Temples of the Whale

Great report by the BBC on whaling in Japan. The article tells us how Jodo Shinshu Buddhism explains the tolerance for this act which some Westerners find inhumane. It also helps us to understand the love, compassion, and reality, we face in our daily lives.

The writer goes to the Koganji Temple in Nagato, Japan. He speaks to Buddhist monk, Kensai Matsumura to explain the history of whaling and Buddhism in this fishing village.

This tells a story concerning Shinran Shonin (the founder of the sect). "He was in a fishing village in 1207. A fisherman and his wife approached him and told of their worries, saying 'we live on catching fish and eating them and selling them - would we go to hell after we die?' "And monk Shonin said, 'if you thank them and give proper service to them, praying for the resting in peace of those fish, then there will be no problem at all'. The husband and wife listened and cried with relief on hearing this."