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The religious landscape of contemporary Japan is characterized by a dynamic combination of syncretism, secularism, and new religious movements. Mahayana Buddhism arrived on the island in the sixth century CE and blended extensively with Shinto, the indigenous tradition of Japan. State Shinto evolved in the nineteenth century with the advent of the Japanese Empire, and came to be characterized by emperor worship and non-Shinto suppression. In the aftermath of the Second World War and American occupation, the imperialistic tendencies of State Shinto led to a constitutional separation of religion and state. The emperor remains the highest authority of Shinto but his role is purely ceremonial, and Japanese politics are firmly secular. Most Japanese practice Shinto rituals for “life” events and Buddhist rituals for funerals. The influx of Western popular culture has led most Japanese to have Christian style weddings, though not necessarily using an ordained priest. Despite engaging in these faith-based rituals, 70 percent of Japanese identify as belonging to no religion. New religious movements, often rooted in Shinto-Buddhist concepts, have become very popular and may count tens of millions of adherents. The overwhelming majority of these groups are peaceful and oriented towards private spirituality. However, the Aum Shinrikyo cult became infamous in 1995, when its members carried out a deadly terrorist attack on the Tokyo subway.