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