Monks delivered via Amazon as role of Japanese temples fade

January 30, 2016 6:23 AM

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YACHIYO, Japan — In Japan, where communal ties to local Buddhist temples are fading, families have in recent years been able to go online to find a Buddhist monk to perform funerals and other rituals.

But when Amazon Japan allowed a provider to offer “Obo-san bin,” or “Mr. Monk Delivery,” on its website, it shone a spotlight on the emerging trend and prompted a major Buddhist organization to criticize the Internet marketer of commercializing religion.

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