Japan Tries To Update Buddhist Temples To Attract Younger Visitors
If you’re looking to go clubbing in Japan, you may find the latest hotspot tucked away in a Buddhist temple. The traditional Japanese houses of worship are now becoming entertainment spaces, hosting dance parties with disco music and planetarium shows in an effort to attract young people.
The Kosenji temple in central Fukuoka recently looked like a downtown dance club with a glitter ball hung from the ceiling and flashing red, blue and purple lights on the dance floor. The idea for the party came from the temple’s chief priest Koji Jo, 55, who thought a more modern approach may attract young people in the community.
The temple displays many monuments, including one dedicated to Edo Period Haiku Poet Issa Kobayashi who visited from Tokyo three times in the 19th century. “A temple has an interesting potential as a social hub,” chief priest Mitsuhiko Akita says. “Temples should not be transitory but contribute to society by connecting people and broadening their perspective.”