More Buddhist Anime

A while back, I talked about a Buddhist anime I found online for the Immeasurable Life Sutra (worth watching if you have the time), but lately I wanted to mention another Buddhist anime out recently in Japanese at least. For the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism, the founder Shinran passed away 750 years ago next year (2011), so a new anime has been published detailing the life of Shinran. You can see a preview of it here with English subtitles.

During our recent trip to Kyoto we visited the Nishi Honganji Temple, the home temple for our branch of Jodo Shinshu which had an nice, extensive bookstore there. Naturally, copies of the anime were predominantly displayed on the shelves. My wife’s parents eagerly picked up a copy for our little girl, whose too young to watch now (2 hours is a lot for a 3 year old), but also for our own curiosity. We watched the movie after getting back home to the Tokyo area and she enjoyed it as much as she can understand. I think the DVD is geared more for 5-8 years old, but it’s very well done and covers life in Kyoto during the end of Heian Period nicely, as well as Shinran’s life with Honen his mentor, and founder of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan.

Naturally, the video is from a Shinshu perspective, but it’s pretty well-done and definitely worth a look if you can, and comes with English subtitles, so folks in the West curious about medieval Buddhism and/or Jodo Shinshu can certainly enjoy too. :)

In any case, it’s nice to see such efforts to reach Buddhism to a younger audience without overwhelming them, and while staying entertaining. Leave it to the Japanese to be able to make anything interesting via anime. :)

Namu Amida Butsu

P.S. Now if only Shinran had spiky blue hair, robotic armor, and cool devastating weapons that take 10-minutes of dialogue to power-up…

P.P.S. UPDATE: blog post corrected thanks to reader comment. The DVD does indeed have English subtitles as I’ve confirmed recently.

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2 Comments on “More Buddhist Anime”

  1. shinbudhist says:

    I used Google translator for the Hongwanji link to the DVD and it seems that it may contain and English translation/subtitle:
    “Synopsis, as well as Biographies, published a commentary to help you understand this title keyword anime. With English translation. “

  2. Doug says:


    Thanks for catching that. I actually went back and checked (fumbling with my minimal Japanese skills) and sure enough it has English translations built right in.

    I’ve updated this blog post accordingly. :)

    Thanks much!

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