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 Virginia Margaret Donaho in 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 University  from 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 is a religion from 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, with much diversity of belief and practice evident among practitioners.
Religion in Japan is manifested primarily in Shinto and in Buddhism, the two main faiths, which Japanese people often practice simultaneously. According to estimates, as many as 80% of the populace follow Shinto rituals to some degree, worshiping ancestors and spirits at domestic altars and public shrines. An almost equally high number is reported as Buddhist. Syncretic combinations of both, known generally as shinbutsu-shūgō, are common; they represented Japan's dominant religion before the rise of State Shinto in the 19th century.
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.
Tahō Fuji Dainichirenge-san Taiseki-ji, 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 Daishonin's senior disciples, on a land parcel donated by the pious believer Daigyo Sonrei, commonly known as Nanjo Tokimitsu (1259—1332).
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.
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.
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 June 23, 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 religion and traditions of Shinto. The state exercised control of shrine finances and training regimes for priests to strongly encourage Shinto practices that emphasized the Emperor as a divine being.
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 Ame-no-ukihashi.
Ishikozume was a ritual method of execution performed in ancient Japan. The ritual is characterized by waist high burial in earth followed by lapidation. It has traditionally been associated with the yamabushi, hermetic practitioners of the Shugendō religion, because they often used it when rules of their religion were violated. However, it has been observed in instances not involving the yamabushi, and so its exact origins and nature has been debated by scholars. This execution method was used for crimes such as "adultery, rape, murder, theft, arson, blasphemy, association with outcastes, [maintaining] unregistered rice fields, [and] treason."
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.
The Zoku-Jōmon period (続縄文時代), also referred to as the Epi-Jōmon period, is the time in Japanese prehistory that saw the flourishing of the Zoku-Jōmon culture, a continuation of Jōmon culture in northern Tōhoku and Hokkaidō that corresponds with the Yayoi period and Kofun period elsewhere. Zoku-Jōmon in turn gave way to Satsumon around the seventh century or in the Nara period (710–794). The "Yayoinisation" of northeast Honshū took place in the mid-Yayoi period; use of the term Zoku-Jōmon is then confined to those, in Hokkaidō, who did not "become Yayoi". Despite the elements of continuity emphasised by the name, which include the continuing production of cord-marked ceramics, ongoing employment of stone technology, and non-transition to rice-based agriculture, all Jōmon hallmarks, the Zoku-Jōmon period nevertheless saw a "major break in mobility and subsistence patterns".
Jonathan Alan Silk is an American academic specialising in Buddhism. Since 2007, he has been Professor of Buddhist Studies at Leiden University.
Kozaki Hiromichi was a Japanese Christian minister. Kozaki was called one of the "Three Elders" of the Kumiai Church alongside Miyagawa Tsuneteru and Ebina Danjo. He was the second president of Doshisha University.
Urikohime, Uriko-hime or Uriko Hime is a Japanese folktale about a girl that is born out of a melon, adopted by a family and replaced by a creature named Amanojaku.
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.