People chanted “Sore! Sore! Sore sassa!”.
The procession of men and women of all ages starts at 7:00pm. One holds up a “Manto”, the 3 to 4-meter high special set of lanterns decorated with Japanese paper-made white flowers, and the other thrusts up the fireman’s flag “Matoi” with ornaments on top of it, or plays the fan-shaped drum powerfully. Each performer marches down the street, shouting rallying calls along the unique rhythm, the energy and magnificence of which gradually uplift the audience’s level of excitement.
The procession ends at the ground of Kishimojin in Zoshigaya. When the Buddhist invocation is chanted and the sound of drums reverberates more vigorously, the ceremony reaches its most exciting climax.
“Oeshiki” is the religious ceremony conducted as the memorial service for Saint Nichiren*, organized by Kishimojin Houmyou-ji, the most historical temple in its area. Enjoy the dreamlike atmosphere of night procession which conveys Japanese traditional style of faith to the present day.
Date: 7:00pm – 11:00pm, October 16th (Mon) – 18th (Wed), 2017
Venue: Zoshigaya area, Ikebukuro
*Nichiren (1222-1282): Founder of the “Nichiren sect” of Buddhism.