The article in W.C. Japan Times by pocket hyena, alias Prideaux, Sept. 4. 2007, called "Japan's Shinto-Buddhist religious medley" is a good one.
Not because it's content says anything worthwhile. On the contrary! Because it precisely proves how deliberately obtuse, one-dimensional, and uneducated the writer is and how ignorant, irresponsible, christian-brainwashed the responsible publisher must be.
The word "medley" is normally used to describe the use of multiple swimming styles. and a medley is a mixture of things that are not usually found together Obviously P.H.Prideaux can write english but we are not sure that he can read too. If he can he probably does not read much besides "superman-cartoons", Mickey Mouse, Readers Digest and since working at W.C. Japan Times the Oxford dictionary.
Any japanese child knows that Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples always are found together. That is only a medley according P.H.Prideaux's limited brain-capacity. Even the cleaning-lady or the doorman at Japan Times could have explained to him why, but they probably would think it would be "umano mimi ni nembutsu" or as we would say in Europe "pearls for a pig".
Buddhism is never and was never in conflict wherever the teaching met the original existing religions like f. ex. Shinto. What's more Buddhism does not claim to be the absolute answer to life and death. It is a practical teaching in how a person must try to make as little harm as possible during earthly life as well as it claims that every person born, irrespectable of gender, social, racial, religious, genetic background or creed can reach enlightenment. Buddha is not a god but was a human being becoming a saint.
Naturally the first Buddhist monks in japan built their temples close to the existing holy places sacred to Shinto. Buddhism became the guards of the gods ( Kami-sama wo mamoru) and the first activity of the buddhist temples was to brew sake for the gods since according to japanese mythology, all the gods and goddesses liked sake as well as other pleasures. One of many beautiful examples of this harmony is Itsukushima shrine and Daishoin, Miyajima.
In the buddhist spirit (in spite of Hotoke no kao mo sando) we will here take the opportunity to teach P.H.Prideaux and his Snow Queen a little about Shinto.
Basically Shinto has its roots in Shamanism just like the origin of all religions.The objective is to give the tribe/group/cyclus-family a distinctive identity and sense of group-belonging resulting in many different forms of identifications and rituals such as different circumcisions, tattoos, penis-enlargments, skin--operations, ear-, neck- extensions/manipulations and even scull-forming and hairstyling as well as body-, teeth painting. Additionally the most important aspect of Shamanism is to live in harmony with the divine or spirits or more precisely mother nature and accordingly, since the spirits (Tamashi) are all over the place, respect is due to mountains, seas, rivers, lakes, trees, valleys not to mention all living creatures be it a bear(Ainu), eagle(Indians), horse(Asia), buffalo(America), elephant(India), seals, walrus, whale(Inuit) or condor(Inka), crane, turtles(Japan, Korea), ibis, hippopotamus, crocodile, cat(Egypt). All Shamanistic cultures from Australia (probably the oldest) to Lapland had strict rules and customs for family-relations, marriage, sex, eating, clothing, hygiene, different taboos and social orders, etc. etc and and were accepted by every member of the community.
Only one such tribal religion has survived Christianity and Islam (if not completely intact) namely Judaism. Thanks to Judaism we can get insight in the mythological world of Gilgamesh 6-7 thousand years ago. In Buddhist, Hindu corners of the world (in spite that colonialist-christian- terror and the past century of Communism, specially in China, Indochina and Korea, has taken a terrible toll) fortunately Shamanism have survived as a legacy of the cradle of human civilization.The shining, unspoiled example of this is.....Shinto!
And now at the doorstep of a new ice age due to global warming, it seams ridiculous that organisations and mono theistic movements, that maintain the belief that the universe is governed by some supreme being keeping an eye on each of us, punishing or rewarding as if life was some kindergarten still are trying to intimidate us with heaven and hell.
They must be suffering from brain damage.
When Einstein was asked what he wanted to be in the next life he answered:
Pocket Hyena Prideaux is faaar from being any Einstein, so we humbly but intensively beg Snow queen to send him on some report-mission say to a faraway Mormon- or Baptist community in Afghanistan where he could send a monthly report on the frequency of whatever, among whoever, wherever, whenever concluding ............ anything.
For us who are grateful to Japan for maintaining, guarding, defending, genuine tradition lending beauty to the grey world of monotheism and pseudo intellectual navel-watching the observations he produces are like a fly-dirt on the window.
by Gabor Fabricius
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