Moeru Otera! Otaku Monk & Buddha Rap
Buddhist Temple + Maid Cafe = Win !
Girls clad in maids’ outfits are not traditionally associated with Buddhism, but that has not stopped monks at a centuries-old temple using Japanese pop culture to woo visitors.
The Ryohoji temple, built in the late 16th century in a Tokyo suburb, erected a colourful manga-inspired sign at its entrance in June and has since seen visitor numbers perk up — especially young men.
“I’m a manga generation who grew up watching them on television. I have little resistance to manga…. I wanted to tell the people that temples are a fun place to visit.”
Ryohoji’s chief monk, Shoko Nakazato, 45
Japanese temple resorts to manga to woo visitors, AFP, Miwa Suzuki, Nov 21, 2009
“Jrap Lol” ~ Abiru Kobushi
“This is a story from a long time ago /
He gets in my dreams, he’s my cosmic idol /
Yeah yeah, who ya talkin’ about bro? /
I’m talkin’ about the Buddha yo.”
They rap sutras, use manga characters and serve beers — some of Japan’s Buddhist monks are turning to decidedly unorthodox means to boost the appeal of their ancient faith.
Benzaiten, the goddess of knowledge, music and the arts, was depicted as a doe-eyed cartoon character on a sign at the temple, which also offered short cellphone video downloads of chief monk Shoko Nakazato chanting prayers.
Rap and manga – new roads to Nirvana in Japan, AFP, Dec 09, 2009