Horyuji-temple ‘s case
2. Horyuji-temple’s case
Horyuji-temple is in a slightly remote place from the center of Nara. The nearest station is “Horyuji station” (JR line). It takes about 10 minutes from Nara by train. From Osaka, it takes about one hour. But, unfortunately, this station is for away from the temple (about 1.5 kilometers. It takes eight minutes by bus, over 20 minutes on foot), besides, the bus does not run after about 5 pm. The event begin at 7:30 pm every year. If you want to watch only this event, you should use the next station “Ouji” and you should take a bus.
In this season, when it passes 5:00 pm, the sun goes down. When you arrive at this temple, you will stand in deep darkness without many people. There are several Buddhist monasteries and long wall.
When I arrived there past 6:30, I saw that scene. I felt lonely, I thought I had better returm. Because I guessed that probably the ceremony would not to be performed for some reason that day. When I decided to return, I saw that several people came there. They seemed a family. So, I turned back and walked little and then several more people came in sight. They seemed to be waiting for somebody. It seemed there was a misunderstanding. This temple looked very quiet. The state was greatly different from Kofukuji-temple. I presumed the reason there was no ceremony. Of course, nobody got gifts. Perhaps this temple in a remote place. I didn’t know whether this was right or not.
Ogres and Bishamonten come out
The event was held in front of “Seien-do hall 西円堂”. This hall is on the left side of the main hall and Five Storeyed Pagoda.
After 7:00, it was not crowded. A fence was built sorounding the hall, people had been waiting in front of it. Just before it start, people finally gathered. There were fewer it than I expected. At 7:30 pm, it started.
Three ogres and Bishamonten got on the stage. This style was the same as Kofukuji-temple’s. A defferent is that the ogres and Bishamonten did not fight each other. Basically, nothing much happened. Ogres came out one by one from the right side of the hall and took torches. An ogre swung the torch and it powerfully to the fence. He did this three times. The next ogre did the same action.
After the third ogre, Bishamonten came on a stage, he stuck a long sword out powerfully seversl times, shouting “Yah, Yah, Yah”. This action meant throw out evil spirits. They went around 3 times.
When the sparks spread, people cheered. Sometimes, a torch flew over the fence. However, generally it was silent without the voices of cheering and Bishamonten. No announce, no commentary, no noise. There was only some cheering and the sound of fire sparking.
Before 8:00, the event was over. As soon as the ogres and Bishamonten left, several fireman got on stage.
When I turned back on my way to the gate, only the Five Storeyed Pagoda soared high in the soundless night like an illusion.