It’s quite common in the United States for churches to post weekly messages on the signs standing on their front lawns. The public texts can run from deeply religious sentiments to pleas for more tolerance, though it’s also not uncommon for a careless mistake to lead to messages with multiple meanings–hilarious or unfortunate, depending on your perspective.

While Japan certainly does have its fair share of churches–perhaps more than one might expect–it is primarily the Buddhist temples that fill the role of making public, semi-religious proclamations. Like their Western counterparts, these messages can leave passers-by nodding their heads thoughtfully–or perhaps just chuckling. Check out these 12 posters that left a big impact on Japanese netizens! We never knew Buddhist Monks took so much notice of what Western celebrities had to say…

▼Well, we guess someone has a sense of humor.


While church messages boards tend use the same block letters found on movie theater or gas station signs, the posters put up by Japanese Buddhist temples have a bit more character. Usually written out by brush in thick, black ink on simple pieces of paper, the public statements have a far more personal feel.

Our first missive seems to be alluding to Hayashi Sensei’s much-lampooned “Itsu yaru ka? Ima deshou!” (“So, when will you do it? How about now!”) by stating “Ikiteiru no ha ima deshou!” (“Living, you’re doing it now!”). A perfect reminder of the Buddhist precepts about the impermanence of…well, everything!

▼Like the last bit of chocolate on White Day–everything disappears in a flash!


Here’s another poster that’s laying it on a bit heavy and existential. We hope you’re not reading this first thing in the morning!

▼”Not being able to answer why you were born or what you do to live, that’s horrible.”


Fortunately, some of the temples have a sense of humor! This sign reads: “In life, there are three ‘saka’s [hills]. There are ‘nobori saka’ [uphill] and ‘kudari saka’ [downhill]. And then there’s ‘masaka’ [an expression meaning ‘unbelievable’ or ‘you don’t say!’]. –Tomochika” In case you’re not too familiar with Japanese tarento, Tomochika is a female comedian/model/actress.

▼Is there a karmic punishment for excessively cheesy puns?


Further proving that no one is free from her influence, here’s a missive featuring the Japanese translation of lyrics from none other than the Fame Monster herself. “If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not in the light. –Lady Gaga”

▼Oddly enough, this makes about as much sense as most koans do…


Here’s another poster whose quote comes from pop culture. “Don’t you know? Even Kimutaku and even I, we’re all just mammals! –Ryouta Yamasato.” In case you’re wondering who Kimutaku and Ryuta Yamasato are, Kimutaku is a member of SMAP, arguably the biggest boy band in Japan–though at 41 years old, he’s hardly a boy anymore! While Kimutaku is still considered a hottie by a large number of Japanese women, Ryouta Yamasato is mostly famous for being a nerdy comedian…and not particularly attractive. But, in the end, we’re all just mammals!

▼Mammals in shoes, we guess.


But not all of the posters aim to be enlightening–some of them are just sympathetic. For readers who know what crippling anxiety feels like, this poster should sound, unfortunately, all too familiar.

▼”What to do, what to do? Are things fine as they are now? What to do, what to do?”


And here’s a poster that is shades of both enlightenment and humor. Though you’d think Buddhist monks wouldn’t be quite so familiar with booze: “It is not the sake that was drunk, but you that drank the sake.”

▼Well, why can’t it be both, hunh?


This poster offers some words of wisdom for all of us running around in the rat race, constantly trying to play catch-up.

▼”I can still make it in time, I can still make it in time.
Even while you’re thinking that, you’re already late.
But then tomorrow will come.”


This might be another one to file under “sympathetic,” though for all we know, it could be mocking us! “When there’s only one person, you feel lonely. When there are two people, you feel inferior. When there are three people, you feel left out.”

▼Well, no, we didn’t feel like that…until you mentioned it! Jeez…


In another example of Buddhist temples being disturbing familiar with pop culture icons, we have a quote from one of the most famous Hollywood actresses on the planet: Cameron Diaz. According to her, “Your regrets aren’t what you did, but what you didn’t do. So I take every opportunity.”

▼Well, then, how about loaning me some money? It’s a great opportunity, I promise!


Sometimes the posters try to be motivational…but we’re not sure they always land the right balance between profundity and inspirational. Like this slightly bewildering missive: “Right now is when you are your youngest.”

▼Maybe all Buddhist monks are secretly Benjamin Button…


Our last poster has some genuinely brilliant words of wisdom to keep in mind, whether you’re too arrogant or too humble for your own good!

▼”Even if you seem like a big deal, you’re not. Even if you’re mocked, you’re not stupid.”


While the specifics of these signs might not always translate that well into English, we have to say that the main messages are pretty positive. And we are always happy to have a bit more positivity in our lives! After, when are you alive? Ima deshou!

Source: CuRAZY
Images: Odee, Twitter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), Twitpic (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Instagram