Japanese Buddhist and Lutheran Pastors Spreading God Through Rock 'n' Roll

Japanese Buddhist and Lutheran Pastors Spreading God Through Rock ‘n’ Roll

Japanese Buddhist and Lutheran Pastors Spreading God Through Rock 'n' Roll
Videos screenshot
Japanese Pastors spread “the good word” while headbanging.

In Japan, religion does not play a big role in the everyday life of its citizens. For many of them, religion is more of a seasonal formality. The average Japanese person may follow the religious rituals in ceremonies like weddings, birth, and funerals. He or she may visit the temple or shrine on occasions like the New Year or other important festivals in the Japanese calendar.

Japanese Buddhist and Lutheran Pastors Spreading God Through Rock ‘n’ Roll[/tweetthis]

In Japan, Buddhism is the second largest religion, having 46% of the population as Buddhist followers. It comes in second to the Shinto religion, Japan's native religion, which has 48% followers. Less than 2% of the Japanese population consists of Christians. This is based on the data released by the Japanese government.

The less than 2% figure, however, is not keeping Pastor Kazuhiro Sekino in his effort from spreading the good word of the Lord to as many people as possible. Apart from preaching to his congregation in the Lutheran church located in Tokyo most days, Sekino assumes the role of a rockstar by night to spread the teachings of Christianity, especially to the younger generation. The name of his rock band is Boxi Rocks, and it features three other pastors, apart from Sekino.

Boxi Rocks is essentially a Japanese word for pastor. The four pastors, in their church robes, on the smoky stage crisscrossed with dazzling lights, always manage to touch the heart and soul of their hundreds of audiences, and make them happy. Sekino's signature chant, 'we are rock, pastors are rock', never fails to stir up the concert-goers.

Sometimes, the band members throw in a leather jacket over their robes as well. Metallica and Slipknot are the two favorite bands of Sekino. According to Sekino, the band may look demonic from the Christian Church's point of view, however, all they do is speak the truth and shout out the injustice that is happening in the world, to the world.

Boxi Rocks often performs with Bozu (monk) band, headed by Monk Yoshinobu Fujioka. The 39-year old monk who loves 60s music and Bob Dylan plays the acoustic guitar in the band. According to him, the attitude that monks have to be quiet all the time borders on stereotype. Monks have energy. They have to mind their dynamic instincts, as well because they are just different Zen meditation forms.

Fujioka, who became a religious person after his sister became critically ill, likes to sing about the suffering and pain that human beings experience in their lives that makes them feel sad and small. His aim is to let people know that God is with them and that He is part of their lives. Fujioka and his band members also have a bar in Tokyo. The bar welcomes troubled people who can share their problems over a cocktail and go home with a lighter heart.

It was Sekino who had contacted Fujioka initially for the joint performance of their bands. Nowadays, the bands perform several times a year together.


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