October 14th, 2013

Oeshiki festival. Main temple chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo mantra and playing hand drums. Nishi Magome, Ota-ku, Tokyo. Raw, Unedited, Tascam DR-40

Info from official site: Oeshiki is a Buddhist ceremony commemorating Nichiren Shōnin’s memorial day, who passed away at Ikegami on October 13, 1282.
On the night of October 12, crowds jam the precincts of Honmonji Temple.
The ceremony reached its height on the eve of October 13, with parades of mandō (which literally means “10,000 lanterns”) and Matoi (firemen’s standards of the Edo period) accompanied by flutes and drums. The Nichiren Shōnin’s memorial ceremony attracts hundreds of thousands of the faithful.

The mandō are something like a parade float, which are about 5 meters (16.4’) in height. In its structure built in the form of a five-story pagoda with the Odaimoku (Namu Myoho Renge Kyo) or pictures of Nichiren Shōnin’s life depicted on the sides.
The whole structure is lit from the inside and rows of artificial cherry blossoms are hung from the top on an umbrella to from a cherry tree, because it is said that when Nichiren Shōnin passed away the cherry trees came into bloom out of season. Oeshiki is a grand celebration of our founder’s life.


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