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Pokemon Go, Kami, and the Invisible Spirits around Us

My first experiences with Pokemon Go have been pleasant ones. One block from home, three monsters appeared on the smartphone screen directly in my path. I saw another off at the distance, but was advised it was too far away. I can see how the idea of invisible monsters around us came from Japan, with its notion of "kami" in the Shinto religion.

According to dictionary.com, kami are "spirits or phenomena that are worshipped in the religion of Shinto. They are elements in nature, animals, creationary forces in the universe, as well as spirits of the revered deceased." Saints and demons from all religious traditions have a similar nature to P-Go's "pocket monsters." I can even imagine medieval Christians taking down demons in their path by acts of penance or special devotions! Tibetan Buddhism, with its rich tantric legacy, is a close match for the sensations of confronting or capturing P-Go elementals.

I am not a game player by nature or inclination, so I may never learn the secrets of buying Pokeballs and deploying them against unseen forces, but it's fun as long as the monsters don't go on the offensive. I understand that once all monsters are captured, there will be a combat of sorts, but I hope we can turn it into a peace rally, don't you?

Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 09:31AM by Registered CommenterLinda Brown Holt | CommentsPost a Comment | References3 References

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