JUNE 26: MANTÖ-E TRADITION
Decorating For Obon With 10,000 Lanterns
Editor’s note: Last month, the Higashi Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii held a lantern-decorating workshop in the temple’s Otani Center multi-purpose social hall. Members of the temple decorated their lanterns with flowers and motifs honoring loved ones who have passed.
The mantö-e tradition started in Japan about 1,200 years ago during the reign of Emporer Shömu when 10,000 lights, or mantö-e, were lit in honor of the Buddha around Tödaiji Temple in Nara.
Higashi Hongwanji celebrates the tradition of mantö-e every July as part of obon. Usually the lanterns are outdoors, radiating out from the yagura. With no bon dance being held this year, the lanterns will be displayed in the temple’s main hall for obon, hatsubon and mantö-e services held on Sunday, July 18, and through the following week.
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