On 11 January, students at our Fukuoka Japanese language school got to experience the very rare 承天寺一山奉賽式 (じょうてんじ ほうさいしき” – Joutenji Temple Visit). This ceremony is held once a year in Hakata, when 20 Buddhist monks from the Joutenji Temple pay an official visit to the Hakozaki Shrine, a Shinto shrine. This tradition started when the founder of Joutenji Temple got caught in a very bad storm on his way back from China. In the midst of the storm, he happened upon Hakozaki Shrine, and entered it in order to pray for his safe return to Joutenji. And so the tradition of Buddhist monks visiting Hakozaki Shrine was born!
These two religions, Buddhism and Shinto, very rarely come together like this, so it was a very special opportunity for our students to learn more about these fascinating faiths and their beliefs.
Some of our students also got cornered by a TV crew for an interview!
After the Temple Visit, students returned to school for a special lesson on how to make sushi, conducted by professional sushi chefs.