Master Ryuho Okawa, founder of Happy Science, gave a public lecture at Sendai Sunplaza Hall entitled “The Mechanism of Salvation” on the May 24th. Around 2,000 people gathered at the main venue and the lecture was broadcast live via the Happy Science relay network to various places in the Tohoku region.
The Inherent Dangers of Amazon Japan’s new Monk Delivery
Last year, internet-based retailer “Amazon Japan” began a service where customers can hire a Buddhist monk. Another retailer Aeon introduced low-cost funeral services in 2009.
Master Okawa commented on this saying that while various retailer services are convenient, religious matters are different. He explained there was a danger of materialistic thinking in prioritizing convenience in religious matters thus losing sight of the more important spiritual element. If this lack of spiritual understanding continues, even traditional religions that are centuries old may perish.
He warned that in a world of cheap and convenient services, society is losing sight of the most important things.
Current Economy in Japan, Worse than Edo Period?
Master Okawa spoke on the 2016 film “The Magnificent Nine” set in the Edo period Sendai. The film, based on a true story from the Edo period, is about a poor post town merchant who begins to collect money with the help of his friends, loans it to the domain, and uses the interest to restore the town.
Master Okawa referred to this film saying, “the domain put a 10% interest on the money loaned from the post town . . . but now, the Japanese government is paying almost 0% interest to the 1 Quadrillion yen [approx. US$10.5] borrowed from the citizens. In addition, they are trying to raise the consumption tax from 8% to 10%. This is far worse than in the Edo period.”
Japan’s economy has been stagnant for 25 years. The reason lies in the ‘bubble bursting’, wherein capitalists and banks were bashed to lower property and stock prices. It seems as if the people thought this was justice. Consequently negative interest has been introduced and the capitalist spirit of ‘loan money and gain interest’ has collapsed.
Accumulate money to make capital, do business and the economy will prosper: this spirit of capitalism is instrumental to restoring Japan’s economy.
Master Okawa ended the lecture by explaining the meaning of Happiness Realization Party activities saying, “I made the HRP to cover for the things that religion cannot, and to influence the practical philosophy side of this world.” The party celebrates its 7th anniversary of its founding this year.
HRP: The Spirit of Restoration and Self-Help
Before the lecture, the HRP hosted a talk about restoration in the Tohoku region, with three candidates for the next election for the House of Representatives.
Fukushima candidate Hissho Yanai said, “For these 5 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Fukushima has been reported to still be a dangerous radioactive area. Restoration has been very slow in comparison to Miyagi prefecture. In reality, radiation in Fukushima is almost no different to that of Tokyo. Our restoration activity would be to claim that Fukushima is safe.”
Miyagi candidate Tetsushi Yui also spoke. He told a story of how the spirit of self-help always opens a bright future: “I stayed at a hostel in Miyagi prefecture that had once been washed away by the tsunami. The owner told me that she gave up once, but she felt that bringing happiness through the hostel business was her mission, and she decided to reconstruct the place. I was touched by her spirit of restoration.”
In the lecture, Master Okawa additionally spoke on the following points:
- How he proposed renewing nuclear plant operations immediately after the Great East Japan Earthquake
- The Tokyo governor Masuzoe trouble
- Hindsight into ‘bubble bursting’
- Mindsets to regain the spirit of capitalism
- The reason for people being born into this world