Japanese Buddhist priest discusses spiritual toll of nuclear crisis

By Reuters Staff
June 9, 2011

(Sokyu Genyu during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo June 4, 2011/Chisa Fujioka)

A Buddhist burial in the rain for Japanese tsunami victims

By Reuters Staff
March 26, 2011
burial 1

(At a funeral in Kassenuma town, Miyagi prefecture March 26, 2011/Carlos Barria)

from Environment Forum:

Are whales and dolphins smart enough to get special rights?

May 21, 2010

whaleSome conservationists and experts on philosophy and ethics reckon that whales and dolphins are so intelligent that they should be given rights to life like humans. That could mean extra pressure on whalers in Japan, Norway and Iceland to end their hunts.

Japanese monk gets down with the beat for Buddhism

By Reuters Staff
February 8, 2010
gold buddha

A gold statue of Buddha in Tokyo, 26 Nov 2009/Yuriko Nakao

He raps. He chants. And this month, Japan’s famed hip-hop loving monk, better known as MC Happiness, will tap dance on stage, in the name of Buddhism.

Top Japan pol calls Christianity self-righteous, Islam hardly better

November 11, 2009

japan-buddhistA top politician in Japan’s ruling Democratic Party has praised Buddhism while calling Christianity “exclusive and self-righteous” and Islam only somewhat better.  Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa made the remarks after meeting the head of the Japan Buddhist Federation, a group traditionally close to the rival Liberal Democratic Party, which was trounced by the Democrats in an August election.

from Raw Japan:

Where’s the holy water?

August 18, 2009

My young son and I were heading into Catholic church on Sunday in Tokyo when we noticed something odd: There was no holy water at the entrance.

Matchmaking gets divine touch at Japanese shrine

July 9, 2009

match-1

Rie Suzuki has exhausted most earthly means to find Mr. Right, so now she, and dozens of singles in Japan where marriage has recently gone out of fashion, are turning to the gods for help.

Japan’s rare Catholic PM Taro Aso meets Pope Benedict

July 7, 2009

aso-popeJapanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, a member of Japan’s tiny Roman Catholic minority, had a chance toenjoy some time away from political trouble at home when he met with Pope Benedict on Tuesday.

Catholic regular at Shinto shrines to visit pope at the Vatican

July 3, 2009

yasukuniPope Benedict has been criticised for his handling of relationships with the world’s other religions. On Monday Tuesday, he is due to receive at the Vatican Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso, who has little difficulty with mixing and matching various faiths.

What should a German pope say at Yad Vashem?

May 11, 2009

yad-wide

What should a German pope say at Israel’s Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem?

The chairman of the Yad Vashem council, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, was underwhelmed by Pope Benedict’s effort at the memorial this afternoon. “There certainly was no apology expressed here,” he told Israeli television. “Something was missing. There was no mention of the Germans or the Nazis who participated in the butchery, nor a word of regret.” Nor was there an “expression of empathy with the sorrow.” Lau also criticised Benedict for not specifically saying six million Jews were killed — even though the pope did use this figure earlier in the day during another speech.