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Updated: August 14, 2019
Dating back 730 years, the Oeshiki ceremony marks the anniversary of the passing of Nichiren (1222-1282), the charismatic man who founded the Nichiren sect of Buddhism and eventually died at Ikegami Honmonji Temple. While Oeshiki is observed at Nichiren temples across Japan, Ikegami Honmonji's ceremony is the grandest and largest.
The highlight of the event is a mando procession in memory of Nichiren. A mando is a tall pagoda-like lantern adorned with cherry blossoms, and around 3,000 devotees carry these lanterns roughly two kilometers from Ikegami Station to the temple. Annual attendance of about 300,000 underlines just how popular this festival is.
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