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Japanese people used to say the word “Shinbutzu”(神佛) in their daily life. That is not a mere compound word which is composed of “Kami”(神) derived from Shintoism and “Hotoke”(佛) derived from Buddhism. Rather, we might consider it a new deistic concept which has been made popular by the Japanese unique imagination. With regard to this concept of “Shinbutzu”, this article examines various patterns and historical development of the so-called “Shinbutzu Shugo”(神佛習合), as well as the numerous causes and backgrounds which made possible the development of such peculiar religious phenomena as millenial “Shinbutzu Shugo”, a sudden “Shinbutzu Bunri”(神佛分離) and “Haibutzu Kaishyaku”(廢佛毁釋) in the early phase of Meiji Restoration(明治維新). I interpret the epistemological meanings of the separation of Shinto and Buddhism from the perspective of history of religions. Buddhism did not become superior to Shinto(=the traditional) before long Japanese people was very receptive to Buddhism as the Other(=the new or the different). But since the reception of Buddhism(=the Other) was basically a process without an enough confrontation with Shinto(=Self), the Japanese came easily to forget Shinto. And that’s why the Japanese return to Shinto was so sudden and took the form of a psychological denial of Buddhism. I call the symptom a “recollection in a smelting furnace.” Prospectively speaking, Japan might not be a true smelting furnace until such “Imagination of Shinbutzu” can be displayed not by self-adherence through denying the Other but by self-transformation through experiencing the Other as it is, indeed until it moulds a more creative product.