Japan

  • "Oldest man in Tokyo" has been dead for 30 years Paid Member

    When Japanese officials arrived at Sogen Kato's house to congratulate the elderly man on his 111th birthday, they were in for a big shock. After family members chased officials away claiming that Kato did not want to see them, police were able to break into the house where they found Kato's remains covered in his bed. According to his family, Kato shut himself up in his room three decades ago to "become a living Buddha." Japanese authorities speculate that Kato---thought to be the oldest man living in Tokyo---may actually have been dead for 30 years. Police are now investigating the family for possible fraud charges. Read more about this story here. Image: chestofbooks.com More »
  • Listen to Japanese Buddhist temple bells Paid Member

    Each week BBC features a half-hour audio program entitled "Heart and Soul" that explores spirituality in different parts of the world. This week's installment is Japan's Buddhist temple bells. From BBC: This week's Heart and Soul captures the physical and symbolic power of these bells, and they are awesome, some weighing more than 30 tons. They are struck on the side by a suspended tree trunk, swung by teams of up to 20 monks. Some are ancient - one bell featured was cast in the year 752. ... The head priest of Rengein Monastery, whose bell can be heard 30 miles away, reveals their spiritual meaning and the impact they have on people. More »
  • Dalai Lama criticizes anti-whaling protesters Paid Member

    UPDATE: Sea Shepherd Conservation Society acknowledges the guidance of HH the Dalai Lama The Dalai Lama, who is visiting Japan, criticized anti-whaling protesters, saying that while he sympathized with their efforts to protect the mammals, protesters' methods should be nonviolent. No doubt this was music to the ears of Japan's government. AFP reports that "Japanese prosecutors have demanded two years in prison for a New Zealand anti-whaling activist on trial for assault and charges relating to his boarding of a harpoon ship in Antarctic waters." More »
  • Japanese temple backs out of route Paid Member

    Thanks to Marcus for pointing this one out: A Japanese Buddhist temple has removed itself from the torch's route. Japan and China continue to disagree over whether Tibet is an international issue or just a domestic issue of China's. Edward Gomez notes the rhetoric is running high: China stoked the nationalist fires and is now trying to temper its citizens call for boycotts of products from countries where the torch relay has run into trouble. More »
  • China resists Japanese pressure; more than 500 arrested in Nepal Paid Member

    Japan urges China to work out the Tibet situation peacefully. China tells Japan that Tibet is a domestic issue. In other words, buzz off. More than 500 Tibetan protesters arrested in restless Nepal. More »