|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Bogus Buddhist seeks sweetie, gains enlightenment instead 2006,07,17
Uramono Japan (August) By Masuo Kamiyama
"Oh, by the way, Mr. Takarada," the young woman asked.
"I was just wondering: Who is the founder of your Tendai sect?"
"Ah, the founder was. . . well, you know, that guy, Tendai what's his face. . . "
"Hmmm. Well, when was your 'tokudo?'"
"Ahem! Yes, ah, my ah, tokudo. Well, it was, you know when I did it (whatever it means).
Er, would you please excuse me for a moment? I need to answer the call of nature."
Tokudo, the embarrassed Jun Takarada was to learn later, is the ceremony upon which one is ordained as a Buddhist priest.
If he had studied up on such matters before, he would have made a much more convincing impression on the stunning 32-year-old woman named Emiko, who he met on a matchmaking site -- www.******.***/deai/ -- set up by a temple to help single priests make contact with available women.
Writing in Uramono Japan (August), Takarada, age 31, is single, not going with anyone in particular, and thought he might be able to land himself a cutie via the matchmaking site.
Takarada managed to fake it through the registration procedure, and a week later was issued an ID and password by return e-mail.
Soon he was surfing the site and sending out friendly e-mails to some of the 80 women registered therein.
And getting responses.
"How do you do. I am studying at a Buddhist university. How about you? Mieko"
"Actually, my father operates a small Buddhist temple in XX Prefecture.
He's looking for a successor to take it over, but so far there haven't been any good candidates. Misuzu."
"What's it like to be a Buddhist priest? The regimen must be very strict, isn't it? Tae."
When meeting the women, Takarada would pose as a priest not attached to any particular temple, but currently enrolled in graduate studies at a Buddhist university --- which, he figured, would be the safest way of explaining his long hair.
(Priests routinely shave their heads.)
Unfortunately, Takarada's ruse was exposed on the first date, when he met the aforementioned Emiko and she saw through him as a complete fraud with just two simple questions that any self-respecting priest would certainly know.
Undeterred, Takarada purchased a comic book titled "Buddhism Primer" from which to study the tenets of the religion, and followed this up with perusal of information sites on the Internet.
By the time he met his next date, a woman named Mika, at a park in Tachikawa, he was able to point toward a tree and sagaciously pontificate, "It is said that Lord Buddha, long ago, first attained enlightenment while sitting beneath a Bhodi tree."
To which the impressed Mika replied, "Heeee. . ." (no shit).
Mika soon begged off, insisting she had to be back home by 6 p.m.
It seems she never went anywhere without telling her parents beforehand, even going to the point of sharing her e-mails with them.
Definitely not conducive to a romantic tryst. . .
But upon returning home, Takarada found an encouraging message from a 22-year-old woman named Ikue, an office worker, in his in box.
They arranged to meet in Shinjuku and he took her to the free 45th floor observation platform in the Tokyo metropolitan government building.
"Wow, what a view," Ikue exclaimed. "Can you point to me where your temple is down there?"
"It's really small," he countered. "The fact is, you can barely see it even when you're standing in front of it."
"Later, over drinks in a Japanese-style pub, Ikue confessed to Takarada her wish to be wed by the age of 25.
"I want to be a good mom, and take care of my husband and his temple, and serve the faithful," she told him.
Things seemed to be clicking, and as their mood warmed, he asked her to take him to her apartment.
"It's really messy, but okay," she agreed. Then en route, Takarada was hit by pangs of conscience.
"Ikue, I'd really like to be your friend," he said.
"Really?" she beamed, joyfully.
Perhaps even in his superficial guise of being a priest, spiritual thoughts were beginning to rub off on him, but there was no way Takarada could bring himself to seduce this girl.
"Women meeting up with men on this site let down their guards, and are sincere," Takarada explains.
"They were easy to approach.
I suppose there's something about the occupation of priest that gains people's fidence.
"Were I to betray that trust, I could very well incur the wrath of Lord Buddha," he confesses to Uramono Japan readers.
"That's not worth the risk." (By Masuo Kamiyama, contributing writer)
July 17, 2006