When we found this image floating around in cyberspace, we sincerely thought it was a promotion for a movie….a Japanese anime, perhaps. Turns out, it wasn’t. The truth was even further than we were prepared for, in fact, because the poster had nothing to do with entertainment, comics, anime or cartoons. It has everything to do with telling people all about Buddhism.
Trust the Japanese to make even promotion of education and religion cute.
In this contemporary art billboard that was found on a Buddhist temple in Hachioji, there are anime drawings of some characters speaking QR Code in their speech bubbles. The poster aims to teach everyday people all about the teachings of Nichiren. Nichiren, for those who are not familiar with this religion was founded by a Japanese Buddhist Monk who taught his followers how to achieve enlightenment through chanting. Nichiren is big in Japan but it’s found its roots in many other parts of Asia now too.
Followers of Nichiren are very aggressively in teaching and promoting the religion, easily reaching out to anyone who is willing to listen. The followers consist of very young, technology-savvy people, hence, the ability to latch on to the latest mode of reaching out to others…like the QR Codes.
When the QR Codes are scanned, the mobile phone user will be led to a mobile web page explaining the basic teachers of the Japanese monk. (http://katy.jp/ryohoji/05.html)
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