Mar 26, 2012
In this article, I am going to talk about Buddhism and more specifically about a Buddhist ceremony which is held soon over here in Japan, on the 8th of April.
It is called "Kanbutsue" and it is a ceremony held every year to commemorate Buddha's birthday. Traditionaly, Japanese people show great respect for Buddha and he is often respectfully called o shaka sama. The suffix sama and suffix o are both polite expressions that show respect. As for Shaka, it is the Japanese pronunciation for Sakyamuni which is another name for Buddha.
On April 8th, the anniversary of Buddha's birth, people visit a temple and find there small sanctuaries full of flowers with tiny Buddha statue inside them, especially prepared for the ceremony.
So what does the ceremony consist in ?
Actually, it reproduces the legend that says that when Buddha was born, 7 Ryu poured purified water onto him. By the way, Ryu is often translated as "dragon" in the west but it looks quite different. The Chinese or Japanese dragon is more like a snake with a dragon head.
So, to reproduce this scene, the statues of Buddha are placed in basins that contain a certain type of tea called amacha as if they received purified water from heaven (the dragons).
The Kanbutue ceremony was brought to Japan from via China and the first recorded celebration in Japan was in the 7th century.
This ceremony can also be called Hanamatsuri (literally flower festival) because formerly Hanamatsuri, a festival that originated in China, was held the same day and the name of the two got conflated in Japan.
Hanamatsuri was the belief that in spring, a God come to the villages from the mountainto protect the rice fields and then returned to the mountains in autumn to protect the mountains. People used to put up tall bamboo poles on their land on the day of Hanamatsuri to welcome the God coming to their village.
But when we talk about Hanamatsuri in modern Japan, it actually refers to Kanbutsue.
投稿者 TRF 時刻: 11:59 AM