My Thought about Religions

   1)   The Metaphor of "blind people touch an elephant"

 

  It is nonsense to fight between the people because of the difference of religions. It is because nobody knows what the truth is exactly. I could be sure about it after I read the story about what Buddha said about the Truth. 

 When people asked Gautama Siddhartha what the Truth is, he told them a metaphor as below. 

 Depending on what he said, nobody could understand what the Truth is, because so-called “Truth” is so great that nobody can get its whole. The Truth that one could understand is just a small part, and the small part each one got can be right. But people who can get something from what they meet believe what they could touch must be everything, and they fight between them arguing that only the part they could touch must be theTruth. 

 It is just like blind men touching an elephant and fight between them saying the elephant must be this and that. Some blind man touching the ear of the elephant says the elephant must be like a cushion, one who touched its nose says that the elephant must be like a hose, another who touched its leg says the elephant must be like a tree…Although each one says the elephant must be this or that, nobody can guess its hole exactly. And without knowing it exactly they fight saying “ the truth is just what I say , and yours is false.”

 

From this metaphor, I got one thing.

 

 Every kind of religion in this world was established by blind people who touched a part of an elephant, saying that "my elephant is the only true elephant, yours is false". Depending on the place they were born, each of them calls his or her elephant, Yahweh or Allah, God or Dharma without knowing their elephant is nothing but a part.

 

 I think, Yahweh or Allah, God or Dharma are not "the name of the Truth" but a sign or a mark. If there is a difference, it is only the name of each one’s language they speak where they are born.

 

 I wonder why they don't show the definition of each name, Yahweh or Allāh, God or Dharma. The definition of Yahweh is final Truth being by itself. The definition of Allāh is final Truth being by itself. The definition of God or Dharma is final Truth being by itself.

 

 Then why don't you call them by definition without putting its name depending on the place whose language is just different.

 

 I suggest if they want to fight, fight whatever they want, but not in the name of Final Truth, but just because the difference of their color of skin, difference of language, difference of place they live in. Then they will lose all reason to fight. It is because they will notice a poodle can marry an akita-ken (dogs from Akita) just as I Japanese could with a Latin American guy.    

 

2) The Difference of Religions

 

 I was born in 1941, and 9 months later, the Pacific War began. My family was catholic, and I was baptized when I was 1 month old. It was very significant, because of the situation. From the church to which we belonged, all the priests of enemy countries were exiled, and only the German and Italian priests were allowed to work.

 

 But from the eyes of common Japanese people, all white men seemed to be  " america-jin (American)" and they could not distinguish them as allies. They thought we were spies and treated us as enemies.

 

 Later, one of my brothers expressed our situation "we were like West Berlin surrounded by communist countries."

 

 Nobody can choose his or her family of birth. Without any will to choose, depending on the place of birth, we are called Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, or Islamic, etc. And they don't notice that it is quite unreasonable to fight among the people because of the difference of religion to which they belong without having chosen their religion.

 

 They believe in each group’s God in the name they are used to, and call as the Final Being, but they don’t know what He is exactly.

 

 My thought about religion began by realizing the situation that I was just born into a catholic family without any chance to express, and I had to meet every kind of difficulty which I myself didn't have any responsibility for.

 

   3)    KAMI and GOD

 

 I’d like to speak about the difference between KAMI in Japanese and God in English.

 

 The term KAMI is usually translated as "God" in English. But in my opinion, it is an unfortunate mistranslation which has caused misunderstanding of Japanese people all over the world. We Japanese think a great deal of the historical family of TENNOU, not because they are god’s family, but they are the family who carries the mystical tradition of Japanese native spirit.

 

 God in English has its own definition and also KAMI in Japanese, because the concept of God is different in both cultures, the Christian and the Japanese.

 

 God for Christians is the Creator of the universe who cannot be replaced by any other being. God is some kind of being with some mysterious power, while ordinary human beings don't have.

 

 KAMI in Japanese, can be originally defined as any kind of "mysterious phenomenon" which could not be understood in ancient times.

 

 For example, “UMASHI-ASHIKABI-HIKOJI-no-KAMI which is found in the first chapter of KOJIKI can be thought as “mold”.

 

 In a few words, the clearest difference between the two could be as this; "GOD is a being who exists by itself" and "KAMI is the being which comes out from the mysterious phenomenon".

 

 Later, in the middle age, a Portuguese ship was casted ashore at the island called Tanegashima, they began to send catholic missionaries to Japan. They noticed the difference between Kami and God. They studied many religious words in Japanese and they published the dictionary called “NIPPO-JITEN”.

 

 They understood that there was no suitable translation for God, so they dared not translate that word. They used “DEUS” which is GOD in Portuguese. Later they made a new word in Japanese , TENSHU(天主)sama. This word was used in the Japanese Catholic community until the Council of Vatican in 1962 to 1965. After that in the name of the movement of agreement, The Catholic church of Japan began to use KAMISAMA as the translation for God.

 

 It is not good for all Japanese people, because Kami in Yasukuni is translated as “gods”, and then all Japanese people are misunderstood in all over the world that we all adore the soldiers who are worshipped in Yasukuni not as Kami but as Gods.

 

 Usually, foreigners cannot understand that Japanese people have had a custom to make shrines even for the defeated people as TAIRANO MASAKADO, SUGAWARA MICHIZANE, the family of HEIKE, etc. They are called KAMI but not god.

 

 The soldiers who are in YASUKUNI are not worshipped as gods but dedicated as Kami, as the spirit of soldiers killed in the war. When they are translated as gods caused the hatred towards the Japanese people by the Koreans and the Chinese for more than 70 years after the war.

 

 But I think all the Japanese people can have a right not to worship but to thank the soldiers who contributed their lives for their fatherland although Japan was defeated in the second world war.

八重桜が咲いた

近所の中学校の校庭の回りに八重桜が真っ盛り

体調がすぐれないので、あまり行動ができない。でも昨日、近くのファミマに行く用事があって、行く途中、中学校の校庭の周りに、山桜が咲いていた。そこ、孫の出た中学校。校庭に誰もいなかったけれど、八重桜は誰もいなくても勝手に咲いている。

 

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八重桜の前は畑で、ネギが並んでいる

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上はうちの近所に咲き乱れる花。春爛漫。大騒ぎするような花の必要ないけれど、これって、いいね。

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これはたぶん、真っ白な花のはず。頭おかしくなってから花の名前全部忘れた。でも鑑賞力はあるよ。

ちょっと自分ながら面白い話

昔あるブログに書いた話だけど

言っても言わなくてもいい話。
今日病院にリハビリに行った。ちょっと待ち時間があったので、スマホをいじっていたら、隣に座っていたおばさんが、たまげるほど不作法に、私のスマホを覗きこんだ。なんだ、なんだ、何が起きたのだ!私が呆然とするほど唐突で、面食らった。
ところがそのおばさん、極めて普通の顔して、「あたし、ばかなの」という。「確かにねえ」と答えたくなるのを我慢した。「頭悪いの!其れに結婚してないの」
「はあ、頭悪くて、結婚しないんですか」と、言いたかったけど、やっぱり我慢した。
ばかばか名乗るから、もしかして、苗字が「葉華さん」とでもいうのかな。初対面だし、名を名乗っているのかもしれない。善意に解釈を試みた。
で、彼女、自分の頭を抱えて、何度もたたいて見せるので、「ひょっとして、頭のリハビリにいらしているんですか」と言ってみた。反対側に座っていた婆さんが笑い転げている。
「あたし結婚してなくて、頭悪いけど、62歳なの。70になったら結婚しようと思ってねえ。私の友達、104歳よ。」
「ほう、104歳で結婚したんですか?」と私は普通の顔して応じた。「そうじゃない。そうじゃない。私が72歳で結婚するの。ア、お兄さんが来た。」そこに血圧を測りに来た係員が、対応し始めたので、「あ、良い鴨がきましたよ、結婚申し込んだらいかがですか?」と言ったら、そのおばさん、興奮しちゃって、血圧190だって。すご!
ところで、彼女、別れ際に私に頭をさげた。
「ありがとう。楽しかった。」
きっと、あの人、誰にも相手にされなくて、よほど寂しいんだろう。ああいうの相手に、対応する人、多くないだろうなあ。
もしかしたら、どこも悪くないのに、口実設けてリハビリに来ているのかもしれない。私はよいことしたような気持ちになった。

藤の花を見に行った

ご近所の藤の花

そろそろ、藤の花が見ごろだろうと思って、散歩に出た。実は自分の家にあるのが、今年はほとんどつぼみもない。6個見つけたけど、まだ咲くには程遠い。でも、ご近所にあるはずだと思った。

 

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これ素晴らしいけれど、ある個人のお宅なので、家が映らないような角度から。

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これは近くの公園の藤。まだ真っ盛りではないけれど、十分楽しめる。

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別のご近所2

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ご近所③

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見事!

実は流山セントラルパークまで行ってきたのだけれど、まだ咲いていなかった。

その代わり、まだ八重桜があった。

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日本語の発音と欧米圏の発音

帰化した主人の名前のこと

 
 日本人は母音のない子音だけの外国語の発音が苦手だ。私はその日本人だから慣れているけど、Davidという名前の主人は懲りもせずまだ慣れないらしい。日本人は必ずごく当たり前に英語圏の発音で主人の名前をデイヴイッドさんとよんでくれる。
 スペイン語圏だから発音はかなり日本人に覚えやすくダビでいいのだけど、どうもうまくいかない。違うのは最後のd。dに母音がついてないからほとんど聞こえない。bとvはほとんど同じ。だからダビでいい。でも日本人は絶対に最後のdをドと発音しなきゃ気持ちが落ち着かないんだね。
 いつか私はオードリーヘップバーンという名で知られている人物のヘップバーンと、明治時代に日本語表記として行われていたヘボン式ローマ字のヘボンが同じ綴りであることを知って感心した。ヘップバーンと綴られればどうしたって語尾のバーンにアクセントが行き、ヘボンだと先頭のへにアクセントが行く。だからヘボンのほうが本来の発音に近い。
 日本語のアルファベットである、「いろは歌」は面白くて好きだけど、日本語の文字発音が全て子音プラス母音でないとあの歌は成立しない。すごくよくできた歌だ。
 ところで主人が日本国籍を取るときに私が考案した日本名「太仁」だけど当然その母音付きの「ダビド」と読む。ところが日本人はこれを「ダニ」と読むんだ。エスコバルは「恵寿ヶ原」または「江州ヶ原」。でもこれは通称。最終的に面倒だからカタカナで登録した。でも不思議に日本人は漢字の方が納得するの。エスコバルは舌を噛んでよんでくれないけど、絶対読めないはずの漢字表記はよんでくれる。
 ところで、最近子供につける名前だって太郎や和夫や芳子や和子っていないのね。絶対読めないのに漢字使うの。聞いてみると明らかに欧米風の名前。それなのに何故太仁が読めないんだろうね。「ダニ」はやっぱり困るよ。本人はすごく平和な人で、他人をちくちくさしたりしないのに。

Essay on the Difference of Religions

Essay on the Difference of Religions

 

 I was born in 1941, and 9 months later, the Pacific War began. My family was catholic, and I was baptized when I was 1 month old. It was very significant, because of the situation. From the church to which we belonged, all the priests of enemy countries were exiled, and only the German priests and Italian priests were allowed to work.

 

 But from the eyes of common Japanese people, all men with blue eyes seemed to be

 " america-jin (American )" and they could not distinguish them as allies. They thought we were spies and treated us as enemies.

 

 Later, one of my brothers expressed our situation "we were like West Berlin surrounded by communist countries."

 

 Nobody can choose his or her family of birth. Without any will to choose, depending on the place of birth, we are called Buddhist, Catholic, Protestant, or Islamic, etc. And they don't notice that it is quite unreasonable to fight among the people because of the difference of religion to which they belong without having chosen their religion.

 

 They believe in each group’s God in the name they are used to, and call as the Final Being, but they don’t know what He is exactly.

 

 My thought about religion began by realizing the situation that I was just born into a catholic family without any chance to express, and I had to meet every kind of difficulty which I myself didn't have any responsibility for.

 

 The Metaphor of ”blind people touch an elephant”

 

When people asked Gotama Siddhattha what Truth is, he told them a metaphor as below.

 

Depending on what he said, nobody could understand what the Truth is, Truth is so great that nobody can get its whole. The Truth that one could understand is just a small part, and the small part each one got can be right. But people who can get something believe that they could touch must be everything, and they fight between them arguing that only the part they could touch must be Truth.

 

It is just like blind men touching an elephant and fight between them saying the elephant must be this and that.

 

From this metaphor, I got one thing.

 

Every kind of religion in this world was established by blind people who touched a part of an elephant, saying that "my elephant is the only true elephant, yours is false". Depending on the place they were born, each of them calls his or her elephant, Yahweh or Allah, God or Dharma without knowing their elephant is nothing but a part..

 

I think, Yahweh or Allah, God or Dharma are not "name of the Truth" but a sign or a mark. If there is a difference, it is only the name depending on the group they are born.

 

I wonder why they don't show the definition of each name, Yahweh or Allāh, God or Dharma . The definition of Yahweh is final Truth being by itself. The definition of Allāh is final Truth being by itself. The definition of God or Dharma is final Truth being by itself.

 

Then why don't you call them by definition without putting its name depending on the place whose language is just different.

 

I suggest if they want to fight, fight whatever they want, but not in the name of Final Truth, but just because the difference of their color of skin, difference of language, difference of place they live in. Then they will lose all reason to fight. It is because they will notice a poodle can marry an akita-ken(dogs from Akita) just as I could with a Latin American guy.

 

 

kami and god

I’d like to speak about the difference between KAMI in Japanese and God in English.

 

The term KAMI is usually translated as "God" in English. But in my opinion, it is an unfortunate mistranslation which has caused misunderstanding of Japanese people all over the world. We Japanese think a great deal of the historical family of TENNOU, not because they are god’s family, but they are the family who carries the mystical tradition of Japanese native spirit.

 

God in English has its own definition and also KAMI in Japanese, because the concept of God is different in both cultures, the Christian and the Japanese.

 

God for Christians is the Creator of the universe who cannot be replaced by any other being. God is some kind of being with some mysterious power, while ordinary human beings don't have.

 

KAMI in Japanese, can be originally defined as any kind of "mysterious phenomenon" which could not be understood in ancient times.

 

For example, “UMASHI-ASHUKABI-HIKOJI-no-KAMI which is found in the first chapter of KOJIKI can be thought as “mold”.

 

In a few words, the clearest difference between the two could be as this; "GOD is a being who exists by itself" and "KAMI is the being which comes out from the mysterious phenomenon".

 

Later, in the middle age, a Portuguese ship was casted ashore at Tanegashima, they began to send catholic missionaries to Japan. They noticed the difference between Kami and God. They studied many religious words in Japanese and they published the dictionary called “NIPPO-JITEN”.

 

They understood that there was no suitable translation for God, so they dared not translate that word. They used “DEUS” which is GOD in Portuguese. Later they made a new word in Japanese , TENSHU(天主)sama. This word was used in the Japanese Catholic community until the Council of Vatican in 1962 to 1965. After that in the name of the movement of agreement, The Catholic church of Japan began to use KAMISAMA as the translation for God.

 

It is not good for all Japanese people, because Kami in Yasukuni is translated as “gods”, and then all Japanese people are misunderstood in all over the world that we all adore the soldiers who are worshipped in Yasukuni not as Kami but as Gods.

 

Usually, foreigners cannot understand that Japanese people have had a custom to make shrines even for the defeated people as TAIRANO MASAKADO, SUGAWARA MICHIZANE, the family of HEIKE, etc. They are called KAMI but not god.

 

The soldiers who are in YASUKUNI are not worshipped as gods but dedicated as Kami, as the spirit of soldiers killed in the war. When they are translated as gods caused the hatred towards the Japanese people by the Koreans and the Chinese for more than 70 years after the war.

 

But I think all the Japanese people can have a right not to worship but to thank the soldiers who contributed their lives for their fatherland although Japan was defeated in the second world war.