Why does a young Japanese man wanna be a buddhist monk?


I’d like to introduce myself here. I was born in 1996 and am 25 years old. My house is a temple located in a rural area. I have been a son of a buddhist monk, so it is quite natural to have conflicts if I would be a monk or not. BUT not a case of me:) Some friends, who are also children of temples, often say that they don’t want to take over their temples.

However, since my childhood, I have always thought that I wanna be a buddhist monk. In this blog, let me tell you the reason why I want to be a buddhist monk even though the Japanese people losing interest in BUDDHISM these days.

First of all, I think Japanese temples are not supposed to be hereditary succession. Even if you were a son of a monk, you could be whatever you want in a future. I will explain 2 reasons below.

First, I want to protect my temple as a place where anyone visit anytime. My temple holds some events in a year: Spring Festival / Viewing The Moon / Zazen Meditation in Summer / Joya no Kane on December 31st etc….

When I was a child, I had always been looking forward to seeing many people coming to my temple. Not only aged people but also children had visited the events. I still remember that we had spent great time together. These events can also make new relationships with many people.

There are too much to learn from other people, so having conversation is very important to be more mature. In my opinion, a temple should be a place where people build new relationships and find something important on your lives. Although few events of them have gone because of depopulation, I am going to try revitalize our local community and temple culture. This is one of the reasons why I wanna be a buddhist monk.

The other reason might sound weird : ) “A smell of incense sticks“. Could it be a reason to be a monk? For me, definitely YES!! I don’t know if you like that smell or not, but the smell has been around me every days since I was born. It is interesting that my friends often asked me ‘Do you use perfume of incense?’. The answer is ‘Not : )’ .

The point is incense is already a part of my life. Therefore, the second reason is that I want to be wrapped up in incense sticks always.

In conclusion, there are so many problems to solve as a young buddhist monk. In my hometown, the biggest problem is ‘depopulation’. I decided to revitalize my hometown and temple and have finished Buddhist practice (syugyo) in a monastery last year. Next blog will show you some ideas. Thank you for your reading!