I’ve seen a lot of buzz around the Buddhist web about a documentary-in-the-making called “When the Iron Bird Flies.” I don’t know much about it other than (a) it’s about how Tibetan Buddhism came to America and is impacting the West and (b) there’s a Kickstarter page to raise money for it. I’m pretty much always in full support of community-funded independent creative work, so even though I don’t know much about this film, you know. Support it.
On a relate note, I was reminded by George Takei that February 19th is Remembrance Day. It’s the day that Franklin Roosevelt signed executive order 9066, sending all Americans of Japanese ancestry to prison camps. Currently, Mr. Takei is in the process of raising money for a play, “Allegiance,” that he hopes to take to Broadway.
I know about as much about “Allegiance” as I do about “When the Iron Bird Flies.” But I do know that the experience of Japanese Americans during World War Two is an incredibly important chapter in the history of American Buddhism.
(If you didn’t know that, if you’re still under the impression that American Buddhism is relatively “new” around here, I encourage you to do a little research, starting with Issei Buddhists in the Americas and then doing a Google scholar search on the topic.)
So it seems to me that if you supported one community-funded independent creative work that tells the story of an important chapter in American Buddhist history, well then you should support another community-funded independent creative work that tell story of an important chapter in American Buddhist history.
And besides. It’s for George Takei. That guy’s freakin’ awesome.