Sunday, November 19, 2006

Being a fake priest in Japan

Once again, the Japanese turn Western religious categories on their heads.

Omi Junko was surprised to find out that some of the Western priests were not genuine.

"I thought the priests were all real and I think everyone in Japan thinks that," she said.

But Mr Kelly argues that the ceremony is not about religion, but about image.

"I give a good performance. I use an Apache wedding prayer in my ceremony. It works very well, although I had to take out the part about the bear god in the sky," he said.

"If people are crying by the end of the wedding, I think I have done a good job."


Blogger Sara Marie said...

There is a saying I have heard regarding the Japanese, religion, and ceremony:

"Born Shinto, married Christian, and then buried as a Buddhist."

The Japanese take on religion is really fascinating. They don't have the hang-ups most Westerners get caught on. I've often wondered why more Neo-Pagans don't take a good look at them to try and understand what modern paganism could be here in the West.

4:33 PM  
Blogger prairie mary said...

The way to nip these little Nipponese "priests" in the bud is to point out what Western couples are likely to pay their priests for officiating at a wedding. I generally felt lucky if someone slipped me a $20 bill. Of course, if they were actual members of the congregation I served, there was no charge at all anyway.

Prairie Mary

2:06 PM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...


I assume that the "fake priests" are being paid, don't you. It's an acting gig for them, and on a per-hour basis probably pays better than teaching English.

Sara Marie,

I know someone working on an article on just that relationship for The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Religious Studies.

4:01 PM  

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