Sharing via SNS, American Buddhist Priest on Pilgrimage Becomes Tourism AmbassadorOtsu City, Shiga Prefecture
On June 2, Jesse LeFebvre was appointed as a Tourism Ambassador to promote Lake Biwa and Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture. He is an American Buddhist priest, living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is making the "Saigoku Sanjusan-sho" or Western Japan Kannon Pilgrimage of 33 temples. He is sharing the charms of the temples he has visited via SNS. He said, "I would like the world to know the Otsu's unique history and Lake Biwa's beauty."
LeFebvre entered the priesthood in 2007 at a temple in the Buzan Order of Shingon Buddhism. Currently, he is enrolled in the graduate program of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, and he is visiting Japan to continue his pilgrimage. He has approximately 1,400 friends on Facebook. His sharing through SNS constitutes a part of the commemorative events of the 1,300th anniversary of the Pilgrimage.
As he had received the "Sennichi-e" Buddhist service at Ishiyama-dera Temple last August, he was offered the appointment as ambassador by the Otsu City government. After receiving the letter of appointment from Mayor Naomi Koshi at the city hall on June 2, he said, "Otsu has not only temples, but also wonderful things such as the Lake Biwa Great Fireworks Festival." Mayor Koshi said hopefully, "We hope he will promote Otsu's history and culture."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)