Michel Ouellette JMD
Public Affairs & Communications Specialist
In times of perpetual political and religious conflict, of misery and sufferings, man always turns toward a supreme being for help, guidance and reinforcement of one’s opinion or command.
A few weeks ago, I was telling you about this new spiritual or religious Japanese movement called Tendo and, after meeting with Kazunori Nagamatsu Touken, the charismatic leader of that movement, I did my homework and met with most of the accredited representatives or the organization in North America.
Is Tendo going to be successful in North America as a new Trend?
I have my doubts.
Even with Tendans in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States, with only eighty-three Tendenshi across the world, I do not see how Tendo could become the next big thing.
For one, most of their Tendenshi only speaks Japanese making it very difficult to convey efficiently the message of their charismatic and revered Japanese leader, Kazunori Namagatsu, to the rest of the world.
Then there is the lack of comprehensive information on this movement and finally, there is a lot of confusion in the message the representatives are conveying. While they say Tendo is not a religion, they definitely talk about God and Saints, Heaven and Hell. They also have ceremonials with offerings to God.
What is exactly Tendo? Where is Tendo coming from? Is Tendo a new thing, or something that has roots in the origins of man?
If, like many others, because of the confusion, you did your homework and tried to find any information on Tendo on the web, you came out with absolutely or near to nothing closely or remotely related on the subject of Tendo as a spiritual belief or a religion. For the more persistent researchers, you probably came out with a few pages on the subject that were written for some in 2005 by some obscures writers or, on a Blog page written by an even more obscure writer.
For the even more persistent researchers, you probably, after many and very long hours of painful researches, found some historical data and very much incomplete information on the subject of Tendo. Most of tha information was written by William Theodore de Bary, the foremost world renowned expert on East Asian cultures in his book “In Sources of East Asian Tradition” publish by Columbia University press in 2008.
Yes indeed, for whoever wants to believe in modern Tendo, it is a monastic task and endeavor to only try to understand what Tendo is all about! And, I regret to have to tell it to those who did not realize it yet: “In our modern world and society, you are not going to be successful in promoting anything relying on faith only. Your sayings have to be documented and substantiated somehow in a comprehensive and trustworthy way!”
No trust means no members.
A lack of honest and reliable information means no trust; no trust means absolutely no faithful new members; ne new members means no future.
Without the proper structures adapted to the modern reality of the world and more reliable educational material written and distributed in the language of the country were they are establishing their missions, Tendo has absolutely no future. This is especially true in the western world.
Without proper “branding” and “marketing,” Tendo has absolutely no future.