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Jesus, Buddha and Manga

November 17, 2010

Do you love manga and revered religious figures? Then I encourage you to check out S. Brent Plate’s nifty little piece over at The Revealer on a manga revolving around Buddha and Jesus.

I stumbled upon the manga title Seinto Oniisan, which usually gets translated into English as “Saint Young Men,” but also carries “brotherly” connotations. The brothers in question are none other than Jesus and Buddha, who take a vacation from otherworldly life to shack up together in the Tokyo suburb, Nachikawa. They share a spartan, tatami-clad flat, wonder over new technology, do their own laundry (mostly jeans and t-shirts with various Buddhist and Christian references), visit amusement parks, get their food from the local 7-11, and celebrate Christmas and Shinto festivals. The local school girls are attracted to Jesus because he looks so much like Johnny Depp, which makes him happy since people in the 21st century might actually like him; he comes off as a bit of a hippy slacker and wears his crown of thorns around like a bandana. The Buddha enjoys napping, usually sleeping in the pose of the great reclining Buddha, or downing a can of Sapporo beer in response to too much asceticism, while the young girls think he looks like Buddha and the Western tourists think he looks like a ninja.

Check out the rest of Brent’s post for interesting thoughts on what such texts might mean for religious literacy and the next generation.

The first few issues of the manga are available in a scanlation at Megachan.

(via Iconic Books)

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