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Oeshiki-Ichijo Festival 2016

October 2016

The 2016 Oeshiki-Ichijo Festival was held October 2 at Rissho Kosei-kai headquarters and the neighboring area in Tokyo. After the opening ceremony in the Great Sacred Hall, some 9,000 members in 41 contingents representing the headquarters and Dharma centers across Japan and overseas joined the One Vehicle (Ichijo) parade along the streets from the organization's Former Headquarters to the Horin-kaku Guest Hall. Some 25,000 spectators lined the streets and cheered the marchers. The festival was webcast.

At the opening ceremony, which began at 9 a.m., President-designate Kosho Niwano led the sutra chanting. Representative members prayed for the event's safety and success. Then President Nichiko Niwano gave an address in which he referred to the title "Harmony is to Be Valued" of the first article of Japan's Seventeen-article constitution, attributed to Prince Shotoku (574-622). He then emphasized the need for all members to achieve great harmony in their own hearts and minds. He said he hoped all the participants would share the joy of unity in a spirit of creating a realm of great harmony.

The parade started in the afternoon with one contingent of members representing the headquarters carrying mando (portable lighted pagodas), twirling matoi (traditional firemen's standards), pulling decorated floats, and playing musical instruments. Since this year is the 110th anniversary of the founder's birth, many banners bore messages of vows to follow the Buddha Way. President and Mrs. Niwano, President-designate Niwano, and many guests watched the parade from the central grandstand in front of Fumon Hall.

The Oeshiki-Ichijo Festival commemorates the death of the 13th-century Japanese Buddhist priest Nichiren, who dedicated his life to disseminating the Lotus Sutra. The festival is also a time for Rissho Kosei-kai members to deepen their veneration of Founder Nikkyo Niwano, who devoted his life to social reform by liberating people from suffering according to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. Members rededicate themselves to practice of the bodhisattva way with gratitude for these two teachers. The festival is also an occasion for participants, spectators, and local residents to embody the spirit of the One Vehicle.

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