Jodo Shinshu media?

Jodo Shinshu media?

Postby steveb1 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:12 pm

Well, this question is twofold - perhaps some folks would be kind enough to address it :)

1. MEDIA, print and other.

For being such a huge "denomination" in Asia and in the Japanese-American population, it seems to me at least, that Shin is remarkably under-represented in bookstores. Borders (RIP), for instance, seemed typical in that HH Dalai Lama, meditation, Zen, Vipassana, etc. are very well represented ... whereas if one is really wanting to explore Shin, one probably needs to special-order, e.g., via the Buddhist Churches of America bookstore. This is a great source for books. But my quest/question is about the availability of Shin audio and visual media.

There seems to be a paucity of audio/CD, video/DVD Shin media. There is a little bit on YouTube, of course, and some local temples do record their services and sermons. But one would think that, considering the mind-boggling number of Shin adherants across the world that there would just have to be a plethora of audios and videos. These could, for instance, consist of dharma discussions, historical shows about Honen/Shinran/Rennyo, explanations of how and why Shin differs from Jodo Shu and other Buddhist schools, Shin's migration to US shores via Japanese-Hawaiian practicers, "theological" discussions about Amida's all-suffiency, Self-Power vs. Other-Power ... ethical perspectives of "engaged Shin" ... etc. It seems there ought to be a huge market for such products, but maybe I'm off-base here. Also Shin drama comes to mind, e.g., the Japanese film about Shinran, Shiroi Michi, as described at:

http://movies.msn.com/movies/movie-syno ... roi-michi/

(The only Shin drama I've come across is a Japanese animated story of the young Shinran on YouTube, but basically it is a cartoon, and it seems to be missing segments.)

2. A SHIN POCKET "TESTAMENT".

Devout Christians constantly consult their scriptures, all the more easily because of the availability of "pocket" New Testaments. Why, oh why, is there no parallel pocket-sized book for Shin practicers?? I do not suggest this thinking that Shin people should imitate or compete with Christians, but only to emulate Christians in the best things they do. As a practical matter, how wonderful it would be to have a conveniently-sized pocket Shin devotional book! Printed on "Bible paper", on the principle that thinner paper accomodates more text, such a book might contain snippets from Shinran and Rennyo, the Tannisho, "tales of the mykonin", and assorted Shin scriptures. It could be illustrated with Amida Shinran as the frontispiece, and scattered throughout with renditions of Amida and other Shin themes. That no such book exists, at least to my knowledge, seems a crying shame. There's a book for teens called Buddha in your Backpack. I just think it would be nice to carry Shin in a backpack as a pocket-size devotional book.

So, if anyone has any ideas on the availability of audio-visual Shin media, or about any pocket-size devotional books, I would love to hear from you :)
steveb1
 
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu media?

Postby plwk » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:02 am

There is another route besides waiting for an organisation/sect/others to make things happen...what I personally have done myself

1. Gather a circle of like minded people
2. Pool the resources collectively (money, time and effort) and discuss everything that is needed from budget to content
3. Find the appropriate publishers/printing company
4. If the project is mass scale, looking for sponsorship may be one avenue

That is how I get Dharma in printed and AV forms promoted and distributed by getting a circle of like-minded Dharma friends, pool our resources together, find a publishing media (we're lucky here in this part of Asia to have few publishing companies who help to mass produce Dharma material in various forms) and get it off. Normally, such materials are given out as a complimentary gesture or if placed on free racks in certain temples, some may leave a suggestive note to donate (according to one's freewill) to the temple before taking a copy or one can start commercial publication where its proceeds can be divided into say different parts for the bookstore, publishers and the temple/charity causes.

To be frank, all these years, JS material is rare even here in Asia in commercial bookstores like Borders, Times, Kinokuniya & etc.
Closest I have seen is a book on Honen's teachings, a hardback cover of the Threefold Pure Land Sutras by Hisao Inagaki, Letters of the Nun Eshinni, Never Die Alone: Birth as Death in Pure Land Buddhism...

All the best!
plwk
 
Posts: 2770
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu media?

Postby Shutoku » Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:12 am

I cannot speak for Japan, but here in Canada, my experience is that the Temples were never really established in order to grow Jodo Shinshu in the non-Japanese population. The focus was simply to provide Temples for the population of Japanese Canadian/American people. Because of this I'm not sure it was seen as being so important to reach an English speaking population.
Even today the Jodo Shinshu Temple I attend is easily 95% Japanese descent. meanwhile other Buddhist groups in my area are predominantly caucasian including the monastics.
Also I feel many people are attending Shin Temples out of family/cultural tradition more than a burning thirst for religious information.
As a result I agree, there is not nearly enough material out there, and this has not only played a role in a lack of people "converting" to Jodo Shinshu, but also did not capture the hearts of the now adult and even middle aged children of most current Temple members.
We recently did a survey of the ages of the members of my Temple and found that all but 5 of us our 70 years old and up.
This might be a bit extreme for other Temples, but not by much at least in Canada. Most Temples are very much places where senior citizen's gather. Many of whom are not adept with technology, and frankly would have little interest in DVD's and such.

I say all of this btw as a 48 year old caucasian of Irish/Scottish ancestry. I am very much the exception to the rule.

I think younger Ministers and Temple leaders are now trying to address some of this, but it is now a bit of an uphill battle for many Temples anyway.


As far as a "Shin pocket Testament" in some ways our Temple sort of uses the 'Teachings of Buddha" from Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai as something like this, and also the Tannisho. There is also the Collected Works of Shinran, but I'm afraid it would take some XXXXXXL pants for that to fit in the pocket! :jumping: (It isn't terribly reader friendly for the average person either.)
I think it would be possible to make something like a pocket Testament with the Tannisho, Shoshinge, and Amida Kyo, and it would cover most things though.
Namo Amida Butsu
User avatar
Shutoku
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: BC, Canada

Re: Jodo Shinshu media?

Postby steveb1 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:42 pm

Thanks to both of you for your replies and information :)
steveb1
 
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu media?

Postby kirtu » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:13 pm

Shutoku wrote:I cannot speak for Japan, but here in Canada, my experience is that the Temples were never really established in order to grow Jodo Shinshu in the non-Japanese population. The focus was simply to provide Temples for the population of Japanese Canadian/American people. Because of this I'm not sure it was seen as being so important to reach an English speaking population.


That is exactly the case. It was even true in Hawaii for example. However things are changing somewhat with Shin Buddhism being less insular. There have been a few Shin Buddhist bishops who are giving reaching out outside the Shin Buddhist community. There is a well-known bishop who is regularly giving lectures outside of the Shin Buddhist community.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4589
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Jodo Shinshu media?

Postby steveb1 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:44 pm

kirtu, that some Shin people are "reaching out" is a bright spot ... I hope it continues, and that Shin becomes more familiar to the general public.
steveb1
 
Posts: 307
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:37 am

Re: Jodo Shinshu media?

Postby kirtu » Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:38 am

Shutoku wrote:Even today the Jodo Shinshu Temple I attend is easily 95% Japanese descent.


That's everywhere for Shin Buddhism. Why is another question. During the internment in WWII there was a caucasian Shin priest who visited some of the camps (I think this was out west but I'll have to look it up). There were I think western Shin Buddhists as early as the 20's. It should have been a slam dunk during the 50's and 60's as they were the majority organized group at the time.

We recently did a survey of the ages of the members of my Temple and found that all but 5 of us our 70 years old and up.


I haven't seen this personally but I have read exactly the same for temples and missions in Hawaii. However there is a Hongwanji high school in Honolulu now: Pacific Buddhist Academy.


As far as a "Shin pocket Testament" in some ways our Temple sort of uses the 'Teachings of Buddha" from Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai as something like this, and also the Tannisho. There is also the Collected Works of Shinran, but I'm afraid it would take some XXXXXXL pants for that to fit in the pocket! :jumping: (It isn't terribly reader friendly for the average person either.)
I think it would be possible to make something like a pocket Testament with the Tannisho, Shoshinge, and Amida Kyo, and it would cover most things though.


The problem is solved with ereaders.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4589
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD


Return to Pure Land

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>