When you heard the word ‘monk’, your probably thinking of a person who practices religious. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation.
But have you ever heard about Beatboxing Buddhist Monk. Today we will be looking at this beatboxing buddhist monk that rise out to change perceptions of spiritual music.
Meet Yogetsu Akasaka, a Japanese Zen Buddhist monk who creates music for meditations. But not the kind most people are familiar with. In videos uploaded on YouTube, he stands in the middle of a white background, grabs a mic, and beatboxes to a loop machine.
You can find his Youtube channel here: Yogetsu Akasaka赤坂陽月
“It’s not that I wanted to gain attention for my ‘uniqueness,’ I just wanted to continue my passion for music,” he said. “In the same way someone plays the guitar or the drums, I myself am just a normal performer.”
Before he was ordained in 2015, he belonged to a theatre company formed in Fukushima prefecture, northeast Japan, after the region was devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. He has also been a full-time busker in countries including the United States and Australia.
Based in Tokyo, Akasaka played guitar as a teenager and became a beatboxer in his early 20s. He bought his first Boss Loop Station in 2009 and started combining beatboxing with layers of vocals. Since then he has added Buddhist chanting to the mix.
“I was kind of afraid because this was something no one had done before — it was out of the tradition. But I just tried it, and it sounded really good to me, so I thought maybe I should do it for other people. And when I played in front of other people, they liked it.”
To him, Buddhism is actually a religion about living peacefully and without pain and sutra, or canonical scriptures, can help heal people’s hearts.
“I have had fans tell me that they were able to sleep well and relax due to my beatboxing videos, which is absolutely amazing,”
Akasaka’s story is reminiscent of that Gyōsen Asakura, another Japanese Buddhist monk who made international news headlines for his unique musical performances. A former DJ, he would hold “techno memorial services” at his temple in Fukui City, Japan