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Paper Cherry
Blossom decorate
the altar to celebrate

The most important Buddhist service in Nichiren Shoshu is Oeshiki,
because it teaches the basic Law of Buddhism.

On the 13th day of the 10th month in the 5th year of Koan (1282), Nichiren
Daishonin’s body, which was the same as our bodies, passed away at the age of
61.  But the Buddha nature – the life of Namumyohorengekyo itself – never dies; it
is eternal. That is why we celebrate Oeshiki, to affirm the eternal life of the

At the time the Daishonin passed away, the 13th day of the 10th month would have
actually fallen at the end of November rather than October.  It was winter, yet the
cherry blossoms bloomed throughout Japan. Thus, for Oeshiki we make paper
cherry blossoms and place them on either side of Gohonzon as decoration.

The lotus flower is the symbol for Shakyamuni, and Shakyamuni was the object of
worship for the 2 ½ millennia following his death.  But 2500 years after
Shakyamuni’s death his time to save people had ended. Now the object of worship
is the oneness of the person and the Law (ninpo ikka), which is the practitioner of
the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren, and the Law of Namumyōhōrengekyō. The symbol for
Japan is the cherry blossom. The blooming of the cherry blossoms at Nichiren
Daishonin’s death is proof that true Buddhism traveled from India, through China
to Japan.

In the middle of Gongyo (before the jigage) we stop reciting the liturgy, then all the
believers together recite the remonstration letter of Nichiu Shonin, the Rissho
Ankoku Ron, the Daishonin’s letter of remonstration(Letter to Lay Priest Yadoya)
and Nikko Shonin’s letter of remonstration. Then we resume recitation of the
liturgy with the
jigage, and chanting the Odaimku.

Oeshiki should be celebrated as a joyous occasion, with much festivity.
October 13, 1282
Happy Oeshiki