Finding Nembutsu Teachings in Manga Classic

When the pandemic hit and we were faced with a new pattern of life in a hint of fear, just like many of you who have binge watched movies and TV shows, I decided to finally tackle the Japanese masterpiece manga series “One Piece” written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda.

Since its first episode in 1997, the series has sold more than 470 million copies in 43 countries around the world, making it the best-selling manga series in history.

I remember reading a news story that stated that “One Piece” had won first place in a poll of manga that parents want their children to read. I imagined then that this would give me encouragement during the shelter in place.

“One Piece” is a humorous, battle-based story of a young crew of pirates. It takes you on a virtual voyage to the unexpected, vast world of the seas of wonders. Starting with a boy, Luffy, who held a dream of finding the titular treasure “One Piece,” the pirates encounter fellow crews and friends in their adventures.

“One Piece” attracted not only boys and girls, but people of all ages. What is the reason this manga — and the main character, Luffy — is loved by so many?