More Buddhism For Nerds: Japanese Temple Uses Cosplay To Appeal To Otaku

Buddhism is really going after the geek souls. Today we visit a Japanese temple that uses anime to recruit young followers.

Earlier in the week we brought you images from a Buddhist temple in Thailand that has a mural featuring scifi characters like Neo, Bumblebee from Transformers and even Anakin’s podracer. Today comes video from Japan of a 16th century Buddhist temple trying to hip up its image by going after the otaku. They’ve created an anime character mascot, and even hire a girl to cosplay her in public to do recruiting. In fact the monks actually PRAY to a statue of the character, who is modeled after the Shinto goddess of art and wisdom.  And they’ve created some kind of hideous video gamey jingle that I suppose appeals to the part-cyborg youth of modern cyberpunk Tokyo.

The new campaign began in 2009 with anime-inflected ads and signs; apparently kids have been taking their pictures in front of the signs and they’ve turned into a pop phenomenon. Japan.

Here’s the jingle:

Here’s a Buddhist monk engaging in anime idolatry:

And here’s the cosplayer in the wild:

via CNNGo