Kyoto Shimbun 2014.8.5 News

Shaven Heads Show Firm Resolve
"Tokudo-shiki" at Higashi Honganji Temple, Kyoto

The "Tokudo-shiki," or an ordination ritual for Buddist priests of the sect, was held on August 5 at Higashi Honganji Temple, the headquarters of the Shinshu Otani-ha, or the Otani sect of Shin Buddhism, in Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto. Boys with shaven bald heads shining grayish-blue and girls with their hair tied back took part in the ceremony with tense faces.

The ritual started at around 9:30 a.m. at Goei-do, or the Founder's Hall. The participants dressed in white costumes took part in "Teito no Gi," or the hair shaving service, where Choken Otani, the temple’s head priest, touched their heads with a razor. After the ceremony, the smiling small priests, who were given Buddhist names and black "Sumigesa" robes, came out of the hall with new determination.

The sect allows applicants aged nine or older to attend the ceremony, as Shinran, the founder of Shin Buddhism, was ordained when he was nine years old. The ritual is usually held once every month, except for August when it is held twice since the number of applicants increases due to the summer holidays. This time, 128 applicants in total, including 67 nine-year-old boys and girls, attended.

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= Children with shaven heads attend an ordination ritual (August 5, Higashi Honganji Temple, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto)