NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/2/1


西円堂・追儺会 Saiendou・Tsuinae Saiendo Tsuinae Festival

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The Saiendo Shunie festival takes place in front of the Buddha image in the Saiendo Hall at Horyuji Temple in Nara. It is held from 1-3 February each year.

The final event held on the last day is called 'tsuinae' or 'onioi' and is the ogre-chasing ceremony. Two people dressed as Vaisravana and an ogre appear. Vaisravana holds a pikestaff and chases out the ogre, who holds a burning torch.

According to the 'Jiyô Nikki' ('Temple Records'), it is an event that began in 1261 and is the earliest ogre-chasing event of its kind in Nara Prefecture. It is believed that if a falling spark of fire hits a person, that person will be in sound health for that particular year. It is a festival attended by hundreds of people from the neighborhood.
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