• St. Albert, Alberta

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Regarding Valerie Johns’ Dec. 15 letter, “A place where Santa falls short“: While Johns’ use of the Buddhist Jizo in meditation and psychotherapy may be admirable, I hope she realizes that Jizo is not used the same way in Japan. The majority of Jizo statues are erected to offset abortion guilt, and to prevent the spirits of dead fetuses from coming back and bringing bad luck to the living.

A Japanese psychotherapist could just as easily visit a Western country and be impressed by Santa Claus to the extent of devising a year-round therapeutic Santa Claus meditation. I’m not saying that either case is necessarily wrong — just that both are equally bizarre from the perspective of the cultures to which they are native.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

paul savage

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