Religion: Grooving in Japan

When it comes to eternity, the practical-minded Japanese have always figured it is wisest to hedge all bets. Consequently their ceremonies of miya-mairi, which correspond to Christian baptisms, are traditionally Shinto, and their funerals are traditionally Buddhist. Now, increasingly, the Japanese are taking to being married in Christian ceremonies. This year 10% of all Japanese marriages are expected to take place in Christian churches—complete with white wedding gown, preacher, organ music and flowers—even though only 1% of Japanese are baptized Christians. At least 36 Protestant chapels in Tokyo cater especially to the "outsiders," but some couples even go to Guam or...

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