Japanese monks explore monkhood in Laos

Published on September 12, 2013

Twenty Buddhist monks from Kyoto in Japan visited Laos for the first time this month. They stayed for six nights at Vat Nakhoun in Vientiane. As members of the Young Buddhist Association in Kyoto, they celebrated their organization’s 50th anniversary by paying visit to Lao monks here.

Believing in Zen Buddhism, they exchanged traditions and teachings with Lao monks who believe in Theravada Buddhism. The Japanese monks were ordained here by Lao monks, following a religious ceremony in the temple.

A Japanese monk for 15 years now, Junji Okumo feels unusual with his orange wrapped around dress that is used by monks in Laos. He says in Japan, Buddhist monks usually wear black kimono, which is a Japanese traditional suit, and topped with an orange cloth like a sash.

The Japanese monks began communicating with the Buddhist monks in Laos ten years ago. They have also been sending books to Laos among other volunteering works. Okumo says he does not know how many times can a monk be ordained but what they did was “a very rare experience.”

Source: Vientiane Times
Published on September 12, 2013