Hosshoji the Rocket Temple (short story, The 9th Sogen SF Short Story Prize winner)

The beginning of “buddhpunk”

Hosshoji is a nine-storied pagoda that is also a spaceship. The astromonks begin an adventurous journey to visit the Great Buddha on a faraway planet!

The prayer furnace of the Hosshoji Temple reaches its critical point after a long prayer. Thus, the thrust necessary for the first space velocity is obtained. The towering nine-storied pagoda is the pinnacle of the latest Buddhic science — a fusion of Buddhism and physics that reveals the truth of the universe. It is a star temple — a rocket that cuts through the strange space-time and reaches a star in just 49 days. The star is called Jisosei, which lies 39 light-years away from Enbudai (Earth).

The team of astromonks is led by a medical monk, Ganshin. The scholar monk Shokai travels with Emmanuel the nun, Egan the machine monk. The mandalas indicate the space structure. They are used as star maps to show them the way. The seven astromonks can endure the harsh environment of space by exercising the meditation and breathing techniques and controlling their bodies and minds.

The Great Buddha of Jisosei is about to be publicly exhibited for the first time in 180 years. The mission of Hosshoji is to send a girl Sarje, a reincarnation candidate, to the planet for the ceremony.

The astromonks encounter mysterious buddhas one after another. Symphonic mani-wheels spin and bellow accelerated sutra. Emmanuel wears a Kongo Rikishi space armor. Shokai invokes a powerful Buddha.

What is the fate of Sarje!?

What is the Great Buddha?

This is the beginning of “buddhpunk.”

The trial version in Japanese is here.

Many Buddhist terms are used in this work. The glossary (in Japanese) is available.

This work is included in an anthology “プロジェクト:シャーロック” (“Project Sherlock”), which was published by Tokyo Sogensha in June 2018.

Also available as a standalone e-book. It includes beautiful cover image and illustrations by KATO Naoyuki.

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