Difference Between Shinto and Buddhism

The population in our global world follows different kinds of religions. Some people follow Christianity, some follow Hinduism, some follow Islamism, some follow Jainism and some others follow Sikhism.

Other than these there are two other religions followed that are Shinto and Buddhism. Both religions are quite different in their beliefs and sentiments.

Shinto vs Buddhism

The main difference between Shinto and Buddhism is that the former religion neither has a founder nor does it have a script while on the other hand, the latter religion has a founder (Buddhism was founded by the great Buddha or Siddhartha in the 6th century in Northeast India) and also includes a script.

Shinto vs Buddhism

Shinto directs to “Kami” which means a divine or sacred power. The magnificent religion initially originated in Japan. It was first practiced in the Eastern part of Asia.

The religion’s practitioners (also named Shintoists by a number of scholars) often refer to Shinto as Japan’s indigenous religion. It was recognized in the 6th century AD.

Buddhism was first practiced in India (northeastern part of India to be specific). It was established by Buddha who preached wisdom, meditation, knowledge, and obedient behavior in order to gain enlightenment.

Buddha’s full name is Siddhartha Gautama. He was a great religious leader who worked for the enlightenment of people. It was established in the 6th century BC.

Comparison Table Between Shinto and Buddhism

Parameters Of Comparison ShintoBuddhism
SymbolThe magnificent gates to the Shinto shrines are the religion’s precious symbols. This religion is represented by eight symbols that are used throughout the religion.
FestivalsShinto celebrates the following festivals:
•Ali Matsuri
•Seijin Shiki 
Buddhism celebrates the following festivals:
Buddha Purnima
Punakha Tsheckhu
Paro Tsheckhu 
BeliefThe religion believes in many Vida and divine power.It includes the four noble truths and the eightfold noble path. 
Meaning Of The NameShinto refers to “the way of kami”. Kami means a divine or sacred power.Buddhism refers to the path of wisdom, knowledge, and enlightenment.
CountryJapan was the first country to witness the birth of Shintoism.Buddhism was established or originated in the northeastern part of India.

What is Shinto?

Shinto initially originated in Japan. The religion neither has a founder nor a script. It was founded in the late 6th century AD. Shintoism is practiced by a number of practitioners (who are also referred to as Shintoists by scholars in rare cases).

There are a number of beliefs of Shintoism. These are:

  • Worshipping the divine and enormous power of kami.
  • Protection from evil forces by praying, offerings, and purification.
  • Affinity and affection towards nature.
  • Taking care of natural things and being grateful for their prosperity.
  • The follower is required to follow the 10 precepts of the religion.

Shinto signifies the meaning of kami which means divine or scared power. It is practiced in shrines (private shrines, public shrines, or family shrines). Priests (also called kannushi) perform a number of religious practices in these shrines.

The word “Kami” holds immense significance and importance in the world of Shintoism. According to several religious leaders, kami resides in physical objects or places.

Physical objects like mirrors, beads, swords, and stones contain kami and places like waterfalls contain kami too. Places and objects containing kami are referred to as shintai. 

The name of a few gods of Shinto are:

  • Ebisu
  • Izanami
  • Ninigi
  • Inari okami
  • Amaterasu
  • Izanagi 
  • Hoori
  • Watatsumi
  • Daruma
  • Jurojin 

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is one of the most popular and widely followed religions in the world. It was founded by Buddha (king Siddhartha) in the late 6th century BC.

The religion was initially established in the southern part of Asia but later traveled to other parts of Asia (like Japan, Korea, and China).

This religion follows five important rules. All followers need to abide by the rules. These rules are:

  • To not commit murder.
  • To not steal from others.
  • To not lie.
  • To not use intoxicants.
  • To not practice adultery.

Buddhism is majorly celebrated in a number of Pilgrims. Devotees visit pilgrims for praying. There are four major pilgrims where Buddhism is practiced that are Sarnath, Lumbini, Bodh Gaya, and Kushinagar. 

There are a number of beliefs followed by Buddhism that are:

  • Not to consume intoxicants.
  • Refrain from killing or taking other’s life. 
  • Not to speak wrong speech or words.
  • Not to take things that are not given (that refers to stealing).
  • Be mindful and knowledgeable.

Buddhism offers three major teachings that are: 

  • The three Universal Truths 
  • The Noble Eightfold Path 
  • The Four Noble Truths 

Buddhism strongly believes in karma. It follows the motto “What Goes Around Comes Around”. The religion is studied in either Sanskrit or pali.

Main Differences Between Shinto and Buddhism

  1. Shinto was originally founded in Japan while on the other hand, Buddhism was founded in India.
  2. Shinto doesn’t have a founder whereas Buddhism was founded by Buddha.
  3. Shinto was established in the late 6th century AD while on other, Buddhism was established in the late 6th century BC.
  4. Shintoism generally refers to “the way of kami” while on the other hand, Buddhism refers to “nirvana” or “enlightenment”. 
  5. Izanagi, Ebisu, Amaterasu, Hoori, and Hare of Inaba are a few of the Shinto gods while on the other hand, Tara, Gautama Buddha, Maitreya, Bodhisattva, and Manjusri are a few well known Buddhist gods.
Difference Between Shinto and Buddhism


Hinduism, Christianity, Islamism, Jainism, and Sikhism are some of the well-known religions practiced worldwide. Apart from them, there are two more famous religions. These are Shinto and Buddhism. 

Shinto and Buddhism are immensely followed in Japan. They both follow and practice quite different beliefs. Shinto stands for divine power (the way of kami) whereas Buddhism refers to nirvana or enlightenment.

Shinto doesn’t have a religious founder. The religion doesn’t have a script too. On the other hand, Buddhism was founded by Buddha in the northeastern part of India in the 6th century BC. It follows scripts and religious ancient scriptures.


  1. https://books.google.com/books/about/Shinto_the_Kami_Way.html?id=aALRAgAAQBAJ
  2. https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Foundations_of_Buddhism.html?id=FUwSDAAAQBAJ
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