I like the relaxed way in which the Japanese approach religion. I think of myself as basically a moral person, but I'm definitely not religious, and I'm very tired of the preachiness and obsession with other people's behavior characteristic of many religious people in the United States. As far as I could tell, there's nothing preachy about Buddhism. I was in a lot of temples, and I still don't know what Buddhists believe, except that at one point Kunio said 'If you do bad things, you will be reborn as an ox.' This makes as much sense to me as anything I ever heard from, for example, the Reverend Pat Robertson.
The difference between a modern artist and a Buddhist monk is in the approach. The artist goes into the void empt and returns with a souvenir, if you will. The monk approaches the void with a traditional body of knowledge and arrives at emptiness. Our world, no less than that of the monks, is full of junk that gets in the way of spiritual practice. The artist plays with the junk, the monk orders it into nothingness.