Pop religion in Japan: Buddhist temples, icons, and branding

Elisabetta Porcu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The need manifested by Japanese Buddhist organizations to present themselves as "modern" forces that are relevant to present-day society seems to be central in shaping their communication strategies. In this regard, one interesting aspect is represented by religious institutions' attempts to "brand" themselves to enhance their profiles and visibility, specifically by drawing on popular culture formats. Based on fieldwork in Japan, I examine the use made by Japanese Buddhist institutions of these formats in their attempt to revive Buddhism and make its teachings attractive to an audience greater than the elderly parishioners who still maintain contact with their temples, mainly for funerary rites and other memorial rituals related to the ancestors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-172
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Religion and Popular Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Religious studies


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