- 14 Mar 2002
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Japanese dog undertakes rigorous training at zen temple
=> Channel NewsAsiaA dog's life may not be so bad after all in Japan where canines have started undertaking rigorous training at a zen temple with the hope of someday reaching nirvana. It is just after dawn at the Hokyo Temple nestled between the snowy hills of central Japan. Most people are still asleep at this hour, but at the 14th century zen temple, chief priest Taido Sato and his novice "Pudding" have started their religious rituals. Putting on purple and saffron robes, Sato and Pudding set off for the numerous small temples which cling to the hills of Tsuru city. They stop at each temple building to read sutras and offer prayers and incense. Sometimes they are joined by parishoners who come to pray with them. Sato is the 38th priest since the temple was founded but five-year-old Pudding is the first canine novice. "I didn't teach her anything. Ever since she was a pup, whenever she comes in front of a Buddha, she becomes alert and sits up," says Sato whose wife found Pudding as a stray pup on the road near the temple.
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