Talking About Buddhism


   Sumi Saikawa

"The essence of Shojin ryori (temple cooking) to your table."


I bought a book titled ”Talking About Buddhism” Author Yoshihito Takada, Translated by James M Vardaman, JR.

This book is composed of question and answer (these questions are meant for foreigners (I mean non-Japanese people) who want to ask about Buddhism. The contents are very simple and easy to understand with Japanese and English.

I quote from the preface : “In the eyes of non-Japanese, it seems odd that when Japanese are born they are taken to a shrine, when they marry they go to a church, and when they die they go to a temple. When asked, ‘why do you do that?’ most Japanese are utterly at a loss as to how to answer.”

Yes, sure, I’ve asked several times. What does this book say?

“The Buddhism that was transmitted to Japan has continued to provide Japanese with wisdom and strength for living. Buddhism has soothed the minds of the people and greatly affected their way of seeing and thinking. No discussion of Japan can overlook Buddhism.”

Buddhism has been the salvation of the Japanese mind, as well as the principles of Buddhism affecting Japanese culture, especially “Sado-tea ceremony”, “Ikebana-flower arrangement”, shojin ryori-cooking, Gardening etc, and achieve the changes over hundreds of years.

There are many topics in this book such as ‘the life of Buddha”, “the essential teachings of Buddhism”, ‘Temple and priests”, “Buddhism and the life ceremonies of the people”” Buddhism, Shinto and Christianity” etc. It is good for both Japanese and English study.



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