Behind the monastery is an old, small shrine, that is taken care of by a Buddhist temple in Hamasaka that belongs to the Nichiren sect.

On this day, many people that used to live in the village that once existed in this area came to celebrate the reopening of the small shrine, taht had been torn down in June and rebuild during the summer, as it had been damaged by snow and rain. I was also invited to join four Nichiren priests in a procession during wihich we carried the sacred object of worship into the shrine.

Inside the shrine were three Shintoist altars, with the round mirrors and paper decorated wards that are so typical of this religion. the “sacred object” on the other hand turned out to be a statue of Nichiren, the founder of a Buddhist sect who lived at the time of Dogen.

The ceremony was very powerful, with a l;ot of chanting from the lotus sutra. The priest also hit flintstones and sparksflew through the small shrine, and at one point everyone hit castanets like crazy. anyway, quiete different from the rather sleepy Soto way of doing ceremonies.