Monday, January 19, 2009

Mendicant monk

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I saw this mendicant monk in front of a shopping mall in Hiroshima.

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I believe he is of the Nichiren sect of Japanese Buddhism.

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I was intrigued by the interaction, and non-reaction, between him and the passers-by.

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Older peopled tended to bow as they passed him. Older people tend to bow when they pass a Jizo statue or a shrine entrance.

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The Japanese, more perhaps than any other people, have developed the art of not seeing what makes them uncomfortable to a high art.

Homeless people, concrete mountains and foreigners are among the things often invisible.

2 comments:

  1. I agree with you about the Japanese art of ignoring that which makes them uncomfortable, but I found that while living in Shimane I was constantly getting extra attention because I was a foreigner.
    Many would bow or smile, little kids would stare, and often I'd be asked to have my photo taken with complete strangers.
    I really enjoy your blog!

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  2. Thanks!..... country folk tend to be friendlier than city folk anywhere I think

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