Shinbutsu Shugo (神仏習合, the kanji stand for Shinto, Buddhism, learn, join together) is called the Japanese fusion of Buddhism and Shinto. When Buddhism was introduced through China in the late Yamato period (6th century), it tolerated the coexisting beliefs in Shinto, the Japanese folk religion. To many shrines temples were attached and they became devoted to both Shinto deities and Buddha. In 1868 as part of the Shinbutsu Bunri, the attempt for a separation of Shinto and Buddhism during the Meiji period, temples (寺, tera) and shrines (神社, jinja) were separated, the former functioning for Buddhism, the latter for Shinto. The Okinogu temple in Okinawa is an example of one that has maintained Shinbutsu-shugo and has images of Buddha and Bodhisattva.
- A history of Japan, R. H. P. Mason, J. G. Caiger, Tuttle Publishing; Revised edition (November 1, 1997), ISBN 080482097X