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I find it a bit surprising that a culture with so much Buddhist influence should place so much emphasis on preservation since Buddhism emphasizes the transitory nature of all things.

Why does it emphasize it in the first place? Human discomfort with it and emphasis is often selected by survival bias essentially. Not to mention the syncretism of Japan it has observed and joked to have local festivals at Shinto Shrines, weddings at Christian Churches, and funerals in Buddhist Temples.

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