By Ellie Duncombe
Members of a Buddhist temple has found unusual ways to attract more young followers by blasting out techno music during its services.
The priest, Gyosen Asakura, 49, is spinning the techno tunes as well as a light show at the Shoonji temple, in Japan, in the hope it will encourage more youngsters to follow his teachings.
The former DJ says the techno music memorial service is designed in the image of the Buddhist paradise, describing it as “a world of light.”
In May last year, he held the first techno-service for the general public, with around 60 people ranging in ages visiting the venue.
He said: “I wanted to show the younger generation that temples are open to all kinds of people.
“The candle in the altar and inner temple were originally meant to express the bright world of the pure land.
“They used gold leaf to scatter the light about, creating a dazzling atmosphere.
“That was my inspiration. I thought I could make an even more dazzling space by using modern lights.”
In 2015 Gyosen took over from his father as the 17th chief priest of the temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect, but using his DJ and lighting experience from his 20s, he made a techno arrangement from Buddhists readings.
He said: “I’m most happy when people tell me they have become interested in Buddhism, but I welcome negative comments as well.
“For someone to say that it wasn’t good, they had to take time to think about Buddhism.
“In either case, I’m happy that I got a response at all.”