Copyright (C) 2016 Higashimuki Shopping Mall
All Rights Reserved
TODAI-JI TEMPLE NIGATSU-DO HALL
Shuni-e is the whole procedure of Buddhist rituals in which priests of Todai-ji Temple pray to Eleven-faced Kannon, the main object of worship enshrined in the Nigatsu-do Hall, for the peace of the country as well as for the prosperity of people by repentance for one's misdeeds. It is generally believed that the origin of the rituals dates back to the 4th year of the Tempyo-Shoho era(752), when the priest of the Todai-ji Temple, Jitchu, seeing the ceremony with spiritual exercise conducted by Bodhisattvas at the "Ryuketsu," or literally a dragon cave, in the Kasagi region, decided to build the Nigatsu-do Hall for the performance of the related rituals.
Among the rituals is the popular "Omizutori," or the water drawing ceremony, which is held on March 12. The priests, led by a big torchlight with a diameter of one meter, draw up perfumed water from the Wakasa Well to offer to the main image of worship. "Omizutori" is the most famous of all the events of Shuni-e, and the torchlight presents a grand spectacle. After the "Omizutori" comes a special ritual called "Dattan," in which the priests with a big torchlight in their hands run through the temple corridor. If a child wears a Dattan hat, which was used for the Dattan ritual, he or she is believed to grow up healthily. It is said that spring will not come unless "Omizutori" is over.