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Buddhist followers pray for hostages during cold water ablutions in Wakayama

by KAZUHIRO NAKATA, Asahi Shimbun, January 26, 2015

KOYA, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan -- In sub-zero temperatures in this mountainous region, Buddhist followers prayed Jan. 25 for the safety of hostages held by terrorist groups in their annual ablution ceremony in frigid waters here.

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Buddhist monks cultivate cat haven at Fukui Prefecture’s “Kitty Temple”

by Evie Lundevie Lund, RocketNews, Jan 12, 2015

Tokyo, Japan -- Here’s a familiar saying: “In Ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped as gods; they have never forgotten this.”

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Buddhist Temple Officiates Gay Weddings As Japan Continues to Struggle With LGBT Rights

By Charles Pulliam-Moore, Towleroad.com, Dec 7, 2014

Kyoto, Japan -- The Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto, Japan has become the first zen Buddhist temple offering to officiate symbolic same sex weddings within the country.

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Four South Koreans held over theft of Tsushima Buddhist statue

Kyodo, Nov 25, 2014

NAGASAKI, Japan -- Four South Korean men were taken into police custody Monday on suspicion of stealing a Buddha statue from a temple in Tsushima, Nagasaki Prefecture, local police said.

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Japan: Buddhist monks become models for fashion show

BBC, 4 November 2014

Koyasan, Japan -- A fashion show starring Buddhist monks as catwalk models has been held in Japan, it's reported.

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