Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pure Land Buddhism and the art of photography

Monk with a mission: Akiyoshi Taniguchi is the head priest at Chohouin Temple in Tokyo. An self-described 'photo boy,' he built a white room that serves as a photography gallery on the premises of his temple. | DAN SZPARA
Follow the Sumida River southwest from Asakusa and you’ll soon reach Kuramae, an old working-class neighborhood filled with small factories, wholesale shops and temples. The head priest there is 58-year-old Akiyoshi Taniguchi, a monk who also runs a small gallery on the premises called Kurenboh. A photography enthusiast, Taniguchi combines his love of the art with his role as head priest at Chohouin, his family’s Pure Land Buddhist (jōdoshū) temple where he was “born into and grew up in.” After the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, the monk donated his entire collection — by this time some 700 to 800 prints — to the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.... and now he wanted to share his love of photography and Buddhism with others. [More]