A circle of friends connected by gut touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.
On July 24, Hao Hao Hao, collector of Buddha Machines and owner of a store specializing in light and sound, will appear. In this interview, we asked him about what Buddha Machines are in the first place, how he enjoys them, how he collects them while traveling around the world, and what got him hooked on them.
His love for them led him to launch his original Buddha Machine.
Celeina (MC): First of all, let me give you a brief profile. You have traveled around the world and collected mainly shiny and sound-producing objects. Among them, he has focused on collecting “Buddha Machines” that play sutras. In 2021, he will release his original Buddha Machine, “Tenkai,” which contains Buddhist prayers of eight monks from five different sects and music by artists. He also sells a portion of the collection he has amassed through mail-order websites and event stalls.
Takano (MC): That’s amazing. Have you been collecting them ever since you focused your attention on Buddha Machine?
Hao Hao: Yes, I have.
Celeina: Once again, what is a Buddha Machine?
Hao Hao: It is a machine with music related to sutras and Buddhism that is distributed in China and other Asian countries. It is revolutionary in that it is like a boom box, and when you press the switch, you can easily listen to sutras.
Takano: So its purpose is to chant sutras?
Hao Hao: Yes, that’s right. In China, they are usually placed in temples and left running, with chanting playing in place of background music.
Celeina: Even now, right?
Hao Hao: Even now.
Takano: So your love for the Buddha Machine grew so strong that you ended up creating it (laughs).
Hao Hao: I liked it so much that I wanted to make it myself rather than have someone else make it for me (laughs).
Takano: Hao Hao’s original Buddha Machine. (Looking at the Budda machine) It’s amazing!
Celeina: It’s so cute and pop.
Takano: The case is an orange-ish skeleton. It has an illustration of Buddha on it, and it moves when you change the angle.
Celeina: It has a nice retro feel to it.
Hao Hao: Thank you very much.
Takano: How do you move this?
Hao Hao: This is a switch here at ……. (operates Buddha machine)
Takano: It’s like a radio. (Sound plays from the Budda machine.) Ah, it does!
Hao Hao: It glows (laughs).
Takano: It glows. It’s a pretty delicate kind of light.
Hao Hao: It’s gently glowing in seven different colors.
Takano: Oh, the sound has changed. It has some buttons. It’s kind of like a rhythm machine, like a Yaoya (TR-808).
Celeina: I feel like I jumped into a different world the moment I played it.
Takano: You have brought many different types of music today.
Hao Hao: The standard type is a postcard-sized rectangle with a button to select a song, and sometimes we have a heart-shaped one for a change.
Hao Hao: Then there’s the Buddha part that glows a little when you press a switch.
Celeina: It’s pocket-sized. You can take it with you.
Takano: Where do you buy these?
Hao Hao: In China, or in Buddhist countries. You can also find them in places like Chinatown in Australia.
Takano: Like a general store?
Hao Hao: It’s more like a proper Buddhist store.
Takano: It looks like something you would find in a second-hand clothing store or a general store in Japan.
Hao Hao: It also has a bit of a cultural atmosphere.
Takano: It has a cultural atmosphere, and it’s really wonderful.