Saturday, March 29, 2014

"this my joy therefore is fulfilled"


*** *** *** ***

Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

"Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again" - A Whole Set of Sutras

A Shinto Shrine in Tokyo

A Whole Set of Sutras

There was one remarkable Buddhist priest in the 17th century or in the Edo period of Japan under the rule of the Tokugawa samurai clan.  When he was a 36 year old Zen monk, he decided to accomplish a big deed of printing all the Buddhist sutras.
Tetsugen Dōkō (1630 – 1682) was a Japanese Zen Master, and an important early leader of the Ōbaku school of Buddhism.

The following story is told of Tetsugen's efforts to publish the sutras.

Tetsugen decided to publish the sutras, which at that time were available only in Chinese. The books were to be printed with wood blocks in an edition of seven thousand copies, a tremendous undertaking.

Tetsugen began by travelling and collecting donations for this purpose. A few sympathizers would give him a hundred pieces of gold, but most of the time he received only small coins. He thanked each donor with equal gratitude. After ten years Tetsugen had enough money to begin his task.

It happened that at that time the Uji River overflowed. Famine followed. Tetsugen took the funds he had collected for the books and spent them to save others from starvation. Then he began again his work of collecting.

Several years afterward an epidemic spread over the country. Tetsugen again gave away what he had collected.

For a third time he started his work, and after twenty years his wish was fulfilled. The printing blocks which produced the first edition of sutras can be seen today in Ōbaku monastery in Kyoto.
The Japanese tell their children that Tetsugen made three sets of sutras, and that the first two invisible sets surpass even the last.
In China and Japan, a complete set of all the Buddhist scriptures is called Issai-Kyo (in Japanese pronunciation) or the whole set of sutras.  This set comprises 6,965 books.  They are divided into the three categories: Kyo (in Japanese), books of doctrines the Buddha taught, Ritsu (in Japanese), books of warnings and instructions about living of monks, and Ron (in Japanese), books containing teaching and explanation by the Buddha and his disciples about Kyo and Ritsu,

To produce Issai-Kyo, wood-block printing was applied.  Issai-Kyo was once printed and issued only twice separately in China and Japan.  But in Japan it is admitted today that it was Tetsugen Doko that made this whole set of sutras widely known to and learnt by the public.

Specifically, Tetsugen printed 7,334 books in 1,618 volumes in 1678, according to a record.  He dedicated them to ex-emperor with a Buddhist title Go-Mizunoo (1596 – 1680).  And in 1681, he officially made printed sutras available to the public, while the printing was made possible based on religiously goodwill donation from 8,000 people including farmers, townsmen, and samurai lords.

Any Buddhist scriptures any school of Buddhists uses are included in Issai-Kyo consisting of about 7,000 books.

Part of Tetsugen's Whole Set of Sutras,17641,91,408,html

*** *** *** ***

Pro 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
Pro 3:28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
Pro 3:29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
Pro 3:30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

"but by the law of faith" - No More Execution

Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo

No More Execution 

A prisoner whose death sentence was finally fixed more than 30 years ago for a murder case which occurred about 50 years ago was released today from Tokyo Detention House.
Iwao Hakamada, the world’s longest-serving death row inmate, released after new DNA evidence revealed
AFP MARCH 27, 2014 5:34PM 
A JAPANESE court has decided to release a man on death row for more than 40 years in a high-profile murder case based on new DNA evidence. 
The Shizuoka District Court on Thursday suspended the death sentence for 78-year-old Iwao Hakamada and ordered him released after 48 years behind bars. Guinness World Records lists him the longest-serving death row inmate. 
He was originally sentenced to death in 1968 and the supreme court confirmed his death sentence in 1980. 
“The court suspends death sentence and confinement of the person who had been ruled guilty,” a court official said. 
Hakamada, a professional boxer, was convicted of killing a company manager and his family and setting fire to their central Japan home, where he was a live-in employee.
The court says DNA analysis obtained by his lawyers suggests investigators fabricated evidence. It also ordered a retrial.
In 2013, Japan Federation of Bar Associations reported that those who support or do not deny employment of capital punishment accounted for 56%.  In fact, Japan has still the capital punishment system.

Indeed it is very absurd for the police to pick up somebody as a criminal for a murder case, where two or more victims were killed cruelly, after long and complicated investigations despite concrete and persuading evidence and for public prosecutors and judges to almost blindly accept his confession under coercion only to sentence him to death.

From a viewpoint of interest of mankind, it is necessary to prevent death of anybody, including a murderer, after a murder case, since too many people are to die.   Any act by human beings to increase a number of dead men must not please God, even if it is an execution based on due judicial procedures.

Now there are 130 inmates sentenced to death in Japan.  In the US there are about 3,300.  In China, death penalty is reportedly executed on about 4,000 people every year.  

The Supreme Court of Japan

*** *** *** ***

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Rom 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"if Satan rise up against himself" - Courageous Historians

Tokyo Transportation

Courageous Historians 

In ancient China, historians were respected and they respected themselves.

These historians wrote history for their kings.  It was not only an official text book but also an official record of a nation.  Accordingly, a king who employed a historian placed a strong requirement on him.

An official record a historian was to write about a nation where he was employed was expected to satisfy the king of the nation.  But some historians would not simply praise kings they served.  However such a historian was usually punished by a king.

In one example, a historian did not write a history book in a manner to satisfy a king.  So, he was executed by the king.  Then a son of the historian succeeded his father to become a new historian.  But the new historian also presented truth and plain facts in the book he wrote without making a flattering remark for the king.  Then again, the king executed the historian.  Finally a son of this brave but tragic historian or a grandson of the first historian for the king took up this important position in the court.  He also honestly wrote a history book of the nation, depicting the king and his deeds as he was and they were.  Despite anger, the king did not punish this last historian for some reason.

Anyway, writing history was so important and dangerous in ancient China.  Official historians working in the court of kingdoms were all under strong pressure.     But not all the historians offered adulation to their kings.  Truth was reported by some courageous and righteous historians.  Or any despot could not completely destroy or distort truth.

Luk 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
Luk 12:3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Luk 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

*** *** *** ***

Mar 3:26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"between some of John's disciples and the Jews" - Seasons

Around Tokyo Station


The winter is going to end.

The human civilization started in sub-tropical regions, such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, Greece, the Chang Jiang River region of south China, and other regions without cold winter.

But it was extended and deployed in temperate zones, such as the Italian Peninsula, the central China, etc.  Then the Industrial Revolution was set off in England, part of north Europe.

Judaists moved on the earth along with progress and development of civilization.  They reached and prevailed around Germany before WWII, and then a great tragedy happened due to Hitler and Nazis.

Then after WWII, roughly a half of Judaists returned to Palestine featured by a temperate climate while another half immigrated into North America which has wider areas covering the tropical zone to the cold zone.

So, if this progress of the human history is so reasonable even from a viewpoint of Judaists like shifts of seasons on the earth, Israel seems to be a kind of the Old Testament for Judaists living today, and the US seems to be a kind of the New Testament for them.

In future, American Christianity might be integrated into American Judaism eventually.  And Americans might move from a zone to other, according to their spiritual states as if repeating the past history.

Now the time in the North Hemisphere is going to head for the hottest days in August.

*** *** *** ***

Joh 3:25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
Joh 3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
Joh 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Joh 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

Monday, March 24, 2014

"all the prophets from Samuel" - A Buddha Inside

Tokyo Downtown Tramcar Line

A Buddha Inside

Christianity is simple in that it is based on a notion that there are only two major players: men and God.

Compared with God, any difference among human beings can be nil.

But Buddhism is different.  There are many stages to reach the status of the Buddha who masters every law and secret of the universe, including life, death and transmigration.

In Buddhism where existence of the sole creator of the universe is not admitted, a man is required to enhance himself as high as possible.  And the end of this effort is the status of the Buddha.  Though the Buddha is not the creator of the universe, he transcends any effect the universe has on a man.  His status is in this context on a par with the universe.

Buddhism must be based on a theory that the whole universe, including the spiritual universe, cannot be built by anybody or any spirits and gods.  It is overwhelmingly great and complicated.  It is beyond ability of any human beings, spirits, and gods.  All a man should do and can do is to understand the universe fully and stand aloof from it like the Buddha.  In this logic, God of Christianity can be the universe.  But an act of creating the universe is a concept beyond Buddhism.

One unique doctrine of some schools of the Japanese Buddhism is that a monk should perform the ascetic and religious practices to become the Buddha eventually.  But it is possible only if a monk has the same internal characteristics as the Buddha.  Put simply, as a monk is a Buddha, he can become the Buddha through rigorous training.  If he is a mere man or an animal, no matter how hard he may train himself he cannot reach the status of the Buddha.
In other word, to find merit in himself which is a Buddha in the essence of his existence is an end of the ascetic and religious practices in Buddhism, according to some schools of Japanese Buddhism.

But Christianity never tells a believer to discover a god in his mind so as to be saved.  A believer is saved as a man by God for his proven faith.

But according to a theory of some schools of Japanese Buddhism, every one must have the same virtue and condition as the Buddha.  Therefore, some monks who could realize this truth can become a Buddha to attain higher perception through religious training.

Finally, it seems that a man cannot fully understand or comprehend God of Christianity, the sole designer and builder of this universe, but a man may fully grasp what the Buddha is through his inner Buddha.

A Japanese Buddhist Priest in the later Samurai Era

*** *** *** ***

Act 3:23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Act 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

"being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph," - Old Evacuees from Fukushima Daiichi Town

Tokyo Downtown Districts

Old Evacuees from Fukushima Daiichi Town

As of September 2012, there were more than 51,000 Japanese citizens who were 100 years old or older.

It was the first time that the number of 100 years-old persons reached 50,000 in Japan.

One of them, Mr. Yoshida, was born in Okuma Town where the Fuksuhima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is situated.  He came to Tokyo with his family when he was an elementary school boy.  Then he encountered the Greta Kanto Earthquake in a downtown of Tokyo.  This 1923 Great Earthquake took on about 100,000 people.

Later Mr. Yoshida became an English teacher and married a woman who was also from Fukushima Prefecture.  However the Empire of Japan joined WWII in 1941 and the young English teacher was called into the armed forces of the Empire.  Troops he was assigned to was sent to Manchuria, presently northeast China.

During the war, his wife stayed in Tokyo, but air raids on Tokyo by the US air force became intensified.  Accordingly she returned to Fukushima.  And, a month later Tokyo suffered a big bombing by American B29s which killed more than 100,000 citizens.  If she had continued to live in Tokyo, she should have been killed, since her old residence was in a devastated area of Tokyo City.

After WWII, namely August 1945, Mr. Yoshida, with troops he belonged to, surrendered to Soviet Union troops to be captive soldiers.  He was forced to work in Siberia as with other 600,000 ex-Japanese soldiers.  Nonetheless Mr. Yoshida was luckily released in September 1948.  After returning to Japan, he worked as an English teacher in junior high-schools in Fukushima Prefecture till he retired.

He was living peacefully with his eldest son aged 75 in Okuma Town when the 3/11 Great Earthquake and Tsuami and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident occurred.  The tsunami rushed from the Pacific Ocean to the point several hundreds meters before Mr. Yoshida's house.  Then hours later, people in Okuma Town were ordered to evacuate due to the Nuclear Accident.

Mr. Yoshida and his wife are now living in a shelter house far from Okuma Town and the Fukushima Daiichi Plant.  The very old couple still hope to return to Okuma Town some day in five years or so.          

Okuma Town with Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

*** *** *** ***

Luk 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Luk 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
Luk 3:24 Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,