The story of declining adherence to Buddhism in Japan is certainly old news. I was used to hearing about “funeral Buddhism” in Japan, where families only go to temple for funerals. But apparently even that’s on the decline, according to this article in the New York Times.
The lack of successors to chief priests is jeopardizing family-run temples nationwide.
While interest in Buddhism is declining in urban areas, the religion’s rural strongholds are being depopulated, with older adherents dying and birthrates remaining low.
Perhaps most significantly, Buddhism is losing its grip on the funeral industry, as more and more Japanese are turning to funeral homes or choosing not to hold funerals at all.