Recorrection for the Japanese Vegetarian

From: Takehiro OHYA (
Date: Fri 17 Feb 1995 - 07:05:00 EET

Alison Place:
>However, not classifying fish (or
>rabbit) as meat does bear out the main statement that most Japanese are not
>strict vegetarians, since they do eat dead animals. Thank you for the expert
>opinion, Takehiro! By the way, how does a rabbit qualify as fish?

I'm very Sorry for making some mistakes! A rabbit is classified as BIRD, not fish. In fact, Japanese rank of food is maybe the following.

peoples > animals > birds > fishes > plants

It is true that many monks of Zen only ate (and eat) only plants. And as for disease, most of them kept good health only with rice porridge, miso soup and pickled vegetables.

Peasants or Warriors (Samurai) or Nobles (Kuge) can eat not only fishes and plants but also birds. I don't know why they can eat such birds, on the contraly to the animals.

There are many monks who ate fishes, and so birds. You might think that such monks are corrupted, but that's not always true. For instance, Shinran, a famous Buddhist, philosophically justified for monks to eat meats, and many monks and folks followed his way, not only because they want to eat them.

About poor rabbits. They have long ears, you know. And some corrupted (yes, this is real corruption!) monks said, seeing rabbits' ears, "Hey, they have wings! They must be birds!" And they began to eat rabbits as birds. Poor rabbits!

- -----------------------------------------------------------------
Takehiro OHYA @ College of Arts and Sciences The Univ. of Tokyo E-Mail:,
- --------------------------------------Jetzt zur Zeit... ist es so.


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