Oeshiki—Memorial Services for Our Three Great Masters

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At every HBS temple, a memorial service for each of the three great masters, Nichiren, Nichiryu and Nissen Shonin, is held once a year. This memorial service is called Oeshiki. Each Oeshiki is usually held on Sunday closest to the anniversary of Nichiren, Nichiryuand Nissen Shonin’s death. Each anniversary of the three great masters’s death is as follows:

  • February 25 (Nichiryu Shonin)
  • July 17 (Nissen Shonin)
  • October 13 (Nichiren Shonin)

Oeshiki originally referred to the memorial serevice for the purpose of repayment for indebtedness to Nichiren Shonin held on the anniversary of his death, October 13. However, we were able to encounter with the faith in the Odaimoku, quintessence of the Primordial Buddha’s teachings, thanks to not only Nichiren Shonin born as a reincarnation of Jyogo Bodhisattva in Kamakura period, but also Nichiryu Shonin in Muromachi period and Nissen Shonin from the end of Edo period to Meiji period. Therefore, we carry out each Oeshiki on a grand scale every year.

The Oeshiki for Nichiren Shonin is called Koso-e. Koso is an honorific title that praises Nichiren Shonin for his foundation of a Buddhist sect based on the faith in the Odaimoku, Namu-myohorengekyo—quintessence of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra for the first time in this world. E means a “Buddhist ceremony,” so we call the memorial serveice for Nichiren Shonin held in every autumn Koso-e to distinguish it from other two Oeshikis. The Oeshiki for Nichiryu Shonin is called Monso-e and for Nissen Shonin is Kaido-e. Those names both derive from their honorific titles in the same way.

As we repay our parents’ love, HBS members repay the three great masters’ compassion. Three times a year, every HBS member visits the temple he or she belongs to, and grand Oeshikis are held to please our three great masters.


Follow Ryosetsu Ikemoto:

Buddhist Priest of Honmon Butsuryū Shū (HBS), belongs to Kosenji temple in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Pref., Japan. Secretary to the 25th HBS head priest.

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