historically nippon (japan) is the most self-important bigoted island nation ever to have existed. the nipponese people pretty much killed off most of the islands other people groups (ainu, jomon) and shut themselves up for centuries against outside influence. (sakoku 1633-1853).
even though buddhism is the "official" religion of the country, their belief in a parallel shintoism school of thought. even though there is a huge smattering of the larger buddhism schools, there is always the underlying "nippon is better than the rest of the world" mentality that has been in effect on the island since 500 ad (nihonjinron). the purposes of self mummification (sokushinbutsu) have to do with "MAKING YOURSELF INTO GOD". that's the main thrust of buddhism. to become SO enlightened that you achieve a divine experience and one-ness with the cosmos to MAKE YOURSELF GOD.
it's bullshit and i won't stand for it. i happily say that i am not God. i submit to a higher authority in this universe. japan is a unique and beautiful country and i wish that they would open their hearts to a larger truth of they are not more important humans than the rest of us. they slaughtered portuguese and filipino christian missionaries in the early 1600's just to prove that they were bigger than "Jesus".
it's sad really, what my government did to them. they are the only country on the planet that lives in a post-apocalyptic scenario... but even that did not stop them. they took a look at our way of life and said: 'oh ok. capitalism? i can beat you at THAT game too." and turned around and took over the automobile industry and the electronics industry and the home entertainment industry within thirty years... from nothing.
to their credit, they are one of the most determined and goal oriented peoples on the planet. but then again, so are the germans, and look at them historically. to the nipponese and the germans i would shout: "the machine of progress is not everything! there is also a love for your fellow human, no matter the skin color!"