These Christmas carollers appear to be just a little bit Buddhist!
The butsudan, a traditional religious home furnishing, is the latest unlikely muse for Japan’s continuing anthropomorphization craze.
Just because your loved ones have moved on from this world doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate a little cuteness.
Japan has somehow managed to combine nipples and Buddhist temples to create sacred nipple chocolates.
Next time you’re feeling stressed, act like a ninja and perform these nine simple hand signals.
Centuries of tradition meets the modern-day world of gaming and culminates in a beautiful display of kindness.
Phone accessories come embroidered with declarations of protection against online flaming and low batteries.
There’s no better way to look after the roads than with built-in protection from one of Japan’s most revered deities.
People have been blown away by the beauty of the whales and their intricate submerged worlds.
Today we’re introducing you to the basics of Japanese Buddhism, plus highlighting some of the Buddhist images you’ll see in Japan and help you distinguish them from Shinto ones.
Use of Swastika-like maji symbol deemed “inappropriate” for maps for foreign users.
Haunted by demanding ghosts but can’t afford to look like a dweeb? These tights are just what you need!
Need some new figures for your desk? Then check out these Buddhist statue figures from Kaiyodo!
In Japan, there truly is an all-singing, all-dancing “idol” group for everything. From plus-sized beauties to macho men and octogenarians, if you’ve got a unique message and a catchy tune, there’ll be a niche audience out there waiting to share your next video and dance along with glow sticks at your next performance.
Just when we thought the happy-go-lucky, free-for-all nature of the amateur idol world had no boundaries, it seems there is one line that can’t be crossed: schoolgirls and religion. Meet the “Num-Num Girls”, a Buddhism-based schoolgirl pop group that has been shut down for becoming too popular.
The Buddhist statues of Japan come in a wide variety of forms, representing the various manifestations and aspects of Buddhism and its many sects. Of all the iconic figures that can be found around the country, perhaps the grooviest are the statues of Amida with a giant afro!
Dubbed the “Afro Buddha,” this statue stored at Todaiji in Nara is also rarely available public viewing — it’s usually only on display for one day a year! But thanks to special circumstances, it is on display from now until October 18. If you’re looking for the funkiest Buddha in Japan, now’s your chance to see him!
Man, remember CDs? For a time, they were the best and essentially only way to get your music fix, before digital distribution basically steamrolled CD sales worldwide. Now everybody uses those CD spindles—which once held dozens of CDs containing hundreds of hours of music—to keep their bagels from going stale or whatever.
Unsurprisingly, though, in change-averse Japan, CDs still do a brisk business, although sales are certainly waning and it’s only a matter of time before the Japanese, too, decide to collectively microwave their CD collections once and for all (this being the most fun way to dispose of your CDs). And one interesting side-effect of Japan’s CD business entering its twilight years is that some rather unexpected, and sometimes downright odd, albums have been stealthily cracking the top 10 charts.
For example, this CD containing a soothing collection of Buddhist monks reciting sutras.
There’s already a whole bunch of dating sim titles aimed at both men and women available to play on your phone or tablet. But for those who are fed up of sappy, cliché boy-meets-girl stories there’s a new addition to the growing range of visual novels available on mobile platforms that is set to tell a unique story focusing not on romance, but on the Buddhist religion.
In Kaohsiung, Taiwan, there stands a massive Buddhist complex set up by the half-century-old sect Fo Guang Shan. It is a sprawling 30 hectares (74 acres) and contains the nation’s largest monastery, a 36-meter (132 foot) tall Buddha statue, as well as an enormous Buddha Memorial Center in the shape of a pyramid.
However, for our correspondent Kowloon Kurosawa the real action could be found in the Pure Land Cave. It’s an attraction rumored to have been patterned after Disney’s It’s a Small World ride. However, as we’ll soon see, Buddhism is not so much a “small” world as it is a creepy and psychedelic one.
The giant stone Buddhas at Bamiyan were the tallest in the world at 55 and 38 meters (180 and 125 feet) in height. From their cliffside alcove, they watched a millennium and a half pass in Afghanistan, resisting the degenerative influence of time and the introduction of Islam, until religious fanaticism in the form of the Taliban and a great deal of explosives finally brought them down.
Their loss was a cultural and artistic tragedy, but this week the Buddhas were reborn through the magic of 3-D projection mapping and the efforts of a civilian Chinese couple.
Depicting the horrors of hell through art is a tradition in Buddhism that goes back at least 1,000 years in Japan. By depicting the suffering in store for sinners, the artworks were supposed to scare people onto the straight and narrow.
But if that’s what this late 19th century scroll was for, it might have had the opposite effect. We’ve never seen such a cute hellscape!