Dai-aragyo-do (The Hall For The Grand Ascetisism) Of Nichren Sect
Dai-aragyo-do (The Hall For The Grand Asceticism) In Hokekyouji
Every year from November 1st to February 10th, over 100 priests gather
The Grand Head Temple to enter in the 100 days asceticism that they keep
strict rules to study with white cotton clothing in cold season.
Both the first day of entering the grand asceticism in November 1st and the final day of completing it in February 10th, several thousand people including family members and supporters of the priests and neighbors come Nakayama Hokekyouji Temple to congratulate them, and the ceremonies in both days conducted in solemn atmospheres. Especially, the ceremony in the final day gives visitors similar experiences to the priests little since they stand very cold to wait for them for a few hours in very early morning.
Tanka Poems describing the 100 days asceticism below are written by the
venerable Nichiun, the 116th abbot of Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple, who had
experienced the asceticism several times.
okonau wa kayu wo susuri te mizukamuri norito no tameni wa nanika itowan
only could do drink rice porridge and dash water over myself, to complete
Buddha's preaching, nothing I would run away from.
komo wo shiki kayu wo susuri te mizu kamuri mi ni ou tumi wo arai susugamu
Spread a mat and drink rice porridge while dashing water over myself to
wash out some sins on my own.
Dai Aragyo (The Grand Asceticism)
Every year from November 1st to February 10th, the 100 days asceticism
in cold season is held in The Grand Head Temple of Nichiren Sect, Shochuzan
Hokekyo-ji Temple at Ichkawa city
, Chiba prefecture
. This asceticism is very famous, it was said one of the hardest asceticism
Every year over hundreds of priests gather and practice for 100 days in
the cold winter season, it is really very hard and austere discipline.
Neither all priests belonging to Nichiren Sect
can enter the discipline, the priests past the rule could only attend the
practice. For example, the priests should be healthy. Those priests succeed
the skill by word of mouth. It is very hard discipline to learn how to
The schedule in a day of the priests practicing the asceticism starts 2:00
am. Then they throw cold water on their own bodies seven times in a day
from 3:00 am to 10:00 pm to purify themselves, this is called 'Suigyo'.
And they read thousands of Sutras, write the succeeded important Sutras
and learn 'Mokken-sosho' a important skill in Nichren Sect. They could
eat a cup of plain rice porridge and a pickled plum twice a day.
In February 10th at the day of the celebration for the priests having accomplished the 100 days severe practice, Zui-mon gate had closed 100 days is opened, and thousands of people( the family of the priests, the supporters and followers) meet them to celebrate their accomplishment. Then the celebration for them is held in Soshi-do.
After that, these priests go back to their temples and help their supporters and followers to their wishes fulfillments with the skills and knowledge they learned in the grand asceticism.
The Entrance Ceremony Of The Grand Asceticism Of Nichiren Sect
November 1st is the day of the beginning of the Grand Asceticism of Nichiren
Sect, over 100 priests gather in Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple to practice
for 100 days in the cold winter season. In this day, families and supporters
come together to see their priests off near Zuimon Gate only the gate connecting
to the Aragyodo Hall.
The Completion Ceremony Of The Grand Asceticism Of Nichiren Sect
February 10th is the day that the priests in the Aragyodo Hall complete
their 100 days practices in cold season, so they leave the hall. Before
sun rises, the families and the supporters of the priests gather and wait
for them coming back.
The Location and Access to Dai Aragyodo Hall of Nichciren Shu
Dai Aragyodo Hall of Nichciren Shu In Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple
- Dai Aragyodo Hall of Nichciren Shu in Nakayama Hokekyouji Temple has great accessibilities from both Narita and Haneda International Airport.
- From Narita International Airport, take Keisei-line and get off Keisei-Nakayama Sta, take minimally 40 minutes from Narita Airport.. And also take JR Sobu-express line, transfer the line at Funabashi to Sobu-Local line, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- From Haneda International Airport, take Keikyu-line bound to Narita, and get off Keisei-Nakayama Sta.
- From Tokyo Sta, take Sobu-Express line bound to Chiba or Narita, transfer the line to Sobu-Local line bound to Chiba, Tsudanuma, or Nishi-Funabashi at Ichikawa Sta, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- From Akihabara Sta, take Sobu line bound to Chiba, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- Take 5 minute walk from Keisei-Nakayama Sta, and take 8 minutes walk from Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- 2-10-1 Nakayama, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-pref, Japan
The Landmarks in Nakayama Hokekyouji Temple
Takikyakuden is the main hall of Hokekyoji and it has the business office and Kishibojindo Hall dedicated to the goddess of children on the end of the long corrido of the main hall.
In spring, there is millions of cherry blossoms in Hokekyoji and in summer, lotus blooms on ryuo-ike pond. In fall, there are beautiful colored leaves. Every season, visitors could enjoy seeing the sights.
It is characterized the twin hip-and-gable roof structure (hiyoku-irimoya-style), and hengaku written by Koetsu Honami hangs in front.
It was built in early Edo period (1622) by request of Koshitsu Honami supported by Maeda Family in Kaga.
It was built in Kamakura period.
It was moved from Aizen-dou in Kamakura 700 years ago.
It was designed by the famous architect Chuta Ito, it stores many scripts
written by the Founder Nichiren.
It enshrines Kiyomasa Kato, one of the most famous daimyo in Sengoku period.
From Nov 1 to Feb 10, hundreds of Buddhist priests practice severly every year.
The henguku hunged in front of the gate was written by Koetsu Honami, famous artist in Momoyama Period.
It was built for worshipping Jurasetsunyo, Kishibozin, Daikokusama.
It is also called Sou-mon (the main gate).
The founder Nichiren built the small shrine to dedicate the dragon god to pray for rain.
It enshrins Ugazin who is the guardian deity of Hokekyou-ji Temple.
It dedicates Hokushin Myouken Star that the Chiba Family deeply believed in, Hokekyoji traditionally succeeds. In November, Tori-no-ich is held in the site to dedicate the star.
The founder Nichiren preached first time at the Toki's castle called Wkakamiya Yakata. And Toki built a temple 'Hokkeji', it is the origin of Oku no In.
It was built in 1719 by famous caster Ota Suruga-no-kami in Kanda. It is the bigest great Buddha in Chiba prefecture.
Nichijo was the first abbot of Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple and Naki Icho is a gingko tree having a sad legend.
There are some other landmarks in Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple.
Koetsu Honami specially remained his calligraphy in Hokekyo-ji Temple, and Shiki Masaoka, Kafu Nagai discribed it well.
Some tacchue temples are introduced in this page.
There are some noted spots, Kaii Higashiyama Memorial Hall and so on, near Hokekyoji.
Cherry blossoms in Hokekyoji are amazingly wonderful.