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Umai-Butsu…Japanese Tasty Buddha!?

Published Sep 11th, 2010

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First I would like you to see this photo. It may not be obvious, but these are statues of Buddha.

 

 

These are called Umai-Butsu: Tasty Buddha.

But why “tasty”? It’s because Umai-butsu are made from inexpensive (only 10 cents apiece) snack bars called Umai-Bo. Umai-bo is very popular, not only among Japanese kids, but also with adults in Japan. There is a wide range of flavors like cheese, salad, chicken curry, natto, tako-yaki, chocolate, spicy pollack roe, teriyaki, and more!

 

The Umai-Butsu artist, Koshi Kawachi, was inspired by the tale of  a Japanese monk called Enku. Enku traveled all over Japan, helping poor people and sculpting a large number of wooden Buddha. At the end of his journey, he carved a sculpture of Buddha for kids out of a wooden stick he found on the ground. He presented it to some children as a token of kindness. It is said that the kids loved the sculpture and lived happily ever after.

 

Here is the film of Koshi Kawachi creating the Buddha. The artist prays with a respectful attitude before and after carving. And, at the end…? Be sure to check it out. It may or may not make you smile (^^).

 

 

 

An Umai-Butsu tower looking just like an exhibit at a museum.

 

Umai-Butsu on the hill. What a sacred looking idol!

 

 

Regarding the savory Umai-Butsu, Koshi Kawachi muses; “Fragile, small, light, and not especially healthy. This world is just like Umai-Bo. But still, I love it.” Do you agree with him (^^; !?

 

Source : Koshi Kawachi’s Website

 

 

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