Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Buddha & Jesus Comic


Hikaru Nakamura, a Buddhist, has written a comic depicting the lives of Buddha and Jesus in our 21st century metropolitan. The title of the comic is 'Saint Oniisan' (Japanese: Saint Young Men). Read its review. The portrayed Jesus is just uninteresting and boring. But again, what can one expects from a Buddhist?

I went to a Buddhist Seminary's library once. Guess what? The only books that are about Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible are those with titles like 'Jesus in India', 'The Gnostic Gospel', etc. So it is not surprising if the Jesus in this comic is so pathetically mundane. Anyway, here's a bit of the review:

Saint Oniisan is slice-of-life, or shall I say divine-life, tale of Jesus and Buddha as they try to experience the modern world, in this case, Japan. The first volume gives us a great glimpse of their reintegration to society. You see Jesus and Buddha experiencing Asakusa, public baths, theme parks, and the internet. Throughout the volume, we get a little history of their divine greatness only to see their apparent insignificance in modern Japanese society. Suffice to say, before people can recognize that they’re actually Jesus and Buddha, people think of them as someone who looks like Johnny Depp or a guy with a button on his forehead.

But the idea of imagining Jesus to be living in a Metropolitan is interesting and insightful. Who would Jesus understands himself to be in such an environment? What problems would he see? What solution/vocation would he engage in? What would be his aims? Would he be killed? How would his immediate followers (assumed he has) think of him? Would he be resurrected?

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