use that term themselves. There is no central authority in control of Shinto and much diversity exists among practitioners.
Kṣitigarbha is a bodhisattva primarily revered in East Asian Buddhism and usually depicted as a Buddhist monk. His name may be translated as "Earth Treasury", "Earth Store", "Earth Matrix", or "Earth Womb". Kṣitigarbha is known for his vow to take responsibility for the instruction of all beings in the six worlds between the death of Gautama Buddha and the rise of Maitreya, as well as his vow not to achieve Buddhahood until all hells are emptied. He is therefore often regarded as the bodhisattva of hell-beings, as well as the guardian of children and patron deity of deceased children and aborted fetuses in Japanese culture, where he is known as Jizō or Ojizō-sama.
Tahō Fuji Dainichirenge-zan Taiseki-ji (多宝富士大日蓮華山大石寺); more commonly just Sōhonzan Taiseki-ji (総本山大石寺), informally known as Head Temple Taiseki-ji (大石寺) is the administrative center of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. It is located in the foothills of Mount Fuji in Kamijo, Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Taiseki-ji was founded in 1290 by Nikkō Shōnin, one of Nichiren's immediate disciples, on a land parcel donated by the believer Daigyo Sonrei, commonly known as Nanjo Tokimitsu.
Shugendō is a highly-syncretic religion, a body of ascetic practices that originated in Heian-era Japan, having evolved during the 7th century from an amalgamation of beliefs, philosophies, doctrines and ritual systems drawn from local folk-religious practices, Taoist and Shinto practices. Practitioners are called Shugenja (修験者), Sōhei, or Yamabushi.
A religious experience is a subjective experience which is interpreted within a religious framework. The concept originated in the 19th century, as a defense against the growing rationalism of Western society. William James popularised the concept.
The Japanese term shinbutsu bunri (神仏分離) indicates the separation of Shinto from Buddhism, introduced after the Meiji Restoration which separated Shinto kami from buddhas, and also Buddhist temples from Shinto shrines, which were originally amalgamated. It is a yojijukugo phrase.
Onmyōdō is a traditional Japanese esoteric cosmology, and natural science, with its origins based on the Chinese philosophies of Wu Xing and yin and yang, introduced into Japan at the beginning of the 6th century. It was accepted as a practical system of divination based on Chinese esoteric cosmology. These practices were introduced by Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism further influencing Japanese folk and Shinto religions, eventually evolving into the system of onmyōdō around the late 7th century. Onmyōdō was under the control of the imperial government, and later its courtiers, the Tsuchimikado family, until the middle of the 19th century, at which point it became prohibited as superstition. Its main body of text is called Inyo Gogyo.
Mahikari is a Japanese new religious movement (shinshūkyō) that was founded in 1959 by Yoshikazu Okada (1901–1974). The word "Mahikari" means "True Light " in Japanese. Kotama Okada claimed he has received the revelations from the Creator God till 13th June, 1974. The revelations allowed to release to public were published as book called Goseigen.
Sukyo Mahikari is an organization with centers in more than 100 countries. The stated aim of the organization is to help people improve the quality of their lives and attain happiness by practicing universal principles and a method of spiritual purification called the art of True Light. It was founded by Kōtama Okada in 1959 under the name L. H. Yokoshi no Tomo. Sukyo Mahikari was registered on 23 June 1978 by Keishu Okada as part of an amicable settlement following the passing of Kōtama Okada. In 2013, Sukyo Mahikari announced it had a membership of approximately one million practitioners.
State Shintō was Imperial Japan's ideological use of the Japanese folk traditions of Shinto. The state strongly encouraged Shinto practices to emphasize the Emperor as a divine being, which was exercised through control of shrine finances and training regimes for priests.
In Japanese mythology, Takamagahara, is the abode of the heavenly gods (amatsukami). Often depicted as located up in the sky, it is believed to be connected to the Earth by the bridge Ama-no-ukihashi.
Ryuho Okawa is the CEO and founder of the Happy Science religious organization and the Happiness Realization Party in Japan. He is also chairman of two companies affiliated with the organization, Newster Production and ARI Production.
Gogyo,(五行) ,The theory of Five Phases in Japanese culture was introduced in the 5th and 6th centuries, the principles of yin-yang and the Wuxing, Five Phases were transmitted to Japan from China, along with Taoism, Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism by Monks and medical physicians. Today the theory of Gogyo is extensively used in the practice of Japanese Acupunture, traditional Kampo medicine and Zen Buddhist practices.
Gedatsu-kai, or Nirwana Association, is a Japanese new religious movement founded in 1929. The number of adherents exceeded 200,000 in the 1990s. It is a syncretic movement, with influences drawing from traditional Shinto and Shingon Buddhist teachings. Its central deity is Gochi Nyorai (Mahāvairocana). Gedatsu is the Japanese term for moksha or enlightenment. Gedatsu-kai is a non-sectarian study, having no firm affiliation with any existing religious groups.
Prince Hachiko was the eldest son of Emperor Sushun, the 32nd Emperor of Japan who reigned from 587 to 592. His mother was Ōtomo no Koteko, Sushun's empress consort.
Fabio Rambelli is an Italian academic, author and editor. He is a professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
The Société du Jing-lar, or Jing-lar Club, was a club of Japonists founded by Philippe Burty in Paris in 1867.
Annen was a Japanese Buddhist monk and scholar who systematized the esoteric teachings in the Tendai school, otherwise known as Taimitsu (台密). He thereby became the first to complete the formal esoterization of Japanese Tendai.
This article presents a selected bibliography of Tenrikyo.
Cremation in Japan was originally practiced by monks seeking to emulate the cremation of the Buddha. Virtually all deceased are now cremated in Japan – as of 2012, it had the highest cremation rate in the world of over 99.9%. The Meiji government attempted to ban the practice in the 19th century, but the ban was only in effect for less than two years.
It is no surprise that H. Byron Earhart's classic textbook, Japanese Religion, has remained one of the only treatments of Japanese religious history truly suitable for use in undergraduate classrooms. During its long publication history, Japanese Religion has, without equal, fulfilled and exceeded its role as a useful teaching material. Earhart has proved through various editions that his work remains relevant and indeed the foremost resource for those teaching introductory courses on Japanese and East Asian religions. This continues to be the case in the latest, fifth edition, aptly titled Religion in Japan.