Bashiok has already said that the Monk is inspired by real life eastern monks, but with some eastern european looks to it.
I bet they only did that so there is no argument of "Omg, there are more Asians than other races in this game". It sounds stupid people would say things like this, but I am pretty sure it's going to happen.
It is in no way a buddhist... This is Sanctuary, not Earth. Don't be irrational and think that they suddently created a character from Earth with asian lore... They look like asians because they are inspired by Asia. The lore is already existing for the class, it isn't a Buddhist or from China...
We never said they were Buddhists... we just said they were INSPIRED by Buddhists. We said the Monk was Chinese because he is pretty much what a typical Shaolin monk looks like. Obviously a video game character isn't from real life...
Now that I think about it, the Wizards have traditional Chinese dresses (Tang Dynasty). I am Chinese, and I am finding it weird 1/2 of the already released classes are Chinese-inspired. Diablo has always been such a western fantasy
Also, something to note... the female Monk (the screenshot from Blizzcon... someone find me a link :P) is actually what a female Taoist looks like.
I think the traditional religion in Japan is Shintoism or something, where you believe that every object in nature has a spirit.
That's also in Chinese. It's part of the culture (superstitions), and Japanese just took that and made a religion out of it.
You can believe in Buddhism and Taoism and all those things, but you are not necessarily religious. Religions don't work in Asia the way they work in the West. Religions have become such an integral part of the culture that it is the culture itself. It has nothing to do with following the religion to the utmost extend by that point.