This Buddha's for You

In America people go to bars for a drink. In Japan they can now go to a bar for enlightenment. A new saloon has opened in Osaka featuring friendly conversation over a glass of sake with an on-premises Buddhist priest. Patronage has been steady, with discussion topics ranging from personal problems to Japanese political scandals. The bar is the brainchild of an ex- bar owner named Manabu Yoshida and Fumihiko Kiyoshi, a Buddhist priest whose sect emphasizes preaching. The two bill their venture as "a temple that is in harmony with our age."

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