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IMAGE: Japanese Buddhist monk
Buddhism in Japan has been practiced since its official introduction in 552 CE according to the Nihon Shoki from Baekje, Korea, by Buddhist monks. Buddhism has had a major influence on the development of Japanese society and remains an influential aspect of the culture to this day.
According to the Japanese Government's Agency for Cultural Affairs estimate, as of the end of 2018, with about 84 million or about 67% of the Japanese population, Buddhism was the religion in Japan with the second most adherents, next to Shintoism, though a large number of people practice elements of both. There are a wide range of estimates, however; the Pew Research Center estimated 36.2% of the population in 2010 practiced Buddhism. The Japanese General Social Survey places the figure at less than 20% of the population in 2017, and along with the 2013 Japanese National Character Survey, shows that roughly 70% of the population do not adhere to any religious beliefs.
In modern times, Japan's popular schools of Buddhism are Pure Land Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon Buddhism and Zen. About 60% of the Japanese have a Butsudan (Buddhist shrine) in their homes.