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6 Apr 2017

Tokyo Temple Opens Up to LGBT

Shodaiji Temple n Edogawa Ward offering graves for same-sex couples and guidance to LGBT.

Shodaji Temple in Japanese capital Tokyo has adopted an inclusive attitude to LGBT by introducing same-sex graves and actively welcoming the community into the Temple.

“Buddhism doesn’t discriminate on the basis of sex or impose an idea of what a person should be,” Joji Inoue, the 43-year-old chief priest at Shodaiji, told the Japan Times.

“I hope to eliminate prejudice and discrimination” against sexual minorities, he added.

Inoue named the grave for LGBT couples “&,” pronounced “ando” in Japanese, which means a sense of relief, in the hope people can rest in peace with their loved ones after death.

“We’d like to care for people of diverse sexualities and help those who are worried about their graves,” a Shodaiji official said.

Shodaiji temple plans to give LGBT people advice on other subjects and promote understanding of sexual minorities in Japan.


Reader's Comments

1. 2017-04-08 08:23  
Maybe the Soto Zen school will say something supportive. Maybe silence is enough (silence is not so bad, sometimes). Yay Buddhists! In Japan, funerals keep the temple open, since daily practice and temple training is mostly out of fashion (though not so in California and elsewhere, thanks to Japanese Priests who set up shop outside the land of the rising sun). In Korea, the main Seon temple stood up for the gay pride marchers who were refused a permit to march last year because of so-called Christian right wing noise. I guess politics are part of life. But I am so happy that the compassionate dharma of this Tokyo Sangha can openly include everybody, and the grave yard is a good start (or end). Jizo Bodhisattva smiles and embraces all the gay and lesbian and trans people who need a helping hand. Big change for quiet, serious, conservative and often beautiful Japanese way of doing things. Bravo, Sodaji! Maha Prajna Paramita! _/\_
2. 2017-04-09 05:34  
3. 2017-04-12 14:52  
So there is nothing new, as people who happen to be gay have been buried here before.

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