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Buddhist monks rapping Sutra to attract followers

Buddhist monks are donning gold outfits and rapping their way into the minds of young potential Buddhist’s and Buddhist recruits.

Titled the “Tokyo Bouz Collection,” the event featured 40 monks and nuns from eight major Buddhist sects blinged out in gold embroidered robes performing a rap version of a Buddhist sutra. They strutted the runway while chanting prayers and throwing confetti that looked like lotus petals.

Buddhist monks traditionally wear simple black robes, though in order to appeal to the youth, the monks wore multi-layered robes in vibrant colors with gold trim.

As with any Milan, Paris or New York fashion show, the high-profile event at Tsukiji-Honganji was well-attended. According to Sayaka Anma, a young woman in the audience, “Their robes were gorgeous. I was a bit surprised in the beginning, but it was very moving to watch.”

So why is it exactly that the Buddhist monks had to resort to rap music and high fashion to attract more followers?

Buddhism has an extremely strong foundation in Japan as the religion first arrived in the archipelago 1,200 years ago from mainland Asia. In fact, almost three-quarters of Japanese people are registered Buddhists, though the only time they enter a temple is on their death bed.

As a result, the vast majority of Japan’s 75,000 temples are in serious financial trouble. Although funerals are a huge source of income, especially given Japan’s aging population, the temples will have to attract new followers if they wish to thrive beyond the immediate future.

This is not unlike Singapores attempt to attract creativity and being a media hub when the Ministry started rapping.

One Response to “Buddhist monks rapping Sutra to attract followers”

  1. havel Says:

    I guess Sutra’s fit well with rapping?

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