This writer is Japanese, and this paper is about the similarities and differences of the Scientology religion with other religions of the world. This paper will also take a special interest in the similarities and differences from a Japanese perspective and thus will be comparing Scientology to Japanese religions.
The term religion in Japan means to teach the origin, teach the source of the origin. That is the Japanese definition, but may not correspond to the Western definition. For this study we shall use the Japanese definition. For the purpose of Japanese law one can add that to be a religion the religious organization must also disseminate the teachings, perform religious ceremonies and train parishioners. Scientology does all these as outlined in the following pages.
It is said in a 31-syllable Japanese poem called a “Waka” that there are many paths at the foot of the mountain, but the view of the moon is the same at the peak. This is an old poem and predates Christianity’s arrival in Japan. Mostly it refers to the two main religions of Japan, Shinto and Buddhism, where it was said that you end up the same no matter which sect you belonged to. The point being made was, why quarrel? But more importantly, when there are so many similarities among religions, why concentrate on differences?
The Scientology religion is relatively unknown in Japan, although many libraries contain Scientology books written not only by the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, but also by the Church of Scientology itself. Having read 30 books on the subject, this writer feels that any person wishing to know more on the subject is well-advised to read these books.