It is unclear from when or for what reason the statue of the ascetic was enshrined. Before being enshrined in the shrine grounds, the statue had been kept in the garden of a private home in Makita District. Gyoja Bon is performed in front of a miniature shrine containing the statue of the ascetic on the western side of the premises. Every year on the first Sunday after the Obon holiday period, the area is decorated with paper lanterns and scrolls with the image of Mt. Ōmine, and food offerings are prepared and presented.
There are three types of food offerings: taro stems cut diagonally, peeled eggplants, and cowpeas. The foods are arranged on a tray and offered. At 7:00 PM, about 20 to 30 local residents gather in front of the shrine of the ascetic, chant Buddhist sutras, and pray.
Previously, Gyoja Bon had been held on August 18. However, it is currently held on the first Sunday after the Obon holiday period.
The statue of the ascetic is only revealed to the public on the day of Gyoja Bon.
*The sutras recited at this time are not sutras of the Shinshu Takada School; instead, worshippers repeat words reminiscent of incantations.
|Held on the first Sunday after the Obon holiday|
Every year, calligraphy on the lanterns are newly written and the lanterns are re-papered
Local residents making preparations
Offerings consist of taro stems, eggplants, and cowpeas
Statue of the ascetic enshrined in the hokora
Furumai-mochi rice cakes after the recital of sutras
An opportunity for people to interact
5-22, Okada 1-chome, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture 513-0027 Japan