Saturday, January 21, 2012

Matchmaking service gives Buddhist monks a boost in dating market

Buddhist monks and matchmaking services may sound like an unlikely combination, but many Buddhist sects in the country are now offering such services for their monks as their temples face a dearth of successors and possible integration with other temples.

One such sect is the Koyasan Shingon, headquartered on Mount Koya, Wakayama Prefecture.

Out of its 3,700 temples nationwide, some 800 currently have no managing monks and are being overseen by other temples.

In Japan, it is typical for relatives of monks — especially head monks — to inherit caretaker duties of their temples.

But because of a lack of successors, the monks have become desperate to find wives in order to preserve this tradition and save their temples from being closed or integrated.

According to Takua Kamei of Kongobuji, the head temple of the Shingon sect, one problem is that "the harder they pursue Buddhism, the fewer opportunities they can have to meet people of the opposite sex."

Kamei noted that families, known as "danka" in Japanese, which for generations have provided voluntary financial support to Buddhist temples, are also concerned about their temples if monks remain single and have no successors....

Continue reading on Buddhist Channel.

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