:x :x :x :xPriests at one of Japan's most famous temples have taken steps to block the sale of a sweet marketed as the "Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha".
They have prevented the name being registered as a trademark at the patent office, but have been unable to stop vendors selling the sweets to hordes of tourists who flock to see the giant Buddha in the ancient capital, Nara, in western Japan.
A bag of 'Snot from the nose of the Great Buddha' sweets
Yamamoto Bussan, the company that launched the sweet three years ago, has said that in a recession a product name needs to make a strong impact.
A spokesman said some employees had doubts about the name, so it was decided to attach the ultra-polite suffix sama to Buddha's name. But the sweet's packaging shows an irreverent picture of Buddha picking his nose.
Local media have suggested that the sweet is popular because the people of western Japan have an earthy sense of humour, which other Japanese often find coarse. Another famous Nara sweet is called "Deer Droppings".
Most Japanese do not adhere strongly to any single set of religious beliefs, typically marrying in Christian services, holding Buddhist funerals and attending festivals at Shinto shrines.
Buddhists objecting to the sweet on the grounds of profanity seem to be outnumbered by Japanese put off by the thought of eating something named after snot.