Inside, the head priest, Bunkei Shibata, is in a contemplative mood. But it is not the path to enlightenment that occupies his thoughts.
In the bottom-left corner of the screen, a digital counter tallied the .. through a slow and torchy version of Fleetwood Mac's Songbird. “You can laugh all you like, prime minister,” said Werner Langen, a German member. The Five Star Movement (M5S) is an anti-system and anti-establishment party, which is unclassifiable in the usual left-right typologies but one.
Instead, he is pondering the future of his, and tens of thousands of other Buddhist temples across Japan. Its decline mirrors that of hundreds of small communities that have traditionally helped finance their local temple. With no parishioners left to pay for their upkeep, temples will have no choice but to close their doors for good, according to Hidenori Ukai, a journalist and depute head priest of Shogakuji temple in Kyoto.
More are opting for cheaper, secular ceremonies, while priests say they feel duty-bound to drastically lower costs to give deceased parishioners a fitting sendoff. In Tokyo, priests at Vowz Bar dispense spiritual guidance along with alcohol, to their young clientele. Surveys show that an increasing number of Japanese regard organised religion as inaccessible, cheerless and — since the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway by the Aum Supreme Truth doomsday cult — even dangerous.
That goes as much for priests as for followers.
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Cameron, Norman; Stevens, R. Registration is free and requires only your email address. Sieg Heil was a chant used at the Nazis' mass rallies, where enthusiastic crowds answered Heil to the call of Sieg "victory". The Nazi salute , or Hitler salute German: Der Sieg des Glaubens Tag der Freiheit:
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