Jul 1, 2010

Opening Ceremony for climbing Mt. Fuji

Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine holds an opening ceremony at 10am of July 1st every year. After this, Sendatsu (先達=practitioners of Fujiko)move to Otsuka-yama(大塚丘)to have another ceremony. Being late to see it, I went to Umagaeshi(馬返し)to see the 3rd ceremony of today.

After a short pray for a small shrine, they sit just before the torii-gate on the entrance of the Old Yoshida trail. Putting a mound of salt on the ground, a man spreads some incense sticks on it and set a bottle of sake and two candles around it. A man ignites the incense. They are chanting a special sutra. A piece of paper is burned on the fire. It soars into the sky. After the long chant, the fire is extinguished. Mixed salt and ashes are wraped in tenugui (Japanese towel). A man presses on our back with this in order. It means 無病息災(sound health).

There were three foreign climbers. They seemed to enjoy this ceremony.

1 comment:

Project Hyakumeizan said...

Many thanks for this post: it's good to know that, after so many centuries, the Fuji-ko are still making their pilgrimages to the mountain ....