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.
Priests struggling to humanely keep cat population under control, asking for visitors’ help.
We’ve talked before about a few of the discriminatory measures against women in Japan, but there are still a few more. Let’s take a peek!
Pokémon GO’s eggs apparently contain not only baby Pokémon, but seeds of controversy too.
Hard to find, but heavenly delicious.
A Muslim man being detained at a Yokohama immigration center was served pork and has gone on a hunger strike in protest.
If you’re one of the many people who’d rather be playing video games than discussing religion with a stranger, this is one trick you’ll want to know.
The furry new deity, however, forgot about a couple of small yet important details.
There’s no better way to look after the roads than with built-in protection from one of Japan’s most revered deities.
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.
Anime is the new religion, at least when it comes to these re-imagined religious works of art by Hiroshi Mori.
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.
Penjor were pretty much the first thing I noticed about Bali. As soon as we left the airport, they began towering over our car from both sides of the street: long-necked, graceful swoops of bamboo arching and bobbing over the road, their strips of paper and coconut leaves fluttering in the air.
But what were these charming decorations? What was their significance? That took a little longer to find out. And to be honest, I’m still not sure I know.
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!
Somewhere around the 500th step on the long approach to Kompira-san shrine in Kagawa Prefecture, you’ll find a small stable housing two special horses. They are pretty as a picture, but don’t get any ideas about hopping on for a ride, feeding them a little carrot, or even giving them a friendly pat.
These thoroughbreds are shinme, the steeds of the gods, and they are not for mere mortals like us.
Buddhism and Shintoism share space pretty peacefully in Japan, partially thanks to a division of duties. Shinto shrines, for example, handle weddings, while Buddhist temples are the locations of funerals and graveyards.
These days, though, a few Buddhist temples are helping singles find someone to marry at one of those Shinto weddings, though, as one sect of Buddhism in east Japan has branched out into organizing matchmaking parties.
For centuries, Christianity has had a role in the creation of some of the finest works of art. Any comprehensive discussion of art history has to include Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, and a host of other important paintings and sculptures from artists who don’t share their names with one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Speaking of comics, there’s a new manga that’s just started in Japan. Looking at its earnest, wholesome heroine, you might get the impression that it’s like any of a hundred other series the country has produced, but this manga lead has something that makes her unique: she’s the literal embodiment of Puritan Christianity.