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Fire walking ritual at Daishoin Temple
April 15 @ 11:00 amFree
Photo: Lance Cpl. Benjamin Pryer
The impressive hi-watari-shiki fire walking ritual takes place at Daishoin Temple on Miyajima twice a year in spring and autumn.
The autumn ceremony is held on November 15, just as the autumn leaves are usually starting to look their best, every year.
Readings from the 8000 verse Perfection of Wisdom Sutra begin at 11am and extravagant Saito-goma rituals begin around 1pm in the temple forecourt with a purification offering to the alter and the chanting of sutras. This is followed by two Buddhist monks circling the area with swords and then shooting 7 arrows into the air which the worshippers struggle to retrieve. Lastly, while mountain priests blow conch shells, the pile of cypress branches is ignited. After the fire burns down and only red coals remain, the head Buddhist monk, followed by the mountain monks and worshippers, walk barefoot across the coals chanting a prayer for good health and fortune.
Members of the public are welcome to cross the ashes barefoot.