Man told to find religion faces charges for dumping Buddhist altar on roadside

Mainichi Shimbun, April 26, 2008

KOMAKI, Aichi (Japan) -- A man who received a Buddhist altar as a gift from a friend, who urged him to become more religious, faces charges for dumping it on the side of the road because it wouldn't fit in his new apartment, police said.

Police have sent documents to the Kasugai Local Public Prosecutors Office accusing the 44-year-old man from Komaki of breaking the Waste Disposal Management Law.

He admits to the allegations.

"It was a nuisance because it wouldn't fit into my apartment," he said.

Police said the man dumped the 98-centimeter-tall upper part of the altar near the Meishin Expressway on Oct. 20 last year, then the remaining lower part, some bookshelves and documents at the same place the following day. There were none of the traditional ancestral tablets used in the altars found in the allegedly illegally dumped item.

The man had received the Buddhist altar in April last year from a friend who urged him to become more spiritual. He kept it in his apartment, but dumped it shortly after moving into a new apartment.