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After having two people trying to explain to me how this sentence works and me still not getting behind the point it's trying to get across (doesn't help that there are two seemingly differing interpretations), I thought I'd try my luck here. The following are from the comment section of a video on Ghost of Tsushima, a game set in Japan developed by a western team with a ridiculous amount of effort put into trying to make it seem as genuine and true to Japanese culture as just possible.

A: 何度見てもすごいゲームですね。 これが洋ゲーとは、日本の宗教観を理解するのは大変だったろうに

B: 日本人に宗教観なんてないですよ

A: んー、確かに現代の日本では宗教観は「ない」のかもしれませんね。ですが、私たち日本人は、正月に「初詣」にいったり、「神棚」があるご家庭があったり、死んだら葬式でお坊さんに「念仏」を唱えてもらったりする所もあるのです。形式的なものかもしれません。が、これらは神道か仏教に関連したものになるわけで宗教と関わっていないわけではないのです。寺や神社いわゆる宗教があっても、僕たちに宗教観がないって言うのが、このゲームを作った人からすると日本の「宗教観」って理解しがたいだろうなってことなんですけど伝わりますかね?それにです。ゲーム製作者らは一神教の地域のはずです。このゲームに神社と狐がいるからに、土台は神道でしょう。そしてたぶん、仏教もすでに伝えられた時代をゲームにしてくれたわけで、彼らにしたら、この元寇の時代の日本の「宗教観」も理解し難かったはずです。今の日本よりも宗教が密接ですから。

The bolded part is where I'm having trouble.

After 寺や神社いわゆる宗教があっても、僕たちに宗教観がないって言うのが…, I'd expect something to follow that concretely acts upon this clause like for example 理解しがたい (僕たちに宗教観がないっていうのがこのゲームを作った人からすると理解しがたい -> us not having concrete religious beliefs is a thing that's difficult to understand to those who made the game). Perfectly straightforward and makes sense. However, in the sentence we have 日本の「宗教観」って shoehorned in before the 理解しがたい which throws me off entirely and makes me question where the actual point lies.

My initial understanding of the sentence was "Us not having concrete religious views per se, despite the existence of religious symbols like temples and shrines, must have made it difficult for the people who made this game to understand Japanese religious beliefs on a whole." However, I've been told that the sentence could just be shortened to 寺や神社いわゆる宗教があっても、僕たちに宗教観がないっていうのがこのゲームを作った人たちに理解し難いだろう while retaining the same basic meaning, with 日本の「宗教観」って acting to reemphasize the lack of 宗教観.

Does anybody have an idea how that sentence could be broken down grammatically and explained in a way that makes it simple to follow?

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    言う is written with kanji for a reason.
    – aguijonazo
    Nov 18 at 23:04
  • Pardon my ignorance but how does this play in here exactly? I'm failing to see how with the kanji the tenor of the sentence would change.
    – Boolicious
    Nov 19 at 8:24
  • The use of the kanji in 言う indicates someone actually says 僕たちに宗教観がない. You seemed to be missing that.
    – aguijonazo
    Nov 19 at 8:28
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I would understand it this way.

寺や神社いわゆる宗教があっても、(今あなたがしたように)「僕たちに宗教観がない」って(多くの日本人が)言うのが、このゲームを作った人からすると日本の「宗教観」って理解しがたい(原因)だろうなってことなんですけど(=って私は言っているんですけど)伝わりますかね?

I’m saying that the fact that we ourselves say we don’t have any religious view (as you have just done), despite the fact that we do have religious symbols like temples and shrines, must make it difficult for those who created the game to understand the Japanese religious view. Am I making myself clear?

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    整理すると「日本人が自分達に宗教観がないと主張することが日本の宗教観が理解しがたいということなのだ」になってしまい、確かに元の文はちょっとだけ変だとは思うんですよね。「日本人が自分達に宗教観がないと主張することが日本の宗教観が理解しがたい原因(or ところ/部分/理由)なのだ」なら分かりますし、実際 aguijonazo さんはそう訳されていますが。(つまり元の文は「AがBの原因だ」と言うべきところが「AがBだ」になってしまっている)
    – naruto
    Nov 19 at 1:27
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    @naruto - まあ、普段の会話ではよくある程度の「ずれ」ですよね。
    – aguijonazo
    Nov 19 at 1:30
  • So I wasn't even off with my translation at all then (of course aguijonazo's translation reads a lot cleaner though :p). Appreciate the additions to the sentence to make it clearer, very easy to follow and makes much more sense now. And thank you as always naruto as well!
    – Boolicious
    Nov 19 at 8:23
  • @Boolicious - I think you were missing the 言う part.
    – aguijonazo
    Nov 19 at 8:30
  • @Boolicious - To use your translation, the difference is between “us not having concrete religious views” and “us saying we don’t have concrete religious views.”
    – aguijonazo
    Nov 19 at 9:16

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