The statue of the bodhisattva Kannon that was recently stolen by a Korean man from a Japanese temple in Tsushima and returned to Korea, where the statue is thought to have originated. A district court then ruled that the Buddha was to remain in Korea until further details came to light.
Now, the chief Buddhist priest from Pusok-sa, the Korean temple where the Buddha is thought to have been made in the 14th century, has visited Tsushima in an attempt to repair any damage caused to the relationship between the two nations by the incident.
Unsurprisingly, netizens have their doubts about this approach.
From MSN Sankei:
Korea’s Chief Buddhist Writes Letter to Express ‘Anxiety That Korean Japanese Relations Will Deteriorate’ Due to Buddhist Statue Robbery
A statue of the Bodhisattva Kannon (or Guanyin) stolen from the Kannon-ji temple in Tsushima city in Nagasaki and then later recovered by the Pusok-sa temple in Korea. The Pusok-sa temple claims to be the original location of the statue. On March 15th the chief priest from Pusok-sa temple visited the Kannon-ji temple in Tsushima city and read aloud a letter, stating that: “What worries me more than the theft is that Japanese-Korean relations could deteriorate”.
The letter was addressed to the chief priest from the Kannon-ji temple. Kannon-ji temple refused to meet the visiting priest and instead held a press conference, explaining that: “The return of statue is the main priority.”
The letter said: “I would like to visit the nearby Kannon-ji temple and develop relations. We understand a lot of the issues at hand and we believe we can empathise,” he appealed to Kannon-ji temple. On the other hand, bearing in mind that the statue was made in the 14th century in Korea, he continued: “It is also true that we sincerely hope that the statue can be returned to its original location.”
Regarding his most recent visit to Tsushima city, priest Wonu said: “I would like the [Kannon-ji temple’s] chief priest to cast aside all earthly desires and act according to the teachings of Buddha.”
Comments from Ceron.jp:
Is there a Buddhist teaching that says: “Making up reasons and stealing other people’s things is okay”?
‘Earthly desires’ are scary.
Do Buddhist teachings actually permit theft?
This is a genius bit of provocation.
It’s logical to return it first, then talk about history afterwards! Stealing it first and then claiming it is what happened with Takeshima. Fucking Korea.
Made in Korea in the 14th century…Ermmm, how many years has it been since the Republic of Korea was founded?
R. Yoshihiro Ueda:
I’ll bet that any Korean with a sense of common decency will be embarrassed by this.
Apparently in Korea Buddhist priests commit robberies. Why would they give them permission to enter Japan? It’s weird, I don’t get it.＜＜＜
All around Japan…There are only provocative countries that invade and plunder
Why would they put what they stole on a shelf and then look down upon us at they speak? First, apologise for the theft, then once the statue is returned shouldn’t we speak about it officially.
So don’t steal it then, come and speak to us properly.
This is so shamelessly impertinent. We should cut off ties with them at once.
The Korean who brought over this 840 yen kokeshi, is his head too blue? Looks like he shaved his hair off yesterday… Did he suddenly become a priest? Hurry and go home, and take that bloody kokeshi with you.
Why is he not more concerned with the robbery? Wouldn’t you agree that it’s natural to first criticise the thief’s crime?
And outspoken twat of the day is you, Korean buddhist priest, sir. Isn’t it you who’s making relations worse by not returning the stolen statue w?
Made me laugh a little w
Wow–. They don’t seem to understand that it’s been preserved for hundreds of years. Is there really nothing left over there?
Those punks are really crap thieves, aren’t they? As you’d expect, the Koreans are bad. They’re lower than a third-class country
In short, no matter what Koreans do they’re completely in the right, while they think that everything the other guy does is wrong.
Who exactly is making Japan-Korea relations worse?