In Sight

Say What?

In American pop culture, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has been used to get protagonists out of tight spots. Eight are spotlighted here.


Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

1.  The Simpsons
(TV, 1993)

In the episode “The Last Temptation of Homer,” Homer starts chanting in a pickle.

 

Photo: © Ronald Grant Archive
Photo: © Ronald Grant Archive

2. The Last Detail
(Movie, 1973)

Randy Quaid’s character in the movie (also featuring Jack Nicholson) chants after meeting a girl who introduces him to Buddhism.

 

Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

3. Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
(Movie, 1983)

Between a rock and a hard place, the protagonists (nerds) chant.

 

Photo: tinaturnerblog.com
Photo: tinaturnerblog.com

 4.  What’s Love Got to Do With It?
(Movie, 1993)

The story of Tina Turner’s rise to stardom as a solo artist, based on her Buddhist practice (portrayed by Angela Bassett).

 

Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

5.  The Out-of-Towners
(Movie, 1999)

In the remake of the 1970 Neil Simon comedy, Henry Clark (Steve Martin) overhears people chanting.

 

Photo: © United Archives GmbH
Photo: © United Archives GmbH

6.  Interspace
(Movie, 1987)

Lt. Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid), a pilot who is miniaturized in an experiment, panics and chants.

 

Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

7.  A Mighty Heart
(Movie, 2007)

The adaptation of Mariane Pearl’s memoir shows Ms. Pearl (portrayed by Angelina Jolie) chanting as they search for her kidnapped husband, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

 

Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo: © AF Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

8.  The Monkees
(TV, 1966)

In this episode “Mijacogeo” of the series based on the misadventures of a struggling rock band, the Monkees chant to ward off an evil wizard.
(p. 11)