Tag - buddhism



Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
JAPAN / Society / Longform
Jul 21, 2024
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals
Can a 700-year-old dance have an effect on extreme heat or torrential rain? Probably not. When you're feeling powerless, though, any little thing helps.
As childish as Ryokan may have been, human suffering wrung his heart. A portrait of the monk and calligraphy by him are shown here. (Ink on paper; early 19th century; replica before 1970)
JAPAN / History / The Living Past
Jul 21, 2024
Ryokan and us: 'How wide! How boundless!'
The Edo Period monk could see the world through a child's eyes, maybe even those of a child from our modern era.
Tibetans participate in a protest march held to mark the 65th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, in the northern hill town of Dharamsala, India, on March 10.
Jul 8, 2024
Exiled Tibetans fear a future without the Dalai Lama, now 89
The Dalai Lama has said he will clarify questions about succession — including if and where he will be reincarnated — around his 90th birthday.
People await the arrival of the Dalai Lama in New York on Sunday. The Tibetan spiritual leader is in the U.S. to undergo knee surgery.
Jun 24, 2024
China must not choose the next Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama, who is in the U.S. to undergo knee surgery, should leave instructions to choose his successor, therefore delegitimizing any Beijing-anointed figure.
A novice Tibetan monk holds the U.S. and Tibetan flags at the Kangra airport in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India, on Tuesday.
WORLD / Politics
Jun 19, 2024
U.S. lawmakers meet Tibet's Dalai Lama and warn China on choice of successor
Tibetan tradition holds that the Dalai Lama is reincarnated after his death, and the current leader has said his successor may be found in India.
A statue of Santoku Taneda stands at Hofu Station in Hofu, Yamagata Prefecture,  where the Zen monk was born in 1882.
JAPAN / History / The Living Past
Jun 14, 2024
The joy of Zen — Part 2: Poetry
Ryokan and Santoka lived in different times, connected by a knack for words but polar opposites when it came to the monk's life they both chose.
A monk practices "zazen" (seated meditation), a practice that the monk Dogen said would help one cast aside the world in service of the Way.
JAPAN / History / The Living Past
May 17, 2024
The joy of Zen — Part 1: Prose
The writings of the monks Eisai and Dogen sought to determine the proper way to live on this Earth, in harmony with the Way.
In his book "It’s Okay Not to Look for the Meaning of Life," Buddhist priest Jikisai Minami sprinkles in surprising declarations such as “Stop taking care of yourself,” “It’s okay not to have friends,” “People can live without hopes and dreams.”
Apr 29, 2024
Buddhist priest grounds new book with practical advice and cheeky declarations
"It’s Okay Not to Look for the Meaning of Life" by Jikisai Minami addresses the ills of modern life by revealing the true nature of suffering.
Koki Nagata (right) offers a Buddhist altar to a Noto Peninsula earthquake evacuee in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, on March 29.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 10, 2024
Kumamoto shop owner gives away free Buddhist altars to Noto quake victims
“I hope it will be a source of comfort for those who lost their loved ones and homes," said shop owner Koki Nagata.
The nun said she hopes her going public will cast a spotlight on the extremely cloistered nature of temples that she warned can be a hotbed of sex crimes.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Mar 5, 2024
Japan Buddhist sect probes nun's sexual assault claims
The woman, reportedly now in her 50s, had previously accused the older monk of rape but authorities dropped her case in 2019, media reports said.
Celebrations mark the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday in Dharamsala, India, in July 2015. The question of who will succeed the Tibetan leader, Tenzin Gyatso, now 88, looms large.
Jan 29, 2024
Atheist China should have no say in Dalai Lama's reincarnation
Beijing views the Dalai Lama as a wolf in sheep's clothing. Why, then, is it obsessed with controlling the succession of someone it despises?
A mid-19th century ukiyo-e woodblock print by Utagawa Kuniyoshi depicts Xu Fu’s voyage in search of the elixir of life. He can be seen near the left side of the image, with what looks to be Penglai, or Mount Fuji, in the background.
JAPAN / History / Longform
Jan 20, 2024
Eternal pursuits: A history of Japanese quests for immortality
Whether it's a permanent state of meditation or feasting on mermaid, the quest for immortality in Japan isn't too far off from those in other cultures.
Visitors strike a giant bell to mark the new year as a Buddhist monk looks on, at Zojoji temple in Tokyo on Jan. 1, 2023.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 31, 2023
Ring in the new year on your phone: Apps offer alternate to Japan temple tradition
Smartphone apps are aiming to offer alternative ways to enjoy a noisy New Year's tradition.
Daisaku Ikeda
JAPAN / Society
Nov 18, 2023
Former Soka Gakkai leader Daisaku Ikeda dies at 95
The former president of the lay Buddhist group, one of the largest religious groups in Japan, died of old age on Wednesday at his home in Tokyo.
Young monks practice writing Tibetan at a monastery in Yushu, China. Beijing has restricted the teaching and practice of minority languages and religions.
Nov 13, 2023
China’s new law on religion: A great leap backward
Beijing's new law on religious venues has received little attention but has far-reaching consequences in restricting religious freedom.
The family grave of Toshihide Matsumoto is dismantled in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture. An increasing number of Japanese people are opting to permanently close their family graves as traditional family structures continue to change.
JAPAN / Society
Nov 9, 2023
Graying Japan faces a grave problem
Services designed to help people move or scatter their ancestors' ashes and close up family graves are experiencing increased demand.
A photo taken in January 2013 in Daejeon, South Korea, shows the Buddha statue taken from Kannonji temple in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Oct 26, 2023
South Korea court rules stolen Buddha statue belongs to Japan temple
The South Korean temple claimed the statue was looted from it by Japanese pirates hundreds of years ago.
A 46-year-old priest was arrested Thursday for possessing marijuana at his home in Sammu, Chiba Prefecture, according to an NHK report.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Oct 19, 2023
Chiba priest arrested for marijuana possession: NHK
Police arrested the priest at Rengeji Temple for possessing dried marijuana at his home.
The wedded rocks of Meoto Iwa in Mie Prefecture.
JAPAN / History
Aug 20, 2023
Good and evil defined by God … or gods
Much of our understanding of good and evil can be traced to definitions created by religion. Which religion (and definition) depends on where you live.
Japan Times
Jul 14, 2023
Iconic dragon painting at Sensoji Temple peels off ceiling
The painting had been scheduled for restoration this fall to address decades of deterioration.


Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals