22 December 2022

SUN/SixERS Cross-Cultural Event: Cultural Dialogue ventures on the profound parallel between Buddhism and One Piece

Benyasiri Eimviriyapong
AUN Programme Officer;

The preservation of cultural prestiges and values is evermore important with the current era of globalization and a heightened desire to develop a cultural identity. The culmination of cultural authenticity in such an era provides an individual with the necessary discipline and skill set to navigate as a leader in the 21st century. The SUN/SixERS Cross Cultural Event 2022 aims to explore the vast transmission and perpetuation of knowledge, customs, and cultures through the act of storytelling across generations, as well as provide an opportunity for ASEAN and Japanese students to share their own. Therefore, this Cultural Dialogue was organized to promote and carry on dynamic cultural interactions among youths of Japan and ASEAN where students can explore the interrelations of their favorite media and profound values in their community.

This cultural dialogue, “The Epic Storytelling Journey of One Piece and Buddhist Values” provides insightful discussions on:

  • The connection between popular media expression and its ability to transmit values and religious lessons across various cultures in the world.
  • Building a new set of identity in this era with both traditional values and globalized popular cultures.
  • The importance of finding one’s mission in life to be a contributive citizen

The students listened intently to the student researcher, Mr. Naphon Petplai (Golf), who conducted his final year capstone research entitled, “MONKEY D. LUFFY, THE ENLIGHTENED FOOL”. In his presentation, he explored the contradiction of the word “Fool” and “Enlightened” according to the Lotus Sutra, one of the most influential and venerated Buddhist Mahāyāna sūtras. The mantra expounded that “Everyone is capable of enlightenment” and that “Buddhism is like an ocean that one can only enter with faith”. Mr. Petplai made the profound connection that despite all the things that make Luffy a fool, because he simply has faith in his profound mission in life to become the Pirate King and attain the highest form of freedom, he is considered to be an Enlightened One and characteristically the Enlightened Fool. 

Thus, the participants were able to apply such values to their own life that despite showing certain negative tendencies, they too were able to attain the highest life state, a fully awakened state of vast wisdom through which reality in all its complexity could be fully understood and enjoyed. Thanks to the speakers, both the participants and organizers were able to have an intellectual and empowering discussion on the similarities and differences between cultures and their values, as well as a self-reflection session on how they can become more contributive global citizens for the shared future of the global community.

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