Along with Mt. Fuji and Mt. Hakusan, Sacred Mountain Tateyama, one of Japan’s three sacred mountains, was a mountain worship mountain until the Edo period. It has been considered the world of “the land of the dead,” with hell and paradise in the mountains.
In Tateyama, during the Edo period, there was a legend that if you worshiped you could go paradise, and the mountain climbing faith was thriving. However, because women were prohibited at that time, women could not climb.
By climbing and descending, the man was promised a “jodo ojo” (go to the Pure Land) after his death. However, because women were forbidden at that time, it was said that women were promised “jodo ojo” just like men climbing Tateyama by visiting the Enmado Hall, Nunobashi Bridge, and Ubado Hall at the foot of Ashikaji Temple.
It is said that “Nunobashi Kanjoe Ceremony,” a female relief ritual that allows you to go to the paradise, without climbing, for women who are worried. This is a traditional healing event that was reproduced in 1996 for the first time in about 130 years and has been held every two to three years since 2005.
“Nunobashi Kanjoe Ceremony” was registered in Toyama Prefecture for the first time in the “3rd Project Future Heritage” of the Japan UNESCO Association.
Participating women are called “Nyoninshu”, wearing white clothes, blindfolded, and crossing Nuunobashi over the Ubado river, which is set up in the Sanzu River. Nunobashi was believed to be able to go to the Buddhists’ Pure Land after death at the border between this world and that world after a safe crossing.
Participating women are called “Nyoninshu”, wearing white clothes, blindfolded, and crossing Nunobashi over the Ubado river, which is considered the Sanzu-no-kawa River (river, the dead cross). Nunobashi was believed to be able to go to the Buddhists’ Pure Land after death after successfully crossing the land of the dead.
Nunobashi Bridge with white cloth is a bridge to Jodo. “Nunobashi Kanjoe Ceremony”, a combination of mountain faith, esotericism, and Jodo faith at that time, was a ritual to pray for and relieve the paradise of women who were unable to step into Sacred Mountain.
Cross the vermilion Nunobashi Bridge and the other side is the land of the dead. In Ubado Hall, when you invoke the Buddha, cross the bridge again, and come back to this world, you are a new self.
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)|