In Remembrance of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Takahata Fudo Cherry Tree

…we are in effect rejecting the notion that religion is irrelevant in Japanese society and culture, an impression suggested by Reischauer and Jansen and gleaned by artificial questions about belief and “true religion.” Such an impression falls apart when we look at what happens on a day-to-day basis at such religious centers.

(Practically Religious pg. 45)

Today, I found a touching article by the Asahi Shinbun that I wanted to share, along with the above the quotation by Professors Reader and Tanabe in their book published in 1998. I believe they say enough.

Namu Yakushi Nyorai
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Namu Shaka Nyorai

P.S. The photo is also a reminder that, on a happier note, cherry blossoms are blooming right now. Also, it reminds me of a poem from the Hyakunin Isshu which I posted in my other blog.

P.P.S. More on funerals in Japan.

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About Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.
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2 Responses to In Remembrance of the Great East Japan Earthquake

  1. johnl says:

    I agree–the idea that the Japanese are non-religious is not true. The research on this topic seems to be influenced by certain assumptions. To put it bluntly: if you don’t go to your ‘regular’ religious institution once a week and hear a sermon, you are not religious. Maybe even the Japanese who answer western researchers’ questions are influenced by this kind of thinking. Maybe there are not that many really fervent believers, but I think there are a lot who will drop a coin in the box of both the neighborhood ‘shinto’ shrine and the neighborhood Buddhist temple. At the same time, there are grounds for arguing that neither ‘shinto’ nor Buddhism is a religion… I am getting confused…

  2. Doug 陀愚 says:

    Hi Johnl,

    Yeah, I intend to stay out of that minefield (religions vs. philosophy) for now. ;) True statement about the few fervent believers too; I’d argue that’s true in many parts of the world (the fervent ones are often the noisiest, if you know what I mean). :)

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