>Technically, a dash of euhemerism might have allowed for a form of nationalist shintoized Buddhism, essentially having this wise men gaining a rank and place alongside Japanese gods.
There'd really be no real need for euhemerism, actually. The Siddharta Gautama himself, of course, was just a man who reached a state of spiritual enlightenment, becoming more than human in the process. Technically, any living-entity could become a buddha as I understand it (though not necessarily in this life). Like has already been said in this thread, many common people were seemingly completely unaware of a division between Buddhism and Shinto, and temples were often shared between the two in many places until the Meiji Restoration. There were several theories which were intended to explain the exact relationship between the buddhas the the kami. When Buddhism was first introduced into Japan, the buddhas were labeled as banshin
or 'foreign gods', but eventually there were introduced theories like that of the honji-suijaku
, where kami were considered the suijaku (provisional manifestation or "manifest trace") of buddhas, while buddhas were the honji ("original ground") of the kami. Some people maintained that it was the opposite, proposing the shinpon-butsujaku
theory, where the kami were viewed as the original ground or source, and the buddhas as the provisional manifestation. Either way, many thinkers regarded the kami and the buddhas as indivisible in some way.
>It's quite easy once one sees the affinity between Buddhism and certain tenets of Christianity to understand why a staunch pagan would oppose both on similar grounds.
I really don't see much affinity, to be honest. I can understand why some hardcore Shintoists might view Buddhism as a foreign religion infecting Japan, but even when we compare the behaviors of Buddhists and Christians, we see that they are really night and day. All throughout Asia, Buddhism survives in close connection with traditional religious practices, not eradicating opposition as does Christianity. I feel like most Buddhists throughout history have been just focused on getting good rebirths by giving to monks and getting blessings and funerals from them, more than anything too.
>Christianity might have been able to be made pro-European if the Semitic elements weren't so prevalent. You get that idea in Positive Christianity, the plan for a 5th Gospel (in fact, just the one accepted Gospel, largely influenced by Chamberlain's writings) and Serrano's priest friend who pushed for the Nietzschean Krystos. It's not a useless exercise either because we should really consider having a plan for soft-converting Christians into a new branch that would be under pagan control.
I don't even think a fifth gospel could save Christianity, to be quite honest. Half of their holy book is basically Jewish history and genocides against the surrounding goyim, and even this can hardly be thrown out, because it is full of texts that Christians believe are directly prophesizing the coming of Jesus (Isaiah 53, Daniel 7, etc) and the reasons behind their 'New Covenant'. And the Gospels themselves preach a morality that might work for a yogi or a monk, but not a society. Unlike with Vedic religion, there is hierarchical system of different roles for priests, warriors, farmers / merchants, and workers. This is the great strength of Vedic religion, in that it integrates politics, spirituality, wordly and spiritual concerns, all into one, in a way that Christianity just doesn't. From reading the Gospels and the Pauline epistles, it is clear they are expecting an imminent end of the world, and that therefore one should resist evil, obey the governing authorities and abstain from everything 'worldly' because it is under the dominion of Satan. These many problems aside, I don't even think Christians would accept a new Gospel, unfortunately. They won't even accept demonstrably old Gospels like Thomas that have been discovered over time. Not to mention ones like Judas (which puts a whole new spin on things). It's worth trying to win Christians over some way, but I just can't see Christianity as anything other than broken beyond repair.