Meeting Japanese Buddha on New Year’s Day

“Are you a member?”

This simple conversation at a museum cafe today made me feel a little bit honored. Yesterday I purchased a ROM, Royal Ontario Museum membership. As I wrote in a previous post, I’m a museum freak. Since I live in Toronto now, it’s quite reasonable to be a ROM member. As I wrote in another previous post, I like to visit a museum to meet Buddha. In the other post of today, I wrote that I have decided to do something instead of having my family’s traditional New Year’s Day dish. The other thing to do, besides watching the first sunrise, or 初日の出, is to meet Japanese Buddha and Shinto Kami in ROM. Visiting a Buddhist temple or a Shinto shrine in the first week of the year is Japanese tradition, 初詣. I know museums do not exhibit Buddhism “art” for this reason, but for me it is a good place in Canada to meet Buddha.

Not having my family’s traditional New Year’s Day dish was very disappointing. But because of that, I did two Japanese customs for New Year’s Day that I had never done in Canada. This is a good start of the new year.

As I wrote in that previous post mentioned above, those Buddhism art works are not originally “art” but religious practice. In Japan, as I commented on a photo in one of my facebook photo albums, even small Shinto shrines are well treated by locals. However, those statues of Buddha and Shinto Kami in museums are not treated in that way. Visiting a museum to meet them is my own way to worship them.

Anyways. It was a good way for me to start the New Year.

January 1, 2014Permalink