Everything But Nirvana: The Authentic Leadership Journey of a Japanese Buddhist, Shoukei MATSUMOTO

Ohigan week

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Sweeping in cemetary

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Cleaning in Kamiyacho Open Terrace 

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Colorful incense bars which is used in cemetary 

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You can light incense bars with fired charcoal 

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Pour water into handy wooden buckets which are used for cleaning graves


Ohigan week is a special week for Japanese to give respect for ancestors. We celebrate this week by decorating Obutsudan (a little shrine in households) with special ornaments and having ceremony at home or temple. This is pretty much common throughout Japan.

Higan (彼岸?) is a Buddhist holiday exclusively celebrated in Japan during both the Spring and Autumnal Equinox. It is observed by nearly every Buddhist sect in Japan. The tradition extends from mild weather that occurs during the time of equinoxes, though the origin of the holiday dates from Emperor Shomu in the 8th century.[1] People who normally worked in the fields had more leisure time to evaluate their own practices, and to make a renewed effort to follow Buddhism. Today, special services are usually observed in Japanese Buddhist temples, and Japanese temples abroad, based on the particular Buddhist tradition or sect. (Cited from Wikipedia)

We have Ohigan week in spring and autumn. During this week, Buddhist priests are very busy. Cleaning up cemetary, serving tea, keeping fire on, and so forth.  


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Cemetary is full of beautiful flowers.
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Shoukei MATSUMOTO
>>Profile Born in 1979 in Hokkaido, after the graduation from The University of Tokyo, Keisuke Matsumoto has worked in Komyoji Temple Tokyo for 7 years. As a head of Young Buddhist Association of Komyoji Temple, he launched new initiatives like Temple Cafe Project and Twilight Music Festival. After studying MBA in India, he is teaching "Temple Management" in Japan.