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Shinran and His Work, by Arthur Lloyd, [1910], at

p. 147

Chapter XXII.

Fasts and Festivals.

(§ 97)

The following fasts and festivals are observed in the Shinshu Sect.




New Year's Celebrations.




Commemoration of Honen Shōnin.




The Vernal Equinox (one week).




Birthday of Shinran Shonin.




Commemoration Zenchishiki.




The Bon Festival.




Autumnal Equinox (one week).




Preaching Services in Commemoration of Shinran Shōnin.

The various meinichi (commemorations) of Shotoku Taishi, of the seven Patriarchs, and of the patron zenchishiki of the Central Temple of each one of the various subsects.

The meinichi of other zenchishiki. In this respect the Calendar is continually changing, for as the years go by, and new zenchishiki are added to the roll of the Saints, some of the old ones are dropped out, or their festivals amalgamated with those of others. In this way thanksgivings are continually being offered for the lives of recent saints, while care is taken that the roll of saints actually mentioned by name shall not become wearisomely long. Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, we may all learn

p. 148

something from this sensible practice. Nichiren (Seigoroku p. 191) accuses Hōnen and Zendō of conspiring to drive S’akyamuni out of the Buddhist Church by turning his festivals in the 4th and 12 months into festivals of Yakushi and of Namu-Amida Butsu, the glorified and triumphant Amida. This is still the case: the Birthday of S’akyamuni, which often falls during our Easter festivities, though, very devoutly kept by other Jōdo Sects, is not kept officially by the Shinshu. No more are the Festivals in honour of S’akyamuni's Enlightenment and His Nirvana. Yakushi, the "master of medicines," who healed sickness, and had twelve Apostles, is not mentioned in Shinshu Theology. *


148:* While the Eastern Hongwanji has adopted the new calendar in its table of Fasts and Festivals, the Western Hongwanji retains the old lunar reckoning. Thus the commemoration of Shinran Shonin falls in one case in our November, in the other, in our January. Next year (1911) will be the 650th anniversary of Shinran, and the 700th of that of Honen's death.

Next: Chapter XXIII. Fasting.