Mahito MUKAI : Yogakuji-Temple (Zen Temple)
“This is a place to escape restrictions and find comfort.”
Yogakuji Zen Buddhism Temple, was built in Monzen-Nakacho in 1637. In Japan, funerals and memorial services for ancestors are held in temples, and Buddhist priests offers consults to family members about their family gravesites and so on. Mahito Mukai is the deputy chief priest of Yogakuji Temple. Following in his father’s footsteps, he reads the sutra and performs Buddhist memorial services in modern Japanese.
In an attempt to open the temple up to more neighbors, Mahito organized what he calls the Puni Club, which caters to newcomers and Zen beginners. There are some events like Zen meditation for beginners, yoga in the temple for business people, temple board game events, kendama tournaments, etc. “This is a place to escape restrictions and find comfort. There is no need to follow the Buddhist religion, but if you would like to come visit it would be nice if you had an interest in finding out more about Buddhism. And if you visit us when an event is being held, you will have a chance to touch the spirit of Zen.”