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Annual Memorial Services for Drowning Victims Held at Enjitsuji Temple

August 2016

President and Mrs. Nichiko Niwano; Rev. Takeshi Kawabata, chair of the Board of Trustees; and other Rissho Kosei-kai leaders, as well as many other members of Rissho Kosei-kai, visited the temple Enjitsuji in the town of Minobu in Yamanashi Prefecture on August 19 for the temple's 734th annual Kawasegaki (two memorial services for river-drowning victims).

One service was held in the morning and one in the afternoon. Both were attended by the Rissho Kosei-kai senior leaders, and the morning service was attended by 629 members from 28 Dharma centers, and the afternoon service by 631 members from 26 Dharma centers.

The services began with sutra recitation, followed by an offering of incense before the altar; greetings from Rev. Jinen Tsutsui, the temple's deacon; and a Dharma talk by President Niwano.

President Niwano said that people are by nature compassionate like the Buddha but their minds are defiled by the three poisons of greed, anger, and ignorance, which blind them to the Buddha's spirit. He said people should always be diligent in practicing the the Buddha's teachings in order to live in his spirit, and they should share his teachings with people who are suffering.

Enjitsuji was founded by Nambu Sanenaga, the lord of Hakii, in 1281 in present-day southern Yamanashi Prefecture, after he became a follower of Nichiren. Rissho Kosei-kai members have attended the Kawasegaki services each year since 1946, and President Niwano has participated almost annually in recent years.

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