Islam in the Land of Rising Sun: The Road to Hajj

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In a series of special programs, Al Jazeera follows Muslims from around the world as they embark on the Hajj pilgrimage.
The road to Hajj in the Land of the Rising Sun begins with the little known fact that there are ethnic Japanese Muslims.

Every day the call to prayer is made in different corners of the predominantly Buddhist country – unobtrusively within the confines of its 50 or so mosques and approximately 100 musollas or communal prayer rooms.

Kubo’s upbringing mirrors that of many Japanese – their attitudes and philosophy towards life shaped by the ancient religion of Shinto.

An ancient polytheistic faith, Shinto involves the worship of nature and is unique to Japan.

While divination and shamanism are used to gain insights into the unknown, there are no formal scriptures or texts, nor a legacy of the priesthood that structures the religion.

While many historians would claim that the Japanese people lost their faith after this, recent surveys suggest that at least 85 percent still profess their belief in both Shintoism and Buddhism.

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