『銀河鉄道の夜』と法華経 [in Japanese] "Night of Galaxy Railway" and Saddharmapundarika-sutra [in Japanese]
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It is well known that Kenji Miyazawa, a Japanese writer of the Taisho and early Showa periods, is an ardent follower of the teaching of the Buddhist Sacred Scripture Saddharmapundarika-sutra. In his fairy tales, indeed, do we find frequently motifs deriving from this teaching. But, strange enough, his most important work "Night of Galaxy Railway" is full of Christian images and scanty of Buddhist ones. These Christian images are so beautiful that many readers tend to think that this is a work of Christian faith. This is a misreading. Jovanni, a young hero of the work, did not get off the train when many Christian passengers got off at the "Southern Cross" station, which is the entrance to the Christian paradise. He even said to a young Christian girl, "Your god is not a true god". The author does not explain why Jovanni disapproves the Christian god and its blessing. I suppose that Christianity, having a doctrine of Judgement, does not give happiness to all living beings. To Jovanni who has an ardent desire for "true happiness for all" as he repeatedly says, Christianity does not give satisfaction. Poor readers only see that which is criticized and fail to see criticism itself.
- The Bulletin of the Faculty of Letters,Tokai University
The Bulletin of the Faculty of Letters,Tokai University (64), 1-23, 1995