Topic: Japan

Female Buddhist deities… as “cute-sexy” anime characters?

According to RocketNews 24 (“Bringing you yesterday’s news from Japan and Asia, today”), Ryohoji temple in Tokyo, which had begun to use “moe girls – cute-sexy adolescent anime characters” to promote itself, has now started to render actual Buddhist deities in the same style, selling its first such statuette on its website. Some might see this […]

Confronting the “selfie” and human-hair Buddhas: Odd artistic detours, then and now

Is it just exquisite coincidence or impishly deliberate? On Friday, Mainsite Contemporary Art in Norman, OK, will mount an exhibit entitled “Selfie: An Exploration of Identity” simultaneously with “Buddha Tuesdays,” featuring “small Buddha sculptures, corpse drawings, painted clay canvases and a variety of other items.” It seems they passed on “No-Selfie” as a title for […]

The ball just stops: remembering the Zen master of Japanese baseball

These days, the word “Zen” is all-too-easily deployed when some writers are looking to describe those whose detached concentration makes difficult feats look like a breeze. You often find such lazy labeling hastily stitched onto exceptional athletes. But once in a while, “Zen master” actually belongs in the headline. Meet Japanese baseball legend Tetsuharu Kawakami, […]

Leza Lowitz: “Maybe, I thought, love could be the new bloodline.”

Leza Lowitz had told her husband to tell the orphanage, “Tell them to put a perpetual ‘yes’ on our file, okay? Tell them that whatever child they have available, we are interested.” In “Adoption,” her Shambhala Sun story from May 2010, Lowitz recounts how that openness would eventually be rewarded by the presence of Yuto, the very […]

Meet Boxi, Japan’s new, clergy-led rock band

There’s much breadth and fun to be found in the realm of modern Buddhist music. (For lots more on that, see a sample of our March 2013 Buddhist-music feature here, or order the whole issue, here.) Now we can add Japanese band Boxi to the list of dharma-music adventurers. (Though it should be noted that […]

Remembering “Irish Zen Saint” Maura O’Halloran

Featured on the homepage today is “Annie Mirror Heart,” a chapter from an unfinished novel by Maura O’Halloran. O’Halloran was a young Irish-American woman who took to Zen practice (and how!), as famously recounted in her journals, posthumously published as the book Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen […]

The rise of “Dubsutra”?

How’s this for a headline: “Music Group Fronted by Japanese Monks Bring Buddhist Sutra to the Dance Club, Wear Awesome Helmets.” Yep, it’s real, and this item from Japanese/Asian news source Rocket News 24 profiles the awesome-helmet-wearing act in question, Tariki Echo. Formed by two aspiring Jodo Shinshu priests, the group released their first album, Buddha […]

Video: An update on “Reactor,” a film about life after Japan’s nuclear disaster

This spring, activist and Buddhist/yoga teacher Michael Stone, along with filmmaker Ian MacKenzie, sought donations for a crowdfunded short film called Reactor, about Japan’s response to last year’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Stone and MacKenzie have exceeded their fundraising goal and traveled to Japan, where they’re posting updates about their travels and filmmaking process. Click […]

Check out (and help out) “Reactor” — a film in progress about life after the Japan nuclear disaster

Activist and yoga/Buddhist teacher Michael Stone — author of “What’s the Music All About?”, found in our current, May 2012 magazine — is currently crowdfunding for a new short film project called Reactor. The film visits post-tsunami Japan to ask the questions “How are the old Zen traditions and cities of beautiful temples responding? How […]

Book Brief: The Art of Peace

The Art of Peace By Morihei Ueshiba. Translated & edited by John Stevens Shambhala Publications, 2010; 192 pp., $18.00 (cloth) Translated and edited by John Stevens, The Art of Peace is a compilation of quotes from Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969). Morihei was a great, almost invincible warrior from Japan, who despised violence and hatred, and, thus, […]

“We need action and reflection” — Kyo Maclear on responding to disaster and difficulty

Here on SunSpace the other day, visual arts writer and novelist Kyo Maclear shared her experiences of trying to make sense of the news of Japan’s disaster last month. (See that post here.) In this second post from Kyo, she discusses how we might find relief and perspective when such a crisis seems to take […]

Too Much Information: Kyo Maclear on being stuck between Zen and CNN after Japan’s disaster

What do stillness, inwardness, and silence offer in times of tragedy and terror? Visual arts writer and novelist Kyo Maclear shares her experiences of trying to make sense of the news of Japan’s disaster last month. It’s March 11th and the country that has been my second home since childhood has just experienced a catastrophic […]

Cyndi Lee: Back from Japan, with extra gratitude and perspective

She’s safe and sound, thankfully, but OM Yoga teacher/founder Cyndi Lee recently came back from an unforgettable leg of travel: “The earthquake,” reads the first line of a recent blogpost, “hit five minutes after I got off the plane.” As you might imagine, the post, “My Earthquake Friends in Narita” is harrowing, complete with aftershocks, […]

Updated: The disaster in Japan — How some are responding, and how you might too

Via the San Francisco Zen Center comes a new suggestion for pitching in to relief efforts for Japan: “Respond to a request from Daigaku Rummé, the director of the Soto Zen Buddhism North American office, with donations by check payable to: Japan Earthquake Disaster Fund, Soto Zen Buddhism North American Office, 123 S. Hewitt Street, […]

A Buddhist temple’s sign of the times

Those who’ve been following (for example) Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha graphic novel and its film adaptation, or Deepak Chopra’s “Buddha” comic book, know that it’s not so new to mix Buddhism and comics. But it does seem to work, and one Buddhist temple is getting in on the act. As Culture Clash Daily reports: This month […]