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Hoshi Matsuri

HOSHIMATSURI SERVICE
February 2nd, 1:30 pm
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SERVICE BROCHURE
Please check below or calendar for actual dates and times

Year of the Horse

SHUSHOE, January 1

A special Goma Prayer Service is conducted to pray for health and prosperity. Those attending the service have the opportunity to be blessed by the ministers and receive an ofuda (talisman) to ward off misfortune. Mochi (sweet rice cakes) are given to those born on the destined year. Hamaya (lucky arrows), Ema (wooden plaque), Omikuji (written oracles) and Omamori (amulet) are available for the New Year.

This year is the "Year of the Horse" (1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014).

Kobo Daishi

HATSU DAISHI and GOMA, January 19

Kobo Daishi entered into eternal meditation on March 21, 835 AD. In homage to Kobo Daishi, the 21st of every month is observed. The first Daishi Service (Hatsu Daishi) is conducted in January. In conjunction, the Goma Fire Rite is performed. Kobo Daishi introduced the ceremony to Japan from China in the 9th century.

The Goma Fire Rite originated in India. The fire of the ceremony, called the "Fire of Great Wisdom" (Dai-chika), is said to remove the darkness of ignorance and bring the light of enlightenment; thus, those attending the rite cleanse their karma. Prayer sticks (gomagi) are offered to the fire.

Hoshimatsuri

Oni wa soto! Fuki wa uchi!
(Demons out! Luck in!)

HOSHIMATSURI, February 2

We cannot escape the pain of birth, illness, aging and death. Happiness and health are two wishes that we hold dear. To realize these wishes and ward off misfortune, a prayer service is held at New Year's Setsubun*, which usually falls in February. This service is referred to as the Hoshimatsuri Prayer Service.

Hoshimatsuri literally means "Star Festival". The movements of the heavenly bodies influence all life. The stars and constellations foretell the possible events of life. The ancient horoscope using the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun, Eclipse, stars, comets, and constellations is integral to this unique Shingon Esoteric Service.

Download 2014 Hoshimatsuri Chart.

*Setsubun is the ceremony of cleansing and driving away evil spirits that bring misfortune by throwing fuku mame (good luck beans). It is customary to eat roasted soybeans, one for each year of one‘s life to bring in good luck.

Sidhartha Gautama Buddha

Shakyamuni Buddha
(February 15, 483 B.C.)

JORAKU-E, February

Service is held to commemorate the day that Sidhartha Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, left this world of human existence and entered Nirvana. On this day, we take special occasion to remember what Buddha taught us concerning the passing away from this earthly life.

Death of the physical body is a natural part of the life cycle. Those who truly understands life accepts death. As the Buddha reminded his disciples who were grieving at his approaching death, grief is nothing but the manifestation of passion, and those who have freed themselves from worldly passions are able to face death in calm acceptance.

Spring Ohigan

Gyate, gyate, haragyate,
harasogyate, boji sowaka

SPRING/AUTUMN HIGAN, March 23/September 21

"Higan" is taken from "To-Higan" which means from this world of ignorance and suffering (Samsari) to the other shore of enlightenment and peace (Nirvana). During the service, we pay homage to our ancestors and remind ourselves to practice the teachings of Buddha by observing the Six Paramitas:

Giving, generosity, and charity
Self-restraint, discipline, and personal integrity
Patience, tolerance, endurance, and acceptance
Effort and diligence
Meditation, concentration, and mindfulness
Wisdom, insight, and understanding

Ohigan festivals are held at the spring and autumn equinox in Japan.

Baby Buddha

HANA-MATSURI, April 6
Flower Festival Celebrating the Birth of Shakyamuni Buddha

When Baby Buddha was born, it was said that as he took seven steps forward, and with one hand pointed to the sky and the other pointed to the earth, he declared that "Above and below the heavens, I am most noble." - It was his way of saying that the gift of human life is the greatest gift that we can ever receive. The seven steps signify that Buddha transcends the six realms of existence and his declaration is an expression of his confidence to save all beings.

"Hana-matsuri" means festival of flowers and refers to the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha in Lumbini Garden. Service is held to honor the birth. Sweet tea is poured over a statue of infant Buddha that is set in a small altar surrounded by flowers.

Kobo Daishi

Kobo Daishi (March 21, 835 A.D)

SHOMIE-KU, April 20

"When space is exhausted
   When all creatures disappear
 When Nirvana vanishes
   Then and only then shall my vow be fulfilled
"

"Shomie-Ku" means the ritual (Ku) of recollecting the holy (Sho) image (Mie) of Kobo Daishi, founder of Japanese Shingon Buddhism. Service is held to commemorate the day that Kobo Daishi entered eternal meditation on March 21, 835 A.D.

Aobamatsuri

Namu Daishi Henjo Kongo

AOBA-MATSURI, June 22

Service is held to honor the birth of Kobo Daishi (Kukai), founder of Japanese Shingon Esoteric Buddhism and father of Japanese Culture. In June, the Japanese landscape is lush and green from the seasonal rain; thus the celebration of his birth became "Aoba-Matsuri", the Festival of Green Leaves.

Kobo Daishi was born on June 15, 774 A.D. in Zentsuji, Kagawa Prefecture, Shikoku Island, Japan. His family were members of the aristocratic Saeki family, a branch of the Otomo clan. He was called Mao as a child.

Obon Candlelight

Hatsubon Kento

OBON SEGAKI, July 13

Obon has been considered a memorial day for Buddhists. The word "obon" means to uproot suffering and pain. On this day we recall the warm memories of our passed loved ones and foster a relation between the living and decease. The Japanese believe that the spirits of the departed return to earth on Obon Day.

The rituals of Obon originated at the time of Buddha in India. From the legend of Moggallana, food and water are offered to the decease. The religious act of sprinkling rice, vegetables and water on wooden tablets (kyogi) with the written names of the decease is called Segaki. Candlelights are offered by families and friends who have lost a loved one since last year's Obon.

Peace Flame

Hiroshima Peace Flame

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR A-BOMB VICTIMS, August 3

A joint memorial service, sponsored by the Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb survivors (ASA) and the Los Angeles Koyasan Betsuin, is held to remember the victims of the atomic bomb blasts over Hiroshima on (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9, 1945), and to pray for world peace.

A flame from the Hiroshima Peace Park in Japan was brought to the Temple in 1984.

Jizo Bon

Mizuko Jizo Bon

JIZO BON & OKURIBI SERVICE, August 24

Jizo statues are washed and decorated with new red bibs and hats. Offerings are made to thank them for protecting our children. Special tribute is made to Mizuko Jizo Bon who is the guardian of unborn, aborted, miscarried, and stillborn babies. A memorial service is conducted for infants who died before birth or within the first few years of life.

"Okuribi" means "send-off fire". The wooden tablets (Kyogi) from Obon are burned, signifying that the spirits of the departed returned back to the other world after their yearly visit.

The services are held in the Temple courtyard.

Shichi-Go-San

SHICHI-GO-SAN SERVICE, November 16

Shichi-Go-San is a rite of passage for girls of three (san) and seven (shichi) years and boys of three (san) and five (go) years. The tradition is said to have originated in the Heian Period amongst the nobles and over time passed to the samurai class. By the Edo Period (1603-1868), the rite was adopted by the commoner and included the ritual of visiting a shrine or temple to pray for the children's well-being.

At the service, prayers are offered and the fire ritual is conducted. Children are blessed, receive amulet/tailsman, and presented stick candy. This is also a "day of pictures." Children come dress in kimonos or their Sunday attire. Toyo Miyatake Studio (626-289-5674) will be available to take individual and/or family photos. Tokyo Bridal & Tuxedo provides kimono rental (213-617-3595).

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Bodhi Day

Nomaku sammanda bodanan baku

BODHI DAY, December 7

Service is held to commemorate the day when Siddhartha Gotama experienced enlightenment ("bodhi") and became Buddha (the "Awakened One"); and to remember his teachings, which he imparted to us as the "Four Noble Truths":

  All beings are subject to suffering. No one escapes … suffering is universal.

  The cause of suffering is ignorance. And ignorance of oneself is the greatest ignorance.

  Ignorance, the cause of suffering, can be overcome.

  The way to overcome ignorance is the "Eightfold Noble Path".

Temple Bell

YEAR-END, December 31

For the last service of the year, "Toshi-no-se", the temple bell is rung 108 times. In Buddhist belief, human beings are plagued by 108 earthly desires or passions (bonno). With each ring, a desire is dispelled. Service is held to express our gratitude to Lord Buddha and Kobo Daishi for their guidance and protection.

Goma Ritual

GOMA, Last Sunday of the Month (February - November)

Kobo Daishi introduced the "Goma Fire Rite" from China. The ceremony originated about five thousand years ago. The fire of the rite, called the "Fire of Great Wisdom" (Dai-chika), leads us to emancipation, removing the darkness of ignorance and bringing the light of enlightenment. By attending the ritual, members destroy their bad karma. Prayer sticks (gomagi) are offered.

The Goma Mantra is:
Nomaku sammanda bazaradan senda makaroshada sowataya un tarata kamman.

Morning Service

MORNING SERVICE, Sunday

The service provides members the opportunity to renew their pledges and practice the "Three Mysteries" (San-mitsu). Sermon in English and Japanese concludes the service.

*Please check calendar for date and time.

PRIVATE SERVICES

Funeral and Memorials

The Buddhists not only prays for the eternal peace of passed love ones; but, understands that through memorial services the departed is ever-living and existing with us. After the funeral, the most important memorials are the 49th day, 100th day, 1st year, and 3rd year services. It is believed that the decease becomes Buddha and enters para-Nirvana on the 49th day.

Blessings and Gokito

  Hatsumairi (Baby Blessing)

  Health, Travel, and Safety Blessing

  Auto, House, and Business Blessing

  Yaku-Doshi (Men: 25, 42 and 61; Women: 19, 33 and 37 years old)

Please contact Temple for information and/or appointment.

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