And now for some Western spirituality. This video was noted by both Dan Savage and Joe.My.God. Dan taunts, “Bill Donahue! To the Batshit Mobile!” But I am not sure Catholic extremists care about salt-n-soda makers the way they care about the gays.
Summer is time for omatsuri, that curious blend of Shinto spirituality, yakuza food stalls, and major male thass. Generally Tokyo reserves the thass for ladies, but omatsuri is a special time for men to wear their festival coats with either fundoshi (a ritual jockstrap) or this tight white fabric that’s like a mini-skirt.
Needless to say, I find these male outfits bring me to a higher level of spirituality, compassion and awareness. As the weather warms up and the festivals spread throughout Tokyo, I am hoping to exceed last year‘s festival perving.
I love how nonchalant the men are despite revealing their thighs and the lower portions of their rears. The white, split-toe shoes and white socks only add to the “moe.”
Buddhist Training: Tourism, Sadism or Both?
This poster advertising a Buddhist Training camp and the Keio rail line is another only in Japan image. On the surface, it advertises the pleasure of attending Aescetic Training (sadhana) Experience Camp (修行体験合宿, shugyou taiken gasshuku). Above where I cropped the image, a speech bubble beckons with the words, “It’s so cold. My mind and body feel so refreshed.”
A lot of foreigners imagine Buddhism to be a benign philosophy about the world and human’s place within it. What is often overlooked abroad is the intense physical discipline that makes a daddy monk and two young acolytes freezing in the river a worthy image for a rail line seeking to boost ridership to a distant temple. The line between spirituality and perversion is thin indeed.