Looking around the web, about a year ago there was an earlier version of the Buddha Phone released, but now it’s been powered up to be a portable shrine ready to accept your prayers 24 hours a day. At first sight the phone is rather unspectacular:
You might notice the lotus symbol at the top right of the keyboard, the first hint that things may not quite be what they seem.
The phone was covered on CNET Japan, where the name was revealed to be, rather inexplicably, the ODIN 99. Looking at the box:
There is the promise of Eastern mysticism, with the Chinese characters on the side reading “I devote myself to Amida Buddha”, the chant of the Pure Land school of Buddhism. The phone comes fully-themed to Pure Land, with ring tones of the appropriate chants, and a boot-up video of Amida Buddha appearing from a lotus flower. Finally, so you can pray any time, you can choose from one of two Buddha statues and select what items you wish to offer, and there even appears to some sort of interactive lighting the incense sticks option:
(Yes, I know this has nothing to do with What Japan Thinks, but it was too good an item to pass up!)