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9780130911643Man, am I behind in chronicling books.  Fortunately, my next is short 'n' sweet: Michiko Yusa's Japanese Religious Traditions is a brief chronological survey of what it says on the tin, from Japan's early animism to modern events up to the Aum Shinrikyo Sarin gas attack.  It's rather small, little more than 100 pages, and, I imagine, part of a larger series on world religions.  It does, though, give a good overview of the folk beliefs that would become Shinto, of the differences between Japan's major schools of Buddhism, and of interesting lesser-known facts, such as how the restrictive policies and later financial mismanagement of the Tokugawa shogunate led to a rise in popularity of Chrstianity among the increasingly-impoverished samurai class.  Not completely comprehensive, but lucid and useful, and recommended if you need quick information for a report.

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