Old Japan – Traditions, Festivals & Rituals – October

Nichiren Anniversary

This postcard relates to the Oeshiki Festival and not much appears to have changed in the decades since this photo was taken.

Nichiren Buddhism began in medieval Japan. It has its roots in the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin (1222-1282), a 13th century Japanese monk who tried to reform Buddhism and Japanese society.

Oeshiki is an important Buddhist festival commemorating Nichiren’s death, who died at Ikegami Honmonji on October 13, 1282. Over 300,000 spectators join in the festivities, which take place annually from October 11 to 13. The procession of Mando on the evening of October 12 is the highlight of the celebration. Drums, flutes, and chants are heard in the background while around 3,000 people carry sacred lanterns known as mando through the crowds. Artificial cherry blossoms and lights adorn these lofty structures and they are carried along a two-kilometre route and up 96 stairs to the temple.

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