Master Shinran has been introduced on Japanese TV as “the most notable historical figure,” but there are only a few people who know who he really was. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to let more people know about Master Shinran. Animatied movies are the most suitable for this purpose. If people are exposed to the life of Master Shinran, they will like him and become interested in his teachings. Many people attend Buddhist memorial services, so if you show them this animation, they will have a chance to know Master Shinranʼs teachings. Now we are going to review Takamori Senseiʼs words from the past, which tell us that the animated movie is the best way to convey Buddhism. The following are Takamori senseiʼs words from Zuikoroku, a series of articles which once appeared in Kensho Press (Buddhist newspaper in Japanese).
This animated movie could not have been made even if 5 billion people were engaged or some billion dollars were invested. It was made by the combination of mysterious various causes and conditions. (February 15, 1994).
The completion of the animated movies of Master Shinran provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to reach out to any kind of person and share Buddhism. Since most people are interested only in eating and drinking, few of them would give an ear to you if you broach a subject of what Master Shinranʼs teachings were all about out of the blue. Instead, such a phrase as “Shall we watch an animated movie?” would be a proper cue to approach all human beings and share the true teaching. (September 1, 1992)
Neither in novels or movies can we find a full-length portrait of Master Shinranʼs life. As they say to know Chinese history you must read Records of the Grand Historian: Han Dynasty and Qin Dynasty, Iʼm sure the time will come when they say we must watch this series of animation first in order to know Master Shinran. (August 1, 1994)
(A conversation between Takamori sensei and A) A: I want to watch the collected works of animation The Light of the World: Master Shinran again and again. I get something different out of them every time I watch them. Takamori Sensei: Thatʼs because the personʼs mind changes. The more we watch the animation, the deeper our faith becomes, so there is no sufficient number of times for watching it. This animation has, so to speak, everlasting life. If you donʼt find any changes in your mind, that means your faith is at a standstill.Each time you watch it, a new truth will be revealed to you as if you watched it for the first time. (December 15, 1994)
When you travel on an airplane, the airplane sways because of turbulence. Passengers who ride on an airplane for the first time cling to their seats with their faces pale. Suddenly, there is an announcement. “We are now experiencing turbulence. However, it is nothing to worry about. So, please enjoy the flight.” The extent we feel relieved is different whether we hear the announcement from a cabin attendant or a pilot. In the same way, when teaching Buddhism we need to know that the persuasiveness of our words does not compare to the power of the words from Master Shinran and Master Rennyo. From Kenshin (A Buddhist magazine in Japanese, August 2007)
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #20 | 2018, Watch the Animation of Master Shinran, And Youʼll Surely Like Him
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The Buddhist Village Times #20