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Time for church

fudoin koyasan

Morning prayer service in a Buddhist temple (Fudoin on Koyasan)

I have witnessed many Shinto and Buddhist rituals, but my night on Koyasan was my first experience actually participating in one (other than carrying the omikoshi during a Shinto procession). The night I was there the shukubo had two other parties of gaijin and three or four parties of native Japanese. We all attended the prayer service led by the young Buddhist monks in the morning. Although you didn’t need to speak or understand Japanese to participate, I was the only one of the gaijin who did more than watch. Maybe the others were Christian and felt like they would be betraying their faith. In any event, it felt good to do more than just watch for once.

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