South East Asia :: March - June 1995

Subject: Sugar Queen
Date: June 6, 1995 10:53

11:26 Shugakuin Temple; Kyoto, Kansai District-Japan :: 5 JUN 95

From wood, granite, bamboo and green it emanates. Several voices chant, atonally, rhythmically, mesmerisingly. Each beat a syllable. A voice fades out of the rhythm-for an intake of breath?-and then arise anew. Underneath a single furtive voice, in staccato, reels off phrases.

The chant is remarkably like some examples of what the modern avant-garde call Industrial Music. To gaijin ears the voice becomes an instrument; the syllables are meaningless.

Yesterday the lead voice wore denim shirt and pants, a floppy hippie hat, Ray Bans and leather driving gloves. Garb more appropriate to a modern musician and in stark contrast to the sweeping white robes of todays chanting Tendai monk. Shattered stereotypes.

Patrick. -- Responses Sought --

To a practitioner of Tendai, everything is wonderful.
  graphical element Traditional Tendai Buddhist proverb