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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Buddhist Scriptures Unread

Buddhist Scriptures Unread
Originally uploaded by timtak.
Ruriko Temple Tower was built 600 years ago. There are more than 2000 books of Buddhist scripture ("Buddha's Bible' as per the guide) stored in the base.

This is the first time that the base of the temple has been open to the viewing public. Normally the only person to enter the temple is the priest who goes to extract one part of one volume of the scripture. For the rest of the time, all the information, all the philosophy held in this tower is treated as a holy relic. No one reads it. No one looks at it. It is just there.

Not only is Japanese Buddhist scripture "unread" I would go far as to say say that *anti-logocentrism* is a prominent feature of *Japanese* Buddhism or perhaps the Shinto-Buddhist syncretism that exists in Japan.

Zen Buddhism is quite clear about this. Zen buddhism claims (in lanaguage) to be the Buddhism outside of scripture (language). Zen Buddhists are not afraid of the liars' paradox, but slap it in the face.

And most Japanese lay Buddhists use the scripture not as something that explains why the world is as it is -- a mental structure confabulated by the minds of humans -- because to become so involved with the scripture would be to make another structure, another confabulation. Instead they *chant* thewordsthatclaimitisallaconfabulationandbydoingso...reach the empty, wordless, truth.

My bashing people over the head with Buddhist books photo set is "arguing" (by bashing) the or their authors are Cretians, right and wrong at the same time. Thus, rather than get all fussed about paradoxes, Japanese Buddhist priests just bash people over the head with the books, and be done with it.

But this is not news to Gnostics. In the beginning was the word. Before that there was the demi-urge. Or was it the Buddha?

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.