New Religions in Japan claim millions of members and simultaneously provoke criticism and fulfil social functions. This publication may serve as a handbook about these new religions on the basis of recent research, written by an international range of scholarly experts. The introductory chapters offer general analyses of historical, doctrinal, social, and economic aspects and hence facilitate the understanding of new religions within their overall contexts. Ten religions of major importance are introduced in detail as to their founder, circumstances of foundation, history, doctrine, present situation and activities. These are Ômoto, Seichô no Ie, Sekai Kyûseikyô, Shinnyo-en, Sôka Gakkai, Risshô Kôsei-kai, Mahikari, Kôfuku no Kagaku, Aum Shinrikyô/ Aleph/ Hikari no Wa and Chino Shôhô/ Pana-Wave Laboratory. Other important religious organisations are covered in encyclopedical references.