Culture

Buddha, Christ Strolling Secretly in Tokyo Streets

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tokyo- (PanOrient news) Everyday, Buddha and Christ go on a secret tour around the streets of Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, where they experience a variety of situations and surprises.

The two prophets, who live anonymously in Tokyo, are trying to deal with the issues of everyday life in a wise manner that indirectly reflects their religious philosophies. They do this by offering sermons on how to face the current situations.

Manga Sinun, a monthly magazine, selected this subject to be published in a comic (manga) series entitled “Sei Oniisan” (“Young Saints" or “Saint Young Men”), now sold in Japanese bookstores. The stories were illustrated by Hikaru Nakamura and printed by Kudansha Co. in several volumes.

The story begins with both Jesus Christ and the Buddha returning to earth on vacation. They decided to share an apartment in Tokyo. The story depicts Jesus Christ as a generous young man with a sense of humor, and Buddha as a quiet and gentle young man.

This particular manga series described the two prophets' attempts to understand modern society from their Christian or Buddhist view with great humor. The release of each volume of the series highlights how Jesus and Buddha deal with the affairs of everyday life, and their responses and reactions to such things as rent, shopping, attending festivals or going to a pool, etc.

They also try hard not to be recognized or unveil their real personalities but whenever they face a small problem, they unintentionally solve it with a miracle or supernatural power.

For example, according to the story "whenever Christ feels happy and laughs, the water in the bottle in his hand turns into wine,". They once went to a pool, where Buddha discovered that Christ did not know how to swim. After a long discussion, when Christ approached the pool, the water broke away allowing him to walk, in reference to what is stated in the Scriptures.

As for the Buddha, "His head glows with light when faced with problems," according to the novel. This happened with the female owner of the apartment they rented, because of the numbers of animals and large birds that came together around the apartment due the holy attraction of its occupants.

One day, Buddha reveals to Christ his dissatisfaction with the fact that all the statues and images made him fat, and he expressed his wish to be portrayed as slimmer and leaner. Christ also expressed a similar feeling, that in all images he was portrayed as a tired, tormented and suffering person. He said he wished to be portrayed as a happy and laughing person.

This work was awarded the Cultural Prize of Osamu Tezuka for comic short stories in 2009, and finished tenth in a series of best-selling comics in Japan in the same year where sales of the first four volumes exceeded 2.6 million copies.

This spread of comics with a religious background is likely due to the fact that Japan is a country that is famous for its freedom from one religious belief and flexible attitude that does not prohibit different religions.


Photo: cover of "Young Saints"

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