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Heart Sutra Remixes are musical variations of the famous Mahāyāna Buddhist scripture the Heart Sūtra. Since its beginning on the Japanese video sharing service Nico Nico Douga (NND) in September 2010, hundreds of remixed music videos have been uploaded by others in the community.
The Heart Sutra (Chinese: 般若波羅蜜多心經 / Japanese: 般若心経 / Romanized: Hanya Shingyou) is part of the “Perfection of Wisdom” group of Mahāyāna Buddhist scriptures and contains the famous paradox phrase “form is emptiness; emptiness is form.” Frequently chanted before and/or after a meditation sitting, it is often considered one of the most well known scriptures in Buddhist literature.
The remixing fad began on September 3rd, 2011 when NND user and Vocaloid artist Onew-P (おにゅうP) posted a video titled “Pop heart Sutra” featuring Hatsune Miku. OWnew-P’s upload has accumulated over 1 million views as of November 16th, 2011.
After Onew-P released a voice sequence file of the Heart Sutra chant for Vocaloid synthesizer, others in the NND community began making their own remixes in a wide range of musical genres, from R&B and Rap to Heavy Metal and Electronica renditions. The fad was reported on the Japanese news sites CloseUp NetTube and MSN Sankei News in September of of 2010. Several remixes in this series were included in various Vocaloid compilation albums released by the Japanese music label EXIT TUNES in the first half of 2011. More than 300 videos related to the heart sutra have been uploaded to NND as of November 16th, 2011.
Rock 初音ミクアレンジ「般若心経ロック」 / The most viewed remix on NND
R&B Vocal remix 【halyosy】「般若心経Ｒ＆Ｂ」を歌ってみた【アレンジ】 (PV付き)
Anime OP Style 【初音ミク】般若心経アニメ版OP【アレンジ】
For more videos, browse the video gallery.
Vocaloid artist Hanya-G (はんにゃG) has created several illustrations inspired by the Heart Sutra remix fad.
Other Japanese artists have posted their own illustrations to Pixiv, an online art sharing network.
Editor’s Note: Registration is needed to browse the original NND videos listed in this section.