学 LEARN‎ > ‎Workshop Report‎ > ‎

::::: Workshop Report 20:October 25th, 2014 :::::

posted Oct 26, 2014, 11:13 PM by INFO ICT   [ updated Nov 7, 2014, 11:18 PM ]
The Roots of Japan 2 ~ Buddhism and the way of LIFE ~ Part 2”

On October 25th, ICT held the workshop “The Roots of Japan 2 ~ Buddhism and the way of LIFE ~ Part 2” which we focused more on “Japanese Buddhism” compared to the first workshop held on July 27th, 2014. 16 participants from 3 different countries joined, where we learned how Japanese Buddhism took root in Japan and how it influence our daily life.

After listening the chanting for world peace by chief priest Nonobe-san (kongoin) and looking around the hidden parts of temple Kongoin (金剛院), we moved to a comfortable tatami room and our lecturer Buddhist priest Rev. Shojun Ogi san introduced us the history of “Japanese Buddhism” and explained us the task of Buddhism in Japan.

Interesting part of the lecture and the discussion was the future of Japanese Priests (They can marry, drink alcohol and eat meat), why can Japanese people celebrate so many different religious ceremonies? What should Buddhist Priests in Japan do for the future of Japanese Buddhism etc. Rev. Ogi san gave us the concise explanation to all the issues, but to make a long story short, common word was “religion is not a teaching but like air for Japanese people”. We don’t pray every day or go to temple every Sunday, however its teaching is deeply rooted in our minds and we cannot live without it. Religion for Japanese is not “strict teaching” but “way of life” which sometimes enlighten us the direction when we face difficulty.

Rev. Ogi san also introduced us the “engaged Buddhism”. In the past, Buddhist temple could be found in every village, and the priests would be engaged in various types of community support activities such as running schools or hospitals. However, the influx of western ideas and the development of modern bureaucratic institutions changed the traditional social roles of the priest and the temple which made us think that temple is a place where we attend funeral or memorial events. “Engaged Buddhism” in Rev. Ogi-san’s word is the revival of the community supporting Buddhism. Interesting example was the “Vows Bar (坊主バー)” where we can drink alcohol served by Buddhist Priest. Of course we can just drink and have fun, but kind of consultation could be provided if necessary.

Many many thanks to Rev. Ogi san, Nonobe san (Kongoin) and Horiuchi san for arranging the workshop and giving us a super amazing opportunity which definitely enriches our life. And also big thank you to all guests who joined our workshop. Hope to see you soon in our coming workshop!!






Written by Tsubasa Kato (Jojo)