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Thursday, 27th March 2008
In General Japan News,

Dog joins prayers at Japanese temple

A dog has started participating during the prayer sessions at a temple in Japan.

Known as Conan, the dog is the official pet of the Zen Buddhist Jigenin temple on the island of Okinawa and his participation in prayers has consequently led to an improvement in attendance levels at the temple.

Indeed, priest Joei Yoshikuni, in an interview with Associated Press, confirmed that attendance levels at the temple have increased by 30 per cent.

"I think he saw me doing it all the time and got the idea to do it too," said Mr Yoshikuni.

"Clasping hands is a basic action of Buddhist prayer to show appreciation. He may be showing his thanks for treats and walks."

Mr Yoshikuni also confirmed that he is trying to persuade Conan to sit without moving, while the priest sits in meditation - known in Japanese as Zazen.

In Japan, the main Zen sects are the Rinzai and Soto schools.

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