Buddhist university woos students in effort to reverse declining enrollment


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"I would like to apply the principles of esoteric Buddhism and work in hospice care in the future," said Aki Kitagawa, a 21-year-old second-year student in the anthropology department.

Knowing that every one of your patients is soon going to die makes this one of the most stressful and depressing professions around, and it really does take special people to work in it.

I wish them the best.

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Nice thought, Yubaru. Pass it on. But, it's not all that stressful or depressing when you realize we all die, and compartmentalize that thought. It's at the heart of Buddhism.

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I hope this works out better for them than the ill-fated investments they made in derivatives in the early 2000s.

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Fun fact: Koyasan's Okunoin Temple houses a monument to more than 1,000 "Showa martyrs," referring to soldiers who fought in World War Two in the name of the late Showa Emperor (Hirohito). The monument also honours 14 "Class A" war criminals who were military leaders.

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Surely the university already welcomes those intending to become priests as well as the monks mentioned in the article? Woud it also be possibile to enroll lay people, perhaps internationally, wishing degrees in theology and comparative religion?

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@Bruce--if it's in the main temple building (mausoleum), then it seems like that wouldn't be available for viewing by casual visitors. If it is somewhere outside among the 200,000 stupas/stones of the 2 km of cemetery trails, with centuries worth of wars commemorated in specific family plots and sometimes explained in bilingual signage, then I'd say bring a good map or a few spare hours in order to locate a specific monument (out of how many?) dealing with WW2.

Most shocking for me was visiting there a few months after that super typhoon last September and seeing that some massive trees had fallen on and among the tombs in an "older" section of Okunoin cemetery. Even months later they hadn't hauled away all the downed wood. Natural forces are pretty awesome at that scale, looking at the aftermath (no way would I have wanted to witness those bad boys blowing over).

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