‘Religion’ in the Popular Discourse

  • Mitsutoshi Horii


The drawback of the discussion so far is an overreliance on historical and official documents as well as media reports. The texts referred to in chapter “ Critical Reflections on the Category ‘Religion’ in Japan”, for example, mainly represent the thinking of the literate elite, and exclude the ordinary language of the non-elite. Therefore, it appears that a very simple but important question still remains ambiguous: What do ordinary Japanese people mean by shūkyō? This question has not been seriously considered by academics of ‘Japanese religion,’ and is addressed in this chapter. Starting with a critique of the category ‘religion’ reified in social surveys, this chapter then explores the semantics of shūkyō expressed in the Japanese internet textboard ‘2channel.’ It then examines the idea of shūkyō constructed in a variety of contexts, including the colloquial discourse and popular literature.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsutoshi Horii
    • 1
  1. 1.Shumei UniversityChibaJapan

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