Weekly Playboy magazine discerns among young people a rising interest in Buddhism. This is surprising, given Japan’s well-known “religion allergy” — or not, given that troubled times often inspire spiritual quests.

“Buddhism is often considered a doctrine of resignation, but it isn’t,” explains Masaru Sato, a writer on religious themes. True, the notion of karma ascribes present circumstances to past actions in this life or previous ones, but “by the same token,” says Sato, “your present actions will determine your future, so don’t resign yourself to present suffering but do good now with an eye to creating a happy future.”

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