Nunobashi Kanjoe Ceremony, Toyama
Nunobashi Kanjoe is a ceremony held for relief of women who wish for Gokuraku Ojo (peaceful death) in the Edo period when Mt. Tateyama was a woman forbidden. The Ubado River flowing under Nunobashi Bridge was regarded as Sanzu-no-kawa River (river, the dead cross), and Nunobashi Bridge was thought to be the boundary between this world and the other world. The women clothed white clothes, blindfolded, crossed Nunobashi Bridge, chanted Nembutsu in Ubado and returned to Nunobashi Bridge again. It was believed that if you crossed safely, you could reach Gokuraku Jodo (the Land of Happiness) after death. The ceremony was abolished by Haibutsu-kishaku (a movement to abolish Buddhism) in the early Meiji period, but it was reproduced for the first time in 136 years at the National Cultural Festival in 1996. This is a traditional healing event that is held every two to three years thereafter.
“Tateyama Worship” was the mountain faith of the syncretism of Shintoism and Buddhism, which gathered faith from the late Heian period to the Edo period. Tateyama was believed to have all the worlds from hell to Pure Land, believed to be reborn as a new self without sin or dirt by worshiping. Also, if you feed the dead in Jigokudani (hell valley), the spirit that fell into hell could also go to paradise.
Cross the varnished Nunobashi Bridge, the other side is already the other world. It is said that you are already becoming a new self when you return to this world by chanting Nembutsu in Ubado Hall and crossing the bridge again.
Women who are in white clothes appearance and blindfolders participate in the penitence ceremony with Enma-do (hall dedicated to Enma-o).
With the majestic sound of Gagaku and Shomyo (chanting by priests at Buddhist ceremonies) echoing, the women blindfolded in white clothes cross over the three white cloths laid on the vermillion bridge. It is a ceremony where about 3,000 visitors gather from inside and outside the prefecture.
In Yobo-kan Hall, located at the end of the bridge, ceremonies were held in the dark. When the women unfold the blindfold, the covering in front of the glass walls rose and Tateyama, illuminated by sunlight, spread to the front. The women quietly put their hands together and renewed their mind.
|Name:||Nunobashi Kanjoe Ceremony|
|Address:||Ashikuraji Nakaniikawagun Tateyamamachi, Toyama 930-1406 Japan|
|Access:||Toyamachitetsu Tateyama-sen Line “Arimineguchi-eki Station” (5 minutes by car)|
|Tel:||(+81) 76-462-9971 (Nunobashi Kanjoe Executive Committee)|