Wednesday, June 06, 2007


"I met this monk last weekend" sounds like the beginning of a joke, but I did, honest. He is not the first person I have seen dressed this way, ringing a small bell and holding a small bowl for collecting alms, but he was the first I had talked to. Turned out that he was Brazilian, and has been here in Japan for 15 years.

He is a Komuso, a mendicant priest. (see Medicant, Rinzai school andTakuhatsu ) I didn't know that at the time. I didn't want to ask him directly, even though he was more than willing to talk. Instead we chatted about the Arimatsu Festival taking place around us and his bell that kept breaking.

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