In Japan, there are four sects of Buddhism which play a key role in their culture. Those four are Nichiren, which focuses on the Lotus Sutra and the teachings which lie therein; Shingon, which focuses on the recitation of mantra and is often considered a type of tantric Buddhism; Pure Land Buddhism, which focuses on the Amida Buddha and the belief that prayer to Amida will lead one’s spirit to the Pure Land in their next life; and Zen Buddhism, which focuses on meditation and experience or direct transmission as the path to enlightenment.
The Amida Buddha plays a role similar to Jesus in terms of the beliefs surrounding them. The Pure Land in which Amida resides is a veritable heaven where practitioners will be free to spend their entire life practicing Buddhism and seeking enlightenment to escape from the chain of reincarnation. Prayer, in the form of chants, to the Amida Buddha serves as a means to help one reach the Pure Land, similar to how prayer to Jesus can help lead one to heaven. This prayer, “Namu Amida Butsu”, appears in the game once or twice, and is similar, but quite different from a phrase like “Lord, have mercy upon me.” Since the prayer is typically repeated, people who have played Soul Calibur or Tekken are probably familiar with Yoshitsune’s shortened version of this: “Namu Namu”.
Zen Buddhism is the one that plays the largest role in this game. Shouki’s father is the head priest of a Zen Buddhist temple, which makes Shouki the next in line to inherit and take over administration of the temple. Raised in the ideals of meditation, open-mindedness towards different experiences, and the pursuit of a mind free of thought and attachment to this world, Shouki is one of the calmest characters in the games. He lives in the temple with his family, and the temple is constructed in line with the traditional Shichidō garan complex in mind.
Anyways, due to their relationship with the temple, several other terms relating to Zen Buddhism will appear in the game, so please read my translator’s notes on them when it comes out.
On to other news:
- Translation phase of Kira Kira is complete. Editing phase only has a few scripts left to go.
- I’m moving on to the final edit of Koihime Musou now.
- The script for the original Edelweiss is currently being reworked now. We intend to distribute a patch for all those who currently own or purchase the game during this process so the Edelweiss and Edelweiss Eiden Fantasia bundle will not be delayed as a result of this new development.