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White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for May 2018

I hope you are in good health and doing well under the Amida Buddha’s light.

This month, we have a Memorial Day. I did not know about this day of observance before, and I learned about it last year. So, I think that many people go to the cemetery and visit one’s family and ancestors’ grave that day to show respect and gratitude to the people who have passed away. When we go to the cemetery, what do we do? At the beginning, I think that most people put their hands together at the gravesite. For each person, the activities are going to be different, but many people might do some cleaning of the graves. Dust may be brushed-off the grave stones, fallen leaves may be gathered up around the graves, and weeds may be pulled out around the headstones to honor those who have left and became Buddha. We might then place some flowers on the grave, burn incense, and recite the nenbutsu. Some people might also splash water over the grave stones. This is a common practice in Japan, and it is done to show our respect and gratitude to past family members and ancestors who have passed on and became Buddha. This practice is like doing theKanbutsuduring Hanamatsuri where we pour tea over the baby statue of Buddha. Although in this case, it is to celebrate Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth.  

In any case, when we go to visit the cemetery on Memorial Day, we would like to think deeply about the people who have become Buddha, pour water over the grave and recite the nenbutsu in gratitude.  

We will have a Gotan-E and Shotsuki service on Sunday, May 20 at 10AM. We will have a guest speaker Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara.  I hope to see all of you there.

In Gassho,

Yugo Fujita