Animated Master Shinran Inspires Many in Japan
The series of the animated biography, Master Shinran: The Light of the World has been shown all over Japan, amazing many followers of True Pure Land Buddhism, who say, “I didnʼt know what Master Shinran did or what he was like until now.” An animation missionary, Eiko Morishita, introduces a comment from a man in his eighties, which was written in a questionnaire: “I have clearly learned the answer to ʻwhy we live.ʼ The anime helps me understand the great teachings of Master Shinran.” Another follower, holding an anime lecture at home, got delighted and said with tears, “I like the first one. That moved me to tears. Especially, when I think of the feeling of Matsuwakamaru (Master Shinranʼs childhood name) when he was left alone after his parents passed away, and the last scene where he was saved by Amida Buddha.”
After watching the anime, attendees discussed what they had learned from the anime and admired Master Shinranʼs great efforts to keep on crying out the existence of “the great ship that carries us across the sea that is difficult to cross.” Another anime missionary, Eri Saito gave a talk about the importance of watching the anime by reading an article from Kensho Shimbun just before the afternoon session and she felt that it worked.
“In the morning session, some people were watching the anime while leaning back in their chairs, but in the afternoon, they sat up straight watching it. It was obvious that they tried to watch the anime more seriously the second time than the first,” she says. When there is something difficult to understand in the anime, some people read Master Shinranʼs Petals (Cherry & Wisteria volumes) together to check the related topics. Across Japan and overseas, more and more people are now conveying Buddhism through the anime.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #21| 2012, Animated Master Shinran Inspires Many in Japan
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