Of Kami and Buddhas: Tokyo’s Anime Temple!

CNNGo reported today about the Ryohoji Temple in Hachioji, which has become an anime temple.  That’s right: anime temple, complete with a theme song, anime character, monks praying to the anime character, and…a maid cafe.

What?!

The 16th century temple began its transformation when the chief monk tried to get young people to come to it.

Since then though, the temple has become known as “Moe-dera” (“newly budding temple”), a reference to  “moe”  — a feeling of attraction to a blossoming young girl, usually a manga character — while “dera” means “temple.

Moe Buddhism…WHAT?!

I’ve gotta say…I think I’m only surprised because of my personal connections with my faith, which I take seriously (sometimes too seriously).  In Japan, religion is a “practical religion,” with plenty of room for syncretism and, in this case, the inclusion of pop culture.  In other words, this is soooo Japan.

Go to CNNGo for the article in its entirity.  Also, check out the temple’s website, which has the to be the most commercial website EVER for a religious institution.

Edit: I’m apparently years behind on discovering this.  Please forgive me. 😛

TWWK

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

12 thoughts on “Of Kami and Buddhas: Tokyo’s Anime Temple!

  1. Ah… I remember this. There was a shrine that actually commissioned some illustrator to draw some banner for them to promote some event that was happening at the shrine.

    It shouldn’t be too much of surprise though. Just look at Lucky Star!

    1. Coming from your background, do you have any specific feelings about the shrine? It’s is VERY atypical? Is it offensive? Is it perfectly fine and well? 😛

      1. I don’t actually mind these anyway. It’s all good fun, and many would agree that youngster these days have little to no practice of religious faith at all.

        This could just be one of the ways to appeal to the younger generations these days. While there are certain things to be concerned about, but as long as the message gets through, it should be alright. After all, Buddhism is about understanding one self and ultimately, harmony amongst the human race.

        Damn, I never knew I could type like that. xD

  2. moe temple…so now we can be sure that all young people would be worshiping anime in the right way and proper place. Cheers! 😛

    1. I’ve been calling my blog an intersection of Christianity and anime…but this really is about as explicit of an intersection between religion and anime could be. 😛

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