Dodatsu wrote:Rev Matsumoto is a Shin Buddhist priest, so we don't do all the "practices, long retreats" and the like.
Well, without living above mundane concerns, mundane people of our present day will see little reason to invest emotionally and spiritually in you or your organizations.
The reason Tibetan Buddhism is generally flourishing and growing overseas is because you have charismatic renunciates who do lengthy retreats and practices over many long years, the results of which speak for themselves.
The reason why Taiwanese Buddhism is likewise growing and thriving is because the venerables walk the walk and talk the talk.
In Japan you have priests who fulfil social roles and might speak of Buddhadharma, but without actual dedicated practice of it, they will just be ordinary people leading ordinary people rather than wise people leading ordinary people. Much of Buddhism in Japan in the present day is just leftover archaic traditions that common people feel compelled to shell out money for and the hereditary priesthood makes a living off these social customs. There might be attempts at fostering communities, and I have personally seen this in person in Japan, but such groups are small and their influence minimal in the greater scope.
Every culture and country has its own way of propagating Buddhism, so please, don't try using "Taiwanese Buddhism" to run down or say that Japanese Buddhist are this-and-that.
Comparisons between different traditions, particularly comparing Taiwanese and Japanese Buddhisms as they are closely related, is important so we can understand what works and why.
I've met Taiwanese Buddhists who are unhappy with the state of Buddhism in their own country, even though it also paints a rosy picture. Rather than running down, why not give the respect instead?
I respect Japanese Buddhism. I studied at Komazawa University for two years after all and earned a MA degree from said institution. I greatly respect those few Japanese Buddhists who engage in actual practice of Buddhadharma -- those who not only study it, but digest and utilize it for benevolent purposes.
However, to point out problems and erroneous ways is not disrespectful. It is helpful. It is compassionate to point out erroneous ways.