Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Natsume Yuujinchou and the Path of Enlightenment

Many conservatives refer to America as a Christian nation (though that’s a point that can be argued).  Japan, most certainly is not such a nation.  Culturally and religiously, Shintoism and Buddhism form a syncretic mix that affects the daily (and even minute-to-minute) lives of most Japanese.

Therefore, it’s no surprise to see one or both traditions play a major role in some anime.  Buddhism is ever present in Natsume Yuujinchou, as attested to in one of my favorite blogs, Major Arcana.  See Aorii’s write-up about this by clicking the link below:

Natsume Yuujinchou and the Path of Enlightenment – [Major Arcana].

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

8 thoughts on “Spirituality in the Anime Blogosphere: Natsume Yuujinchou and the Path of Enlightenment

  1. Buddhism here in Singapore is a little mixed up, if I dare say. Buddhism doesn’t build upon the burning of incenses and all, those are clearly related to Taoism, yet most of the Chinese who practices Buddhism incorporates actions of Taoism into their religion.

    *shrugs*

    But yeah, any anime/manga that has huge focus on the spiritual world would usually have strong relations to certain religions and ethnics, and it does generate quite a bit of interest while watching these shows.

    Heck, the Persona series got me interested in the whole Tarot Cards, Greek/Japanese mythology!

  2. I didn’t know Persona delved into that – I’ve been interested in watching it. I might check it out.

    That’s interesting to hear bout Singapore…I don’t know anything about religion in your country. And I certainly didn’t know Taoism was prevalent there. Taoism is really interesting…I still remember it well from a Traditional China class I took a few years ago.

  3. You should try out Persona games too. They focus heavily on the 12 major arcanas as part of their story, and uses a whole lot of greek/egypt mythology behind it.

    All combined with a school-life setting to create a pretty awesome game. Well, at least by my standards!

  4. Really? I read about the games a while back and was intrigued, but I didn’t remember all of that religious context. I’m REALLY interested now…does the anime follow any of the games closely?

    By the way, combine almost ANYTHING with a school setting, and I’m willing to give it a shot! 😛

  5. The anime happens 10 years after Persona 3 and most consider it as non-canonical. It still has the elements of Persona in itself, but many people don’t think the anime’s any good in comparison to the game itself. But still, it could be worth a shot if you don’t have the time to spare for the game itself.

    One run through of the game can usually take up to 90 hours, so it’s actually pretty time consuming. I’m not sure about how Persona 1 and 2 are like, since I started Persona on the third and fourth game in the series!

  6. 90 hours?

    -_-‘

    With two little children, I don’t even have one hour to play a video game…I think I’ll add Persona to my list of shows to watch. 🙂

    1. Haha, yeah. It’s THAT time consuming. Good story though, plus the elements of school life really spices things up.

      The Playstation Portable version of Persona 3 is a tad watered down, so if you’re looking for a shorter and yet good experience of Persona, you might want to check out Persona 3 Portable.

      The game should last around 40-50 hours, due to the fact that they replaced much of the game’s city exploration and stuffs with an extremely quick scrolling explore mode. (think visual novel)

  7. Hmm…13 hours of viewing time v. 40 hours of playing time…I think the most watered down version of all will win this one. 😛

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