Setsubun Ceremony 2013
“Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!”
Get out ogre - come in happiness!
Sunday February 3rd, at guests and monastics at the New England Peace Pagoda rang in the Year of the Snake with a traditional Setsubun ceremony.
Setsubun Ceremony 2013
Tibetan Prayer Flags at the Peace Pagoda.
By Steve Renshaw and Saori Ihara
(Revised January 2013)
On February 3th of 2013, Setsubun will be celebrated throughout Japan. Falling at the end of the period defined by the solar principal term Daikan (Severe Cold), Setsubun occurs one day before the sectional term Risshun (Spring Begins).
The beating of the drum is frequently referred to in Buddha’s scriptures, particularly in the Lotus Sutra. Out of some 70,000 [Chinese] characters that comprise the Lotus Sutra, characters relating to the drum are found in more than 30 places. Also there is a Japanese legend that relates to the drum. Legend has it that a period of prolonged darkness shrouded the world. Various gods and deities converged in one place in order to lure the goddess of the sun from a rock cave whose entrance was blocked by a huge boulder. Cocks were gathered to crow; and a young goddess danced and beat the drum. Its sound is said to have drawn the sun goddess out, piercing the long night with light. For this reason, a drum to pray with is always placed in front of altars enshrining Japanese gods. Anyone young or old, female or male, of high social status or low can beat the drum to pray. The sound of this instrument embodies the prayer of the Japanese people seeking escape from sorrow and suffering. It symbolizes our search for light in which the actual world of suffering is transformed into a Pure Land of peace. The sound of the drum is an expression of the workings of God hoping to awaken the people, who are trapped in an eternal slumber of darkness as opaque as lacquer with no hint of when dawn might come. The sound of this instrument represents the mind and heart that enunciates the simple chant of Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo.
I Bow to the Buddha in You
Dharma Talks and Writings of
The Most Venerable Nichidatsu Fujii
Letter to Gandhiji
October 4, 1933
Tim Bullock, Kumomoto Castle & The Warrior Class
Buddha’s Footprints by Thomas Matsuda
New England Peace Pagoda
Photos from 27th Anniversary on Flickr.