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ANNUAL EVENT CALENDAR

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Buddhist Ceremonies and Festivals


January


1st-3rd : SHUSHO-E
Time & Place: 9:00 TORODO (The Lantern Hall ) at OKUNOIN
9:00 KONDO (The Golden Hall ) at GARAN

On the occasion of New Year, the New Year, the SHUSHO-E ceremony is performed for world peace and prosperity as well as for prospering Buddhism.

5th : SHUSHO-E
Time & Place: 9:00 DAITO (The Great Pagoda) at GARAN

On the occasion of New Year, the New Year, the SHUSHO-E ceremony is performed for world peace and prosperity as well as for prospering
Buddhism.

17th Memorial Service for the victims of the Great Earthquake
(The Great HANSHIN-AWAJI Earthquake in 1995)

Time & Place: 9:00 In front of the Memorial of the victims of the
great HANSHIN-AWAJI Earthquake at OKUNOIN
(400 meters from the entrance of NAKANOHASHI)
A memorial service is held for the victims of the great earthquake
which hit HYOGO and OSAKA regions in 1995.

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February



3rd : SETSUBUN-E (The New Spring Rites and The Star Ceremony)
Time & Place: 13:00 DAITO (The Great Pagoda) at GARAN

The New Spring Rites is performed on the eve of the new spring day, offering to the Stars and Constellations for dispelling bad fortune and increasing happiness.

14th-15th : JORAKU-E (NEHAN-E)
Time & Place : 23:00-11:00 KONGOBUJI (The Head Temple)

This is the ceremony commemorating Shakyamuni's entering Nirvana
(Jap. NEHAN). Numerous Buddhist chanting and recitative songs like
SHOMYO, WASAN and four KOHSHIKI are performed for twelve hours
during the night until noon the next day.

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March



Lunar 21st : KYU-SHO-MIE-KU

Days around 20th HIGAN-E (Around Spring Equinox Day)
Time & Place: 13:00 KONDO (The Golden Hall) at GARAN

On the occasion of Spring Equinox Day, the Buddhist rites are held to erase sins from this world and make them to work for good.

21st : SHOMIE-KU
Time & Place: 9:00 TORODO (The Lantern Hall ) at OKUNOIN

SHOMIE-KU is the memorial service for Kukai(Kobo Daishi)'s entering
the eternal meditation (Samadhi) held on solar March 21st . Since it is the first service for HOINGOBO, who works as Kobo Daishi through
the year to lead the ceremony, all the abbots of Koyasan temples as well as many worshippers, both inside and outside of Koyasan visit OKUNOIN. On ahead of this service, GYOI, Kobo Daishi's new robe is prepared and offered in the ceremony. After the ceremony, the new robe is carried into MIEDO and kept the deepest room there for a year.

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April



8th : BUSSHO-E
Time & Place: 9:00 KONGOBUJI (The Head Temple)
A ceremony commemorating the birthday of Shakyamuni is held at
KONGOBUJI. Koyasan priests who participate in the ceremony
perform BUSSHO-E KOHSHIKI, the melodious chanting of telling the life of Shakyamuni and pour AMACHA, some special sweet tea over the statue of Shakyamuni of his infancy.

10th : DAIMANDARA-KU / TEIGI MANDARA-KU
Time & Place: 9:00 KONDO (The Golden Hall ) at GARAN

This is one of the most ancient and important rituals in Koyasan.
The ritual is done an act of charity for all the life by honouring both
Womb Realm and Diamond Realm Mandalas. The procession of the chief priests of Koyasan temples parade from DAIE-DO hall to KONDO hall in their colorful ceremonial robes and the ritual is continued in KONDO.

21st : MANDO-E
Time & Place: 9:00 TORODO (The Lantern Hall ) at OKUNOIN

   The ceremony of the "Ten-Thousand Lights (Mando)" is a prayer for world peace, an expression of gratefulness to the four obligations (Shion), which are the parents, all sentient beings, the three Buddhist treasures, and the rulers as well as for the benefit of the souls of the deceased. It is based on Mando-Mange-e that Kobo Daishi performed in 832. The ceremony is held once a year, and led by Hoin Gobo who plays the role of Kobo Daishi each year. You can see the ceremony closely inside from GEJIN.

19th & 20th (2014): KYU-SHOMIE-KU
      (The Memorial Service for Kukai's Eternal Samadhi)
Time & Place: Twilight on April 10th at GARAN
      9:00 TORODO (The Lantern Hall ) at OKUNOIN
      13:00 MIEDO (The Memorial Hall ) at GARAN
As the commemoration of Kobo Daishi's s entering the eternal meditation, Samadhi, the ceremonies start in twilight on March 20th on the lunar calendar and the worshippers cover GARAN with thousands of flowers and candles. On this occasion, the doors of all buildings in GARAN are open and anyone can visit inside of MIEDO.
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May



3rd -5th : KECHIEN KANJO
Time & Place : 8:00 KONDO (The Golden Hall ) at GARAN
(Reception is at DAITO, the great pagoda)
Kechien Kanjo (Taizokai) is one of the most important ceremonies of Koya-san Shingon School as well as Dai-Mandala-Ku. In this ritual of Esoteric Buddhism, the blindfolded participant throws a flower into the Womb World Mandala (Taizokai) to establish a link between the participant and one of the emanation forms of Dainichi Nyorai. Under the supreme mercy of Buddha, wisdom water is offered to the participants in order to wash away the worlderly desires immediately. Everyone is welcome and invited to participate regardless of religious affiliation.
On the first day of this ceremony, the procession of the chief priests of Koyasan temples parade from DAIE-DO hall to KONDO hall in their colorful ceremonial robes.


The 2nd Sunday : SEKAIHEIWA-KIGAN-E (Praying for the World Peace)
Time & Place: 9:00 KONDO (The Golden Hall) at GARAN

Not only for all the spirits of dead soldiers, but all the victims' sprits of the World War U, the memorial service is held for console the spirits and praying for the World Peace.

21st : BOSHOSOKUYO-OKUNOIN-DAISEGAKI-E
Time & Place: 9:00 TORODO (The Lantern Hall) and NOKOTSUDO (The Ossuary Hall ) at OKUNOIN

For all the spirits sleeping in peace at Okunoin, the Buddhist memorial service is held by Koyasan priests.

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June



15th : SHUSOGOHTAN-E or AOBA MATSURI Festival
(The Ceremony for Kobo-Daishi's Birthday to enjoy young leaves)
Time & Place : 9:00 The Auditorium of DAISHI-KYOKAI

The ceremony starts at 9:00 at the auditorium of Daishi Kyokai and a procession is held in the afternoon.
This ceremony celebrates the birthday of Kukai (Kobo Daishi) followed by a procession. The participants include: people of Koyasan, worshippers from all around Japan and visitors. This ceremony was introduced for the first time on the list of Kongobuji Annual Events in 1778 and was held in KONDO at GARAN.
Since 1915 when Daishi Kyokai was established, it started to be held in the auditorium of Daishi Kyokai.

In the afternoon, the "HANAMIDO," which is the small alter that
enshrines Kobo Daishi in the form of a child, is paraded through the
street along with other decorative floats. A processional performance includes dancing and drumming as well.

In the evening of June 14th, the eve of the commemoration day, huge colorful floats with luminous paper effigies of Kobo Daishi, Buddha, or Bodhisattva made by local people under the sponsorship of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, parade in the town.

9th -10th (2013) : SAN-NO-IN SUMMER PRAYER
Time & Place: (Held on May 1st and 2nd on the lunar calendar)
9:00 SAN-NO-IN (The Worship Hall) at GARAN
Temporarily enshrined the NAMIKIRIFUDO from NAN-IN (one of the
branch temple in Koyasan), summer prayer is held for dispelling bad
fortune and increasing happiness. The secret Buddha, NAMIKIRIFUDO can be seen these 2 days there during the rites.
The rites originally used to be held each season, but only the summer rites remains. The NAMIKIRIFUDO is carried by the worshippers of NAN-IN.

11th (2013) : SAN-NO-IN RISSEI
Time & Place: 18:00 SAN-NO-IN (The Worship Hall) at GARAN

SAN-NO-IN RISSEI is followed the next day of the summer prayer.
It is one of the most important ceremonies among Koyasan priests to deepen their wisdom and protect them which started to gratify KAMI, the Shinto Deities who have resided and protected Koyasan.

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July


1st : JUNTEIDO-DARANI-E
Time & Place: 13:00 JUNTEIDO (The Juntei Hall ) at GARAN
Chanting the sutra "SONSHO-DARANI" at the Junteido Hall next to
MIE-DO to make a penitence for our daily lives. This rites started
under the Bishop Myozan (1021-1106).


15th : MIGOKI (The Memorial Service for the Emperors)
Time & Place: 13:00 DAITO (The Great Pagoda) at GARAN
The historical documents remained at Kongobuji say that the Memorial services for the successive emperors have been held since for the Emperor Jito at Kongobuji. The present service is conducted by HOINGOBO, who works as Kobo Daishi through the year, to console the emperors' spirits.

27th & 28th (2012) : UCHI-DAN-GI
Time & Place: 10:00 The Main Hall of Kongobuji
UCHIDANGI is one of the traditional debates in Koyasan. Koyasan monks study hard and sophisticate themselves in the debates and make their way in their Buddhist life. Those debates are recited in the special melodious intonation. The recruits of special Institute called Kangakue to study harder about teaching of Kobo Daishi participate this debate for the first time and practice so hard for UCHIDANGI. This is the gateway to become the senior priests in Koyasan. The traditional flower arrangement "GODANBANA (the five-story arranging)" are displayed in the ceremony.

28th & 29th (2012) MISAISHO-KO

Time & Place: 18:00 SAN-NO-IN (The Worship Hall) at GARAN
MISAISHOKO is originally the special rites to chant and praise the sutra written by Kobo Daishi, "KONKOMYOSAISHO-OHGYO" to pray for the prosperity of the country and the imperial messenger participate the rites. Later its form has changed into question and answer and last 2 days. After completing this, 2 senior priests can make their way to get the special title called "JOGO."
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August


7-13th : FUDAN-GYO (The Series of the Sutra)
Time & Place: 13:00 KONDO (The Golden Hall ) at GARAN

The Series of the Sutra is chanted repeatedly in some melodious tune during a week from August 7 to erase sins from this world and make them to work for good in that world.

11th : URABON-E (Welcoming the ancestors' spirits)
Time & Place: 11:00 The Main Hall of Kongobuji

URABON-E was originated from the legend of Buddha's disciple and in
Japan, it became the service for the ancestors. At Kongobuji, the
special decoration is made in the main hall and the light shared from
the legendary lantern of the poor girl is lit in the KIRIKO-TORO
(special hanging lantern over the veranda) and the lantern inside
during a week.

13th : MANDO-KUYO-E (The Candle Festival)

Time & Place: 19:00 Along The Approach Towards Kobo Daishi's
Shrine at OKUNOIN

One hundred thousand of candles are offered by visitors and local
people along both sides of the approach towards Kobo Daishi's Shrine for the service of all the spirits sleeping at Okunoin. Candle lights make Okunoin more mystical and gorgeous.

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September



1st Memorial Service for the victims of the Great Earthquake
around Tokyo

(The Great TOKYO Earthquake in 1923)

Time & Place: 13:00 In front of the Memorial of the victims of the
great TOKYO Earthquake at OKUNOIN
(Take the right from the entrance of ICHINOHASHI)

A memorial service is held every year for the victims of the great
earthquake which hit TOKYO region in 1923.

11th : DENTO-KOKUSHI-KI
Time & Place: 8:30 In front of Mausoleum of Shinzen
9:00 The Main Hall of Kongobuji

Dento-Kokushi or Bishop Shinzen is a nephew and the disciple of Kobo Daishi who succeed Kobo Daishi's work in Koyasan Shingon Buddhism.
The service is held on the anniversary of his death to memorialize
Bishop Shinzen and his great work.

Days around 23rd (22-24th) : HIGAN-E (Around Autumn Equinox Day)
Time & Place: 13:00 KONDO (The Golden Hall) at GARAN

On the occasion of Autumn Equinox Day, the Buddhist rites are held to erase sins from this world and make them to work for good in that world.

23rd : ICHIZA-DOSHAKAJI-HOE

Time & Place: 9:00 KONDO (The Golden Hall) at GARAN

This rites is held on the autumn equinox day to bless all the spirits
with sand specially blessed in the rites.

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October


1 -3rd : KECHIEN KANJO
Time & Place: 8:00 KONDO (The Golden Hall ) at GARAN
(Reception is at DAITO, the great pagoda)
Kechien Kanjo (Kongokai) is one of the most important ceremonies of Koya-san Shingon School. Usually it is given to Buddhist priests but during the period, anybody is welcome to participate the rites to make a strong bond with a Buddha.
On the first day of this ceremony, the procession of the chief priests of Koyasan temples parade from DAIE-DO hall to KONDO hall in their colorful ceremonial robes.

1-3rd : MANDO-E
Time & Place: 19:00 TORODO (The Lantern Hall ) at OKUNOIN

In the light of the lantern which are entrusted by worshippers all over Japan, the rites is held to obtain worshippers' wish and prayers. The young monks from Senshu-Gakuin first perform chanting with senior monks in colorful robes.

15th : MYO-JINJA SHUKI TAISAI
Time & Place: 12:30 SAN-NO-IN (The Worship Hall) at GARAN

This is the festival for KOYA-MYOJIN, the Shinto Deities who have
resided in Koyasan and protected. Koyasan priests provide the
Buddhist ceremony in front of the shrine and the sacred portable shrine is carried by junior high school students and walk around the town. Rice cakes are also scattered and people enjoy collecting them.


27th : SHIGO-HOHSAN-E
Time & Place: 9:00 TORODO (The Lantern Hall ) at OKUNOIN

The ceremony is to be held to praise that the name Kobo Daishi was
given by the Emperor DAIGO on October 27th in 921. The ceremony
started in 1915. SHIGO-HOHSAN-E is the final rites led by
HOINGOBO during his administration.

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November




December


10th : DAIHANNYA-TENDOKU-E
Time & Place: 9:00 The Auditorium of DAISHI-KYOKAI

  600 scrolls of sutra, "DAIHANNYA-HARAMITA-KYO" is chanted with spreading and folding the sutra to pray for world peace, home safety and driving out evil spirit.

31th: GOHEI-OSAME
Time & Place: 23:00 MIYASHIRO in Garan

  This is the dedication ceremony of Gohei(staff with plaited paper streamers used in Shinto) in Miyashiro, Koyasan. It is held to show our deep gratitude to the four local deities , Shisha-Myojin that we have safely spent this year, and also pray for the harvest of the new year to come. Lead by local people with lighted torch on their shoulders, Buddhist monks with GOHEI parade to Miyashiro in Garan. from Ryukoin Temple around 22:00.

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