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  • Pippa meets Japanese soul
Pippa meets Japanese soul
  • What differentiates Buddhism (Nichi Ren Shu) from Christianity?
  • Why do all the images of the Buddhist Gods look so menacing?
  • Did you have a choice to become anything but a Buddhist priest when you were young, and will your daughter have the chance to carry on your work as a Buddhist priest?
  • Who does the temples land belong to and who pays for its maintenance?
  • What percentage of Japanese people belongs to the Nichi Ren Shu Buddhism?
  • Does Buddhism have a heaven and hell like Christianity?
  • Do you have re-incarnation in Buddhism?
  • What is a Butsudan and what does the ringing of the bell signify?
  • I noticed the wonderful smell of incense throughout the temple. Does this serve any other purpose but giving off a nice smell?
  • What’s this?
  • Is this a real samurai suit of armor?
  • How often do you use the temple?
  • I noticed that you strike two different bells 3 times and then you keep up a steady rhythmic beat on wooden sticks. What purpose does this serve?
  • Why do you have a mirror over there?
My reflections on Buddhism and Christianity
My reflections on Buddhism and Christianity

After listening to the Buddhist priest explain about the different aspects of Buddhism I was surprised by the similarities and differences with Christianity. Buddhism focuses on achieving peace with your inner self through self-reflection, ending not only your suffering, but the suffering of those around you. Christianity (especially Catholicism) on the other hand, focuses on following specific rules,that if followed will allow mankind to live together in relative harmony. No inner reflection is necessary. Simply put, Buddhism seems to trust that when people are given the time to think and reflect that they will do the right thing. In contrast, Christianity puts its trust in its commandments and rules instead of its people. However, the concept of heaven and hell is a constant throughout both religions, as is asking God for held of times of trouble and sadness. The belief that the spirit lives on forever is another parallel shared in both faiths. I think that this belief reverberated the most pleasantly in my consciousness long after my visit to the temple ended.

My reflections on the temple
My reflections on the temple

While being shown around the temple and its grounds, I noticed how its quietness and serenity might encourage self-reflection with its peacefulness. The many paintings and sculptures displayed so beautifully throughout the rooms and hallways of the temple were very attention-grabbing. The temple was welcoming, peaceful and uplifting, reflecting the values  shared by the people of the Buddhist faith.


Name: Philippa Keogh

Nationality: Australian

Job: English teacher

Living place: Tokyo

Living in Japan for: 15 years